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Stain Matching for 2018 #178 HRE - Event Date: 13 Mar 2019

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Blender Bob View Drop Down

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Location: Colorado
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Blender Bob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Calendar Event: Stain Matching for 2018 #178 HRE
    Posted: 13 Mar 2019 at 9:56pm
I build some drawers for under the seats of my 2018 Rpod #178 HRE and needed to stain them. Reviewing the other posts where a candidate Sherwin William stain was posted. Checking with S.W, the base Charcoal has been discontinued. S.W. has a new Carbon base which might be close to Charcoal. But S.W. wanted some $ for their matching service and I did not feel confident with the staff. What I also found is that stain matching is not an exact science. It depends on the kind of stain, the wood being stained, the amount of wood grain, and the number of applications/coats which affect the density of stain color.

When trying find something to match to, I found that the Rpod has a number of things to evaluate. The kitchen drawers and trim moulding are different from the flat panels in the kitchen and seating areas. I also suspect the panelling is not real wood as the wood grain is stained black. When I stain birch veneer, the grain does not absorb stain and become a light color. And, pine kitchen drawers seem to have a bit more gray in the color than the panelling.  Net, net, you gotta pick what looks best to you. I picked custom stain formula closer to the panelling as my drawers are under the Rpod seats.

The drawers I made used 1/2" x 2' x 4' birch plywood project boards from Home Depot. Here is my pretzel logic and alchemy of matching stain. Reviewing the S.W. stain formula posted on this forum, it starts with a Charcoal base and adds white which I evaluated to become gray. Then, other colourants added are Deep Gold and Maroon which I evaluate to be a brown. 

I used Minwax Penetrating Stains (Walmart $5/can). Starting with  Classic Gray #271, I had a half a dozen failures using Fruitwood. I found adding Minwax Stain Dark Walnut #2716 gave me a pretty good result. I used a plastic spoon, as in picnic cutlery, and put 3 spoons of Classic Gray and 1 spoon of Dark Walnut in a plastic cup and stirred.  I used a folded paper towel to apply to my birch plywood. I did two applications of stain with 10 minutes of dry time between applications. After dry, I sprayed a Rustoleum clear gloss to give a nice finish and a bit of hardness to the surface for durability.

Depending on color goals, you can adjust more or less grey relative to the Dark Walnut. And, going lighter or heavier on the second application of stain will change the density of the color.

Here are some pics of a test board in front of the kitchen cabinets and the finished drawers.

2015 Chevy Colorado Z71
2018 178 R-pod Hood River Edition
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2019 at 5:21am
If you want good results you can't get around doing a set of tests when you attempt to match stains. The folks that are unhappy with the results usually just got "the same" stain and then applied it to a different material or applied it differently and were later surpised it didn't match. 

There are way to many variables to do that.  Some of them are: the type of material being stained, the way it was sawn relative to the grain, the way it is sanded, the age of the material you're trying to match, the stain mix, the level of pigment in the stain (be really dilligent when mixing, many pigments settle out really quickly), the method you use to apply the stain, how warm it is when you apply, the length of time you leave the stain on before wiping, the number of stain applications, the seal coats you might apply over the stain, the phase of the moon when you do the work LOL. I'm sure I'm missing some other variables.

So, be sure to use test boards of the actual material you plan to use for the project, sawn and sanded the way you plan to do it, and take your time and careful notes as you go along on each thing you change. Putting your notes right on each trial strip on your test boards helps. If you're planning seal coats put those on the test boards too before you finalize as that can change the appearance. Its like doing a science experiment, really, but if you're patient you can usually match just about anything. Get the smallest cans of the stains you want to try to start with. 

2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander
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lostagain View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lostagain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2019 at 8:40am
You got a nice match Bob.  We used the same trial and error method with tea spoons, some little cans of stain, and various wood types.  It takes a while playing around with it, but you can get as close as any of the already not quite right stain colors in the OEM cabinetry.  And after a season of use, any little variation becomes less apparent.  We used Varathane, sparuthane, exterior semi-gloss for the varnish coating.  I happened to have some on hand and I'm a firm believer in re-purposing as much as possible for our Pod.  Now, after last summer's use, the added shelving looks like it was part of the original cabinetry.  
Never leave footprints behind.
Fred & Maria Kearney
Our Pod 172
2004 Dodge Dakota 4x4 v8
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GlueGuy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GlueGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2019 at 8:43am
I have found that  having enough scraps of what you want to work with helps a bunch. But a bigger factor in my favor is that I'm color blind, and if it's "inside the park", I don't really worry about whether it's left field, right field, center field, or inside the diamond.
2017 R-Pod 179 Hood River
2015 Ford F150 SuperCrew 4WD 3.5L Ecoboost
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Kup-Pod View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kup-Pod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2019 at 6:05pm
I used the same two Minwax stains but did it a bit differently, I stained the wood with the 271 grey first, then stained over that with the 2716 walnut and got a pretty good match for the 2017 178 interior (which is probably the same stain as the 2018).
see http://www.rpod-owners.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=842&PN=65&title=list-your-mods
Your approach may be easier though!:)
2017 RP-178
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe XL
"Lead me on a level path"
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