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 Post subject: trying to match new stain & varnish to old
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 7:34 pm 
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I have undertaken a project that most professional floor finishers would not recommend. I'm hoping, none-the-less, that someone can advise me with my folly.

I have birch floors which were stained and varnished 8 years ago. I am in the process of sanding a small section, I have carefully taped off the full length of each plank involved, and the sanding is going surprisingly well.

I know the brand and color that was used for the stain 8 years ago (it was oil based), and the varnish used was "Crystal", satin finish (also oil based).

I'm well aware that it will be impossible to perfectly match what was done 8 years ago, but I was hoping someone would have suggestions as how to get it as close as possible.

Ideally I'm hoping to stain and varnish my sections using water based.

I've been told there's a store in my area that can mix a water based stain for me to match because they have the "recipes" on all the brands. I will go there and speak to them at length, but do any of you have any experience doing this? Specifically:

I'm assuming the old oil stain will be darker than the new water stain - can I match it by adding an additional coat?

And for the Crystal satin finish oil varnish, does anyone know of a good waterbased satin varnish that gives a similar look?

Thanks to anyone who can give me some constructive advice.


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 Post subject: Re: trying to match new stain & varnish to old
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:29 pm 
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Location: Milford,Connecticut
TO be honest, there is almost nothing you can do to match new finish to old finish that has gained a patina. And generally, I don't think it's a good idea to try and use a water based stain to replicate the color of a solvent based stain. Water based stain will pop the grain of your wood more than solvent based stain will and that alone can create a different color. IF you can get the same solvent based stain that was used, you will likely get a closer match by using it versus water based.

I'm not familiar with crystal varnish but if you can get it , use it . Most varnishes amber a lot and most water based finishes amber very little if at all.

If you get the same products that were originally used, then use those and simply let time age the finish for you and create the patina naturally. All it requires is some patience and after a few years, the repair area should be very close to the original area.

Anything you do to try and speed up natural aging will most likely get you farther away from where you want to be.

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Paul @ Advanced Wood Floors
Milford,Connecticut
http://www.addwoodfloors.com


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 Post subject: Re: trying to match new stain & varnish to old
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:59 pm 
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Thanks for the reply. I went to the store I was recommended to this morning, the guy was very encouraging and seemed knowledgeable. Maybe you can give me your opinion on what he said.

He asked me if I could bring him an actual sample of my current floor so he can match the stain (my husband has just loosened a plank from under the stove for me). Since the sample I will bring will not have been as exposed to life as the rest of the floor, he wants me to advise him if the color will need tweaking. I would say this plank is just a smidge less orange than the rest of the floors, but the difference is so slight that I hesitate to fool around with adjusting it. The stain he will give me will be oil.

He then told me he will give me a water based satin varnish. He told me I should put one coat of it on the newly stained section and let it dry. The next day I should gently sand with 150 grit the entire room and apply another coat of the varnish, this time to the entire room.

I was pleasantly surprised when I showed him the photos of what I have sanded (no small task!) and he was so positive about me being able to achieve a good match.

What do you think of his advice?


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 Post subject: Re: trying to match new stain & varnish to old
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 8:48 pm 
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Location: Milford,Connecticut
I'm no expert on varnish as we mainly work with urethanes but if he feels his product will match what you have, try some on a sample board and see how it looks.

As for scuffing, 150 grit is too heavy in my opinion. When I abrade finish, I use 220 grit screens,220 grit 3M Gold Stikit Tape and also some norton sponge abrasives called "sand dollars" .

I have two different buffers.One is a disc buffer and the other is a square buffer also called an "eliptical sander". Home depot rental centers usually have the same clarke square buffer that I use and they also carry the same 220 grit screens which are excellent for inter coat abrasion.

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Milford,Connecticut
http://www.addwoodfloors.com


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 Post subject: Re: trying to match new stain & varnish to old
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 9:01 pm 
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Maybe it's a urethane and I'm just calling it varnish (I live in Montreal, I'm dealing in French).

Ok, I will buy 220.

FYI, I've done my sanding with a handheld orbital sander, using 40, then 80, then 120. I'm feeling a bit like a sore pretzel today after yesterday's sanding marathon. My husband is working 10-12 hours per night, 7/7, for the next few weeks, so I'm the handyman these days - he didn't think I'd be able to get such good results. I think I'm on a roll. Cross your fingers i can pull this off!

Thanks for the advice.


