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Thread: how do I get walnut boards to match in color without stain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    how do I get walnut boards to match in color without stain

    I have to(forced to) build an odd sized end table for someone.
    Its not about money for me, even though it was established Im getting paid for it.
    Id rather spend my time doing something else, but like I said, obligations.

    My walnut collection is minimal, and 2 of the boards are light tan colored.
    The rest is chocolate colored.
    Without using stain first, since I want to use oil on the project, how do I get the boards to match somewhat after I glueup?
    Can I use a few drops of tint in a waterlox solution?
    Do I just add brown or black tint?
    Has to be uncomplicated for me, and I dont want to have to buy 40 dollars worth of dyes, any easy suggestions?
    Human Test Dummy

  2. #2
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    take some pics allen of the two different colored boards to get an idea of what we are up against,, sounds like a steamed sap wood against heartwood color
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    Allen, I never try doing it with finishing I do it by selecting boards that match.. The only way I can think of doing it with finish is to use wood bleach to bleach em then dye em that way you are starting with the same color.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    +1 on Don's comments. I have made a couple of lumber runs to match up boards even after I thought I had a good match.

    A wise man once said; If its worth making, its worth making out of walnut. I'll add that if its worth making out of walnut, its worth making right ;-) I never hesitate to make a new part if things don't look right. One of the drawers on a current project finally got to keep its third front .
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-30-2012 at 12:04 AM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5
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    new york city burbs
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    it would be easier to make it out of ash.

    last thing I want to do is go buy walnut at 6.50-8.00 a bf and half to kill a morning to get a few boards.

    Ill post a pic tomorrow when I get out into the garage.

    another solution I figured out, is to use all my tan colored boards for the top, and glue up a bunch of short walnut flooring pieces I have for the legs. Wont be as noticable if the top is consistant.
    Human Test Dummy

  6. #6
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    Got any Van Dyke Brown crystals or dye? I've had successes using VDB crystals in water and using it to dye off-color, or even sap wood walnut to blend (BLEND, not match!) it with other darker pieces.

    I believe that VDB is essentially just ground up walnut hulls.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  7. #7
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    no, I dont, but for 7.60 I can purchase it. I dont need an exact match. Its wood, a natural product, blending it will do me just fine.
    Sounds like exactly what I need, simple to mix in hot water, something even an idiot like me can handle.
    thanx.
    Human Test Dummy

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Jim is this the stuff you thinking? Cant link to the actual product but its at the bottom of this page ...http://www.homesteadfinishingproduct...woodglazes.htm

    I would like to just add a source to this thread for future knowledge, already added a tag.
    cheers

  9. #9
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Jim is this the stuff you thinking? Cant link to the actual product but its at the bottom of this page ...http://www.homesteadfinishingproduct...woodglazes.htm...
    No, Rob. This is the one I meant. I find it odd that Homestead doesn't carry the crystals any more, though. Jeff used to have them.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Westphalia, Michigan
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    Allen, I don't have a real suggestion like the rest of the family respondents to your post but........I was recently looking at some lumber a friend had, and trying to puzzle out what it was. He said "that's poor mans walnut" I had noticed the color of the wood was similar to walnut but not quite as brown. It was Catalpa wood. I have been eye balling a catalpa tree or 2 wondering when I might get a chance to harvest one for boards, just to see what the wood was like. Now my interest is peaked and I have some added motivation to keep a weather eye out for someone wanting such a tree removed. Catalpa is lighter in weight than walnut but very similar in appearance with a color that could be changed to match fairly close.

    Of course I have no real idea where one buys Catalpa lumber. I just thought this might be interesting information.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

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