Darkening stain/reducing blue shade

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zannej

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I'm helping my friend renovate his kitchen and had some experience with painting & staining but hadn't stained anything in over 10 years so I was rusty. I used Minwax with some red shade years ago but my friend wanted to make his cabinet look like gray ash. The picture on the Minwax stain can looked like what he wanted so I applied it. First coat showed too much of the wood's yellow through it. I added a 2nd coat & it got rid of most of the yellow, but it looks too much like paint & has a blue-ish tint to it. He wants it to be less blue & slightly darker but also show the wood grain. I'm trying to figure out how to achieve that. I know I can sand the stain down & apply more coats.

When I first started putting it on, instead of seeming to soak in to enhance the grain like the other stains I used in the past, it just sort of covered. I made sure to stir it thoroughly so maybe it's just thicker or a different type than I used before.

I believe it is an oil based one either this one or a weathered oak.

I'm wondering if watering it down would make it apply thinner or if that would mess it up. Whatever I do will have to be repeatable when he gets more cabinets.

This was the first coat.
Mitchcabinetcoat1a.jpg Mitchcabinetcoat1b.jpg

And this is the 2nd. It's hard to tell from the pics, but in person it has a bluish tint.
Mitchcabinetcoat2a.jpg

Any suggestions?
 

Snoonyb

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You can't thin oil based with water.

Look on the container for the thinning/clean up product. If you thin now chances are you will have difficulty getting a match.

You should have tried on a finished end panel, first.
 

slownsteady

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My first instinct is that you didn't get the old finish off well enough. But then it wouldn't have stuck very well in the first place. Are you sure you didn't accidentally pick up a covering stain instead of a penetrating one?

Snooby is right. You (or your friend) should have tested the stain first. That being said, it looks pretty good in the picture. Maybe you should stick with it at this point.
 

oldognewtrick

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I think I'd learn to like it instead of making any modifications to the stain, as Snooby said, repeatability will be difficult at best if you alter the mix. And to be perfectly honest, it looks pretty darn good the way it is.

Just my 2 cents.
 

zannej

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Thanks for the replies. For the record, we did do a test stain on the inside of the doors first, but it looked darker. It was still dark when it dried but the outside didn't turn bluish for a few days. My friend didn't get the end panels with this one- sides are some sort of particle board so all we had to work with was the insides of the doors. The description on the can said it "penetrates".
However, after I posted this, my friend said he's fine with it the way it is. It's not exactly what he was going for, but he still likes it & is happy to have it. His fiance had wanted it painted anyway. LOL. Since it seals we may not need a clear coat on top, although I wonder if a satin finish would be good. I still need to do a little touch-up on some spots & have some better lighting while applying.
 

Countrygirl

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You will want to us a polyurethane over the stain for sure. If you don't it will leave the wood susceptible to moisture and also won't allow for cleaning up if something is spilled on it. Liquids will just soak in and more solid spills will be very hard to remove. You will want to use at least a satin finish. Apply 2 coats and lightly sand in between to make a very smooth, nice looking final finish.
 

zannej

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Minwax recommended using their clear satin "polycrylic".
 

Countrygirl

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Minwax's polyurethane or polycrylic will be just fine. Polyurethane is an oil-based product. Polycrylic is a water-based product. Sometimes polyurethane will "yellow" over time and polycrylic is less likely to "yellow".
 
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