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Andrew1

Stair Treads Stain

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I am doing a complete basement remodel and putting in new stairs.  I am using red oak because, well I have it and it is cheaper and I have a bunch of it already.  My upstairs floor is white oak, the almost golden oak color that you see in every 1960's ranch.  I am trying to match the new treads and landing pretty close.  Will the Minwax stain samples in the store be a pretty close match to the finish product if done on red oak or will the oak bleed through and change the color of the stain slightly?  Sorry if it seems like a dumb question I have only used stain once on a refinished product and that was just gel stain because the wood was so bad. 

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Find a small cut off and trial and error. From my experience the samples in store aren't the most representative but are closer than the picture.

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Test on the bottom of the treads.   As to matching the White Oak, I'd say the chances are not too good.

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I would use any other stain but Minwax. General Finishes makes some good stuff. A light honey colored gel stain might hide the redness. Practice on scrap ! Sand and prep your test boards just like you plan to do on the stairs. Take notes on every step so you have a plan to follow when sample is successful.

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I hear you all.  I knew to test just did not want to buy cans of stain that I will never use after this as in wood working I only use (mostly) just straight poly.  General Finishes is my go to however the closest retail store is hour half away and lowes is 3 minutes.  Frankly I dont plan on being in this house much longer so close enough and good enough in this case is what I am going with. People on this site may be able to spot the difference between general and minwax, but joe smo homeowner will be impressed its not carpet...maybe

PS, I know im in the vast minority here but I actually really like red oak, at least the rift sawn and quarter. I actually prefer the red oak flooring to white even with the cathedrals. 

 

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I have not had any luck making red oak look like white. Even when I've got the color close, the much more open grain of the red gives it away. My solution was to just not use red oak anymore :) 

Actually, I did a mantle & surround out of red oak & MDF & painted it with rattle can black. The pores in the red oak telegraph through the paint to give a nice effect.

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4 hours ago, drzaius said:

I have not had any luck making red oak look like white. Even when I've got the color close, the much more open grain of the red gives it away...

That's been my experience as well.

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Red oak as flooring is about as high on the food chain as I think it deserves. Sturdy and fairly affordable. 

If your not going to have to look at it for decades I see no reason to even try and match it. Actually a light to medium brown stain that provides a reasonable complement to the white oak floors and conceals some of the reddish tones might be a better approach.

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