05-13-2010 01:06 PM
I'm trying to match a stain color for a walnut crib. She has other furniture she wants to "match". The color I have found that come closest to the other furniture is "Bombay Mahogany Polyshade". I won't use that product (because of past experience and the 17,865 posts about it being crud). But I do want to get close to that shade. If it were my decision, I would leave the walnut natural and finish with BLO and shellac, but if it were my decision, I wouldn't need to be asking this question. Sooo--any suggestions on getting that dark color, with just a tinge of red? I will still probably finish with shellac, or possibly laquer. Thanks. Larry
05-13-2010 04:27 PM
So one big question is whether you've already made this from walnut, or is the project still yet to be built and so is the species negotiable? Reason for asking is that if you're trying to match mahogany it's always a step in the right direction to actually make the project from mahogany to begin with.
Wood Online Moderator
05-13-2010 07:29 PM
Let's see, already made of Walnut? Well how about a "Witches Brew" of 3 parts Minwax "Dark Walnut" and 1 part of Minwax Cherry ( Antigue or similar) ? Test on some scrap walnut and adjust for the "red tone'.
05-13-2010 08:04 PM
If you are truly wanting to match the Bombay look, no reason to use mahogany, or even walnut. Any old hardwood would do before painting it, preferably a light colored wood so you don't have much existing color to counteract--you certainly can't be sure it is wood, or mdf under the virtually opaque finish. .
If it is just the color you want, then your first step has got to be a dye. Probably something like Red Mahogany. but check out W.D. Lockwood dye colors. They have a VERY large variety of mahogany tints. Trying to achieve a dark look with Minwax junk will be very frustrating--coarse pigment, funny dyes, and a weak binder. Aim for a color just a bit redder and brighter than the final effect you are going for. Seal the dyed walnut with a coat of dewaxed shelllac. Then plan to fill the pores with an oil based pore filler tinted just a bit darker, and less red than the dyed background color. That should get you a very nice looking mahogany effect, that can be the right color, though dramatically higher quality and good looking than Bombay junk. If you still need to obscure a bit more grain, seal the pore filler, and use a dark glaze.
05-13-2010 10:10 PM
Again, since the crib is already made out of Walnut, maybe a thin red colour would be airight to put on the Walnut. One can get that by just barely stirring a can of a minwax "Cherry" type of stain first, to allow this to "fill the pores of the Walnut. Then you can add a little bit of a Dark Walnut over this. Then wipe away enough to expose the red underneath. OR, one could buy a bunch of different dyes, mix up some and try it out on some scrap wood. A "Trail and Error" approach, at best.
Over the years, I've used a lot of "Witches Brews" , by keeping all the "left-over" stains. I can then add a bit of each into one container, to get a "shade" that I was looking for. If one goes to my "gallery" of pictures, they would fine a Blanket Chest. One COULD use THAT "red", blended with some "Dark Walnut" to make a reddish brown. Thin the mix with the thinner of one's choice so that it "flows" on to the wood. Sometimes, one doesn't need to be a "Chemistry Major" to do a blend.
05-13-2010 10:26 PM
Once upon a time I was sent out to buy stain that matched other store-bought furniture in the house (red-brown color). I bought a can of that Bombay Mahogany and it's still sitting in the basement. I should just chuck it. Anyhow, I found exactly what I was looking for at a quality paint store that sells a line of commercial quality stains. They mixed it up right there for me. Amazing color and best of all, my wife loves it.
05-13-2010 11:45 PM
I guess I've found the magic supply of poyshades, since I seem to be the only one here to have luck with it. And really, minwax junk, we're beating this dead horse again? Sounds like you've already started the trial and error by finding your match, my suggestion is stay on that road and test finishes until you find something that works for you. On this forum as you've already seen the simple mention of minwax only stirs the pot of pretentiousness and get's nowhere.
