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Question DetailsAsked on 8/20/2014

Matching stain for honey-oak kitchen cabinet, difficult to do?

Flooding issue, having to replace particle board in a kitchen cabinet. Question is whether just to stain replacement particle boards to match the existing solid wood front doors, or whether to replace all the cabinet--which would involve tearing out a cabinet across the room as well, so that the colors would match. I would prefer to keep the existing solid-wood front doors, so that I could also keep the matching cabinetry across the room, but I am concerned about whether the replacement particle boards can be stained to approximate the solid wood doors to close enough not generally to be noticeable except on close inspection. How close can they get? I'd be happy with close enough to match for all except the very picky--which I am not, but a future buyer might be? House was built 1971.

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1 Answer


If 1971 cabinets, likely a buyer would be assuming replacement anyway.

We have a decade younger house with honey oak kitchen cabinets, and I had no problem matching it - used Creative thinner-based honey oak stain, not the gel junk - still available. Even built additional true oak spice racks, paper towel holder, cookbook holder etc that match well enough to be basically indistinguishable from the original adjacent cabinets - and I did not even have to mix stains to match.

If you are trying to match the solid wood doors, I would go with honey maple factory-stained veneer or true white (not black or red) oak veneer stained honey maple, not particle board - particle board tends to deeply "take" the stain and the glue takesit less than the wood particles, so it get spotty. For that to work, you have to seal the surface with clear stain sealer first to make it "take" evenly, so the stain is more of a covering wash then a stain so you really have to watch that the wiping is parallel to the grain. Works fine - any cabinet shop should be able to do an acceptable match if they have one of the doors to match it to. Commonly it is not the color match that is tough as you can try several different stain blends till it matches - it is figuring which type of clear coat to put over it to match the gloss level and clear finish "depth". I sometimes try as many as half a dozen to find one that gives the right finish appearance.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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