Stain Search Freedom!!!

Well, folks, the stain search is over. We have finally found a stain that is close enough to our current baseboard colors to stop looking, mixing, and trying other stain colors. Did you know that Varathane has little sample packets at Menards for about 30 cents a piece?! Well finding that out sooner would have definitely cut our search much shorter. What did we try before?

Well we tried 3 different colors of Minwax stain at several different numbers of coats. So, Ipswitch Pine, Golden Oak, and Golden Pecan. But, everytime we thought we might have it, reality sank in when we compared. Trust me, there is nothing quite like being excited that the search might be over, waiting anxiously for layer after layer to dry and bring it upstairs to compare it to the current boards only to discover that the colors are too different for the stain to be usable.

Then we thought, because the main issue was that the stains we used didn’t have the right yellow undertones, that we would get a yellow stain and mix the two. So, we dutifully went out to the wood specialty store and bought the only yellow stain they had, all excited that we were going to get it right. Of course, we didn’t think about how we were going to mix the stains and it was a mess pouring them into containers in order to mix two colors. There are no paint spouts for cans that small. So, what we got was a mess….before realizing our stupidity. We both have chemistry backgrounds. Strong chemistry backgrounds. Why didn’t we think about the fact that our Minwax stains were oil based and the yellow was a water based? Ugh.

Well, I decided that it the parts we already “mixed” would give us a good enough idea if we were on track with the yellow idea and we could get an oil soluble powder yellow stain afterwards, but I was going to make what I had work for a test come hell or high water. I was already wearing a fair amount of stain from the pouring fiasco. So I just shoved a rag in so that it was able to soak up a fair amount of stain from each layer and put it on my test section of trim. Somehow it worked, but I was not sure how I could get that method to work for a section longer than about an inch. Plus, I didn’t really want to mix stains ever ever again.

Luckily, when we were at our weekly trip to Menards, I saw the Varathane sample packets, which included two hues of oak that we hadn’t tried yet. Thank the lord!!! We have a winner!!! I only need to do two coats of the Varathane Summer Oak for the trim. Are home reno frustrations done yet? No? Well at least there will be new ones rather than more stain problems.


About Danielle Beranek

Life can get away from you when being young, married, and still fairly fresh out of college. Taking on a pet, student loans, going back to school, and soon a new house is enough to leave ones head spinning. For me, life is crazy, but only on the outside.
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