05-14-2010 06:03 AM
I'm sorry you are offended by comments that impune the quality of the least effective stain material whose primary virtue is that it is cheap and widely available. And more power to you if you can get good results with Polyshades, but it is a product that has caused major problems for people and can be expected to give problems for many others. The definition of "good results" does have a wide range of possibilities. Moving beyond the Minwax brand, as a type, single can stain systems have very limited usefulness when finishing furniture.
So starting with a dye, which offers the potential for major color change, without obscuring the natural grain of the wood, is often a very good first step. Then, added depth and enhancement of the wood grain can be obtained with a pigment stain over the sealed dye surface. This isn't a "pretentious" finishing shedule, it is a very basic schedule that if about the simplest way of obtaining quality results if a project wants any coloration other than the strictly natural. It's easier to get good results this way with several steps than with a single step product. Recommending easier methods is a good thing, recommending systems that have been demonstrated time after time not to work well isn't.
05-14-2010 08:07 AM
So starting with a dye, which offers the potential for major color change, without obscuring the natural grain of the wood, is often a very good first step. Then, added depth and enhancement of the wood grain can be obtained with a pigment stain over the sealed dye surface. This isn't a "pretentious" finishing shedule, it is a very basic schedule that if about the simplest way of obtaining quality results if a project wants any coloration other than the strictly natural.....[snip]...
Very true. I'm a newbie at this and have tried polyshades and the above method and haven't had enough time to develop a bias to different brands. However, when I have used a combo stain/topcoat product like polyshades, I end up disappointed.
When I want the grain to pop when changing colors, I use the above quoted method. My wife's favorite finish is when I take curly maple and do this:
- flood on a black aniline dye and let dry
- sand the wood only until the dye comes off the main parts of the wood (staying in the pores)
- wipe on the red-brown pigment stain I mentioned in my other post
- top coat with what is appropriate for the product usage
The end result is wood where the grain lines are highlighted because they are close to black and the rest of the wood is a deep red brown color.
05-14-2010 11:18 AM
pretentiousness - ostentation: lack of elegance as a consequence of being pompous and puffed up with vanity
Definitions of good on the Web:
having desirable or positive qualities especially those suitable for a thing specified; "good news from the hospital"; "a good report card"; "when ...
full: having the normally expected amount; "gives full measure"; "gives good measure"; "a good mile from here"
estimable: deserving of esteem and respect; "all respectable companies give guarantees"; "ruined the family's good name"
beneficial: promoting or enhancing well-being; "an arms limitation agreement beneficial to all countries"; "the beneficial effects of a temperate climate"; "the experience was good for her"
agreeable or pleasing; "we all had a good time"; "good manners"
of moral excellence; "a genuinely good person"; "a just cause"; "an upright and respectable man"
adept: having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude; "adept in handicrafts"; "an adept juggler"; "an expert job"; "a good mechanic"; "a practiced marksman"; "a proficient engineer"; "a lesser-known but no less skillful composer"; "the effect was achieved by skillful retouching"
thorough; "had a good workout"; "gave the house a good cleaning"
dear: with or in a close or intimate relationship; "a good friend"; "my sisters and brothers are near and dear"
dependable: financially sound; "a good investment"; "a secure investment"
most suitable or right for a particular purpose; "a good time to plant tomatoes"; "the right time to act"; "the time is ripe for great sociological changes"
resulting favorably; "it's a good thing that I wasn't there"; "it is good that you stayed"; "it is well that no one saw you"; "all's well that ends well"
effective: exerting force or influence; "the law is effective immediately"; "a warranty good for two years"; "the law is already in effect (or in force)
capable of pleasing; "good looks
I like how the WOOD people get in on the minwax bashing too, I bet they never turned down any advertising money though. One question comes to mind though, if minwax products were so bad wouldn't they eventually lose their customer base and fold? I've been working with wood only about 25 years, and working with others who combined have hundreds of years worth of experience and until I found this forum I'd never really heard anything bad about minwax as a whole. I guess it's as you and your pals have described before though, we're just not up to "the next level" and maybe you need to have sub standard skills such as we obviously have to use this "junk". No need to close this thread Matt, I've said my piece and I'm pretty much "finished" with this forum.