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 Post subject: Re: trying to match new stain & varnish to old
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 8:33 am 
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you are sanding too fine...color will not match when that smooth..you should sand to 80 grit the finest at this pont and that may be too smooth with the method of sanding you are doing.

the method the paint guy recommended wold be ideal if you can coat the whole job..but since it is stenciled offf.

don't use waterbase..use poly.
put 1 coat liberally within the tape boundaries.

abrade next day..150 is fine for this..you need to open and smooth the coat for adhesion.

apply next coat in same manner..be liberal..do not skim the coat..it will show..

the rougher the sandin you leave,the deeper the stain will look..also let the stain set for 10-15 mins and let penetrate..then wipe excess even..this will give you deeper color as well.

have a realistic expectation and hopefully it is not in a very conspicuous area

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All Flortec Inc, West Milford, NJ

http://www.flortechardwood.net


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 Post subject: Re: trying to match new stain & varnish to old
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 12:55 pm 
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Location: Milford,Connecticut
JamesTRD wrote:
you are sanding too fine...color will not match when that smooth..you should sand to 80 grit the finest at this pont and that may be too smooth with the method of sanding you are doing.

the method the paint guy recommended wold be ideal if you can coat the whole job..but since it is stenciled offf.

don't use waterbase..use poly.
put 1 coat liberally within the tape boundaries.

abrade next day..150 is fine for this..you need to open and smooth the coat for adhesion.

apply next coat in same manner..be liberal..do not skim the coat..it will show..

the rougher the sandin you leave,the deeper the stain will look..also let the stain set for 10-15 mins and let penetrate..then wipe excess even..this will give you deeper color as well.

have a realistic expectation and hopefully it is not in a very conspicuous area


Respectfully , I disagree with some of this. Leaving the floor at 80 will make the stain darker but 80 grit orbital marks aren't going to look good with stain on them.You will have squiggle marks all over the floor unless you hand sand them out by sanding with the grain afterwards. Her stain probably wont match anyway until some years have passed and everything ages naturally.

Getting the stain color right is only half the battle . The other half is aging the new finish and only time can do that so no need to over compensate by staining darker than necessary . That being said, it is important not to polish the wood when sanding so when she's done with her 120 orbital, maybe she can hand sand or block sand with some fresh 100 grit to slightly re open the grain .

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Paul @ Advanced Wood Floors
Milford,Connecticut
http://www.addwoodfloors.com


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 Post subject: Re: trying to match new stain & varnish to old
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 9:32 pm 
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no problem with that Paul..but you are heading down a road an amateur don't really need to hear about.....i think everyone is agreed the floor probably wont match due age..but I have seen funnier tings happen...and bottomline,,,,i have had to rub touch ups with 50 grit t get them to match in...its all trial and error sometimes.. the details of what is right , wrong , or mine are pointless really..

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James Hernandez
All Flortec Inc, West Milford, NJ

http://www.flortechardwood.net


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 Post subject: Re: trying to match new stain & varnish to old
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:38 pm 
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Gentlemen,

I've just finished staining. The color match, in person, is pretty impeccable. I'm thrilled, and honestly blown away. But remember, I brought a piece of plank that was stained 8 years ago for them to match. A woman at the store worked to match the color by hand, using her own plank of birch. She then sanded down half of my plank and stained that part using 120 as the last stage, just as I had done. They informed me that I was good to go, no need to open up the grain. She had matched the color using Pratt & Lambert Tonetic.

I'm trying to attach photos of the stages of this project. I'm afraid the photo that I've just taken after the staining shows a lot of awkward shadows, etc. Plus this section I've just stained doesn't have it's clear top coat yet, so there are some odd reflections, or should I say an odd lack of reflections in that area.

But I'm blown away. I never though it would be possible to match it so closely. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts, work in design, am a perfectionist, and have micromanaged every aspect of the renovation of this kitchen like a woman obsessed. So trust me when I say to you that the color matches. If necessary, I was prepared to re-sand it, or resign to calling in a professional to do the whole room, but there is no need. The color matches.

The project started out like this:
Image

Sanding gave me this:
Image

And tonight this is where I am:
Image

Ok so here is what they are recommending now:
a) 2 coats of "Fini-tech Synergy" uralkyd waterbased urethane finish just on the taped off area (letting it dry between coats of course)
b) remove the tape and lightly sand the entire room, including my new section, with 220 grit
c) another coat of the Fini-tech synergy on the entire room

Here is the product they recommend:
http://www.finitec-inc.com/EN/cleaner.htm

As always, your opinions will be greatly appreciated.

When my husband comes home from work tomorrow morning he is not going to believe how well the color matches!
Amy


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 Post subject: Re: trying to match new stain & varnish to old
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:20 pm 
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Location: Milford,Connecticut
Seems like you're ding ok. My only suggestion is to be careful not to leave tape on a floor when water borne urethane is drying around it.The tape usually gets stuck to the finish. I always pull my tape immediately after coating the touch up area.

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Paul @ Advanced Wood Floors
Milford,Connecticut
http://www.addwoodfloors.com


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