That's Not Jam

That last task to finishing the foyer was installing and staining the baseboards. The only hitch in that plan was that we didn't have the stain yet, and because we had to match it to the original stain in the rest of the house, it was not a task that I was looking forward to (hence the almost nearly year the room sat without baseboards).

The original stain is a deep dark red, there are hints of brown and the color is very rich and saturated. I broke out all the stains we already had (from the madness of trying to find a floor stain that suited our fancy) and I went to HD to pick up some deep reds as well.

After cutting down some samples, writing down which stains pertained to which samples, I got to staining. After the first round I wasn't too satisfied

I knew that I liked the 2nd and 4th colors, but that they weren't just right. Nothing was quite red enough either. So I went back to HD to get two more reddish stains and then worked at mixing them. When we worked on getting a floor color we made many different layers with many different colors, so this time we thought it would be easier to mix the stains, and then layer that same mix multiple times.

I worked on mixing Red Mahogany (the 2nd sample) and English Chestnut (the 4th sample) into my new Sedona Red and Red Oak. I had 6 different mixes the second time around and none of them were quite right either. Things weren't red enough, or they weren't deep enough. The Red Mahogany still had the richness we liked, but it wasn't quite red enough. The Sedona Red was red enough, but it was very transparent.

Then came the 3rd round. This time I just tried a 50/50 mix of Red Mahogany and Sedona Red, hoping the richness stayed and there was just enough red to it. I think it actually worked out quite well

You can see a bit too much grain, but it's really as close (without wanting to gouge my eyes out) that we were going to get.

I mixed up my new stain with enough to last for all the restaining we needed to do and it looked pretty tasty in its container

Alas it is not delectable jam, but beautiful new stain

With my new stain in hand I trekked to the foyer and got to work taping things off. We decided on staining in place so all the nail holes would be puttied and everything. It made things a little difficult, but I hoped taping things off would help prevent any major disasters

After the first round of stains things were looking pretty good

When I tested the stains on the small sample piece 3 coats seemed to do the trick. But after 3 in the foyer things didn't look deep enough, so on went another 2 coats. Now, with all 5 coats on and the poly, it's looking pretty snazzy. And you'll see how it all came together tomorrow when I do the "Before & After!"


threeacres said...

That is near perfect girl! Mixing stains consistently is a true art form. My dad owned his own custom trim/milwork company and my parent's house has some amazing woodwork! He make a stain blend from 3 different colors. Because of this I'm a trim snob and let me say I'm so happy to see other people with stained trim. What's with all these people who are painting their trim white?! Ach!

meryl rose said...

that's awesome! It was SUPER hard to try and mix it correctly, so I can WAY appreciate your dad.

1/2 the trim in the house was white and 1/2 was stained when we moved in. It looks kinda silly that it's not all consistent, but the rooms that are stained have a more formal quality to them, so we're trying to keep them as they are and restain as we need to.