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Hey, all. I'm new to the forum, and appreciate having your input. I'm an old contractor who recalls an old contractor once telling me how he "ambers shellac", or something like that. I'm installing maple on a job that has maple in place that was finished and installed in 2008. I'd like to get the finish close, but it doesn't have to be perfect because the new and old work won't be very close to one another. Any suggestions? A photo is attached, showing the (darker) existing against a new sample with "Campbell Finish, Clear Satin" on maple. Wood Rectangle Wood stain Flooring Hardwood
Thanks very much.
 

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You could do a wash coat of orange shellac then dye your topcoat, you could just add dyes to your sanding sealer & then topcoat, and/or you could tone them after sealing them. I had a maple set that I did a few years ago where I ended up adding dyes to both my sealer & topcoat, then sprayed a very light mist as a toner, then sprayed my final coats. Since I was using waterborne products, (Emtech conversion varnish), it was the only way to achieve a satisfactory match. The toner must be sprayed with a rig that can produce a very fine mist with an even spray pattern though in order to keep the stain looking uniform without giving an opaque look if you go that route.

Many ways to get to the finish line. If you can tell us what products you'll be using as well as what equipment you have at your disposal, you'll likely get much more tailor-made suggestions.
 

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I won’t add to Troy’s comprehensive reply but will say that I hope you bid it high, or at T&M. I’ve been down that rabbit hole a few times and it can be a long and frustrating one - especially if a dead-on match is required (something you don’t need to achieve - fortunately).
 

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I want to say I have seen General finishes has an amber clear for matching aged woods.
it provides the same look as oil polyurethane as far as the 'ambering' opposed to clear water based polyurethanes, ie it just makes the wood look wet. 1-5% nitric acid will provide the oxidized look that is difficult to achieve via dyes or pigments
 

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I would think any oil based poly is going to be pretty dang close. Or an Amber Shellac. Especially if doesn't have to be an exact match. Or maybe something like helmsman exterior oil, as it has more amber tones.
 

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You could do a wash coat of orange shellac then dye your topcoat, you could just add dyes to your sanding sealer & then topcoat, and/or you could tone them after sealing them. I had a maple set that I did a few years ago where I ended up adding dyes to both my sealer & topcoat, then sprayed a very light mist as a toner, then sprayed my final coats. Since I was using waterborne products, (Emtech conversion varnish), it was the only way to achieve a satisfactory match. The toner must be sprayed with a rig that can produce a very fine mist with an even spray pattern though in order to keep the stain looking uniform without giving an opaque look if you go that route.

Many ways to get to the finish line. If you can tell us what products you'll be using as well as what equipment you have at your disposal, you'll likely get much more tailor-made suggestions.
Where is the best place to get these dyes? And can they be used with oil AND waterbased products?
 

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I should dust off some of my wood staining skills here soon once exterior season is done
Here’s another chemical darkening process I use often…in the following instance I was sampling out lye on SYP flooring to darken/artificially age it:

Image.jpeg

Edit:
Cherry bathroom I did which was artificially aged with lye:

Image.jpeg
 

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I usually send customers to a stain specialty store, we stock their stains, but for matches go there. take the old colour and the new wood. it's always time and money to match something like this, how much is the HO willing to spend?
 

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I usually send customers to a stain specialty store, we stock their stains, but for matches go there. take the old colour and the new wood. it's always time and money to match something like this, how much is the HO willing to spend?
No store will match stains like this. Seriously look at @Redux last photos. Amazing.

It requires a multiple step dye, stain, glaze and/or knowledge and use of chemical reactive dyes. I was doing it in my store but if I were to go back and actually bill out for the labor it would add hundreds to thousands to some bills while I was only doing it for my own amusement and knowledge. I'm at a point now where I will do it onsite but it's $120/hour
 

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No store will match stains like this. Seriously look at @Redux last photos. Amazing.

It requires a multiple step dye, stain, glaze and/or knowledge and use of chemical reactive dyes. I was doing it in my store but if I were to go back and actually bill out for the labor it would add hundreds to thousands to some bills while I was only doing it for my own amusement and knowledge. I'm at a point now where I will do it onsite but it's $120/hour
Thanks Coco

I actually got called in to finish the cherry bathroom pictured due to the cabinet maker’s finishers having thrown in the towel after spending two weeks of multiple failed attempts at trying to match the naturally aged cherry in the adjoining dressing room which was done years prior. I was able to whip up a spot-on match in under 4 hrs utilizing lye…one of several tricks of the trade..
 

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Thanks Coco

I actually got called in to finish the cherry bathroom pictured due to the cabinet maker’s finishers having thrown in the towel after spending two weeks of multiple failed attempts at trying to match the naturally aged cherry in the adjoining dressing room which was done years prior. I was able to whip up a spot-on match in under 4 hrs utilizing lye…one of several tricks of the trade..
Around here, and I'm sure it's the same everywhere else, most shops just want SW to spit out a lacquer stain which they scan from a spectrometer. I had another shop, whom I was repairing their CAtech and Kremlin sprayers, he was trying to tell me his buddy has one and it gives perfect matches every time. I just had a laugh seeing those cherry panels you did and picturing how much time they would waste trying to replicate it with a waterborne stain.

The money for that kind of work is here but I'm not sure the people would even know what they're looking at. It's not like on the east coast. It's all new money and people just want flat and cheap as possible it seems.

Zuckerberg doesn't see any difference between porcelain and real Calacatta marble just for example.
 

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Thanks Coco

I actually got called in to finish the cherry bathroom pictured due to the cabinet maker’s finishers having thrown in the towel after spending two weeks of multiple failed attempts at trying to match the naturally aged cherry in the adjoining dressing room which was done years prior. I was able to whip up a spot-on match in under 4 hrs utilizing lye…one of several tricks of the trade..
When using Lye how does altering the pH affect any finish you put on top?
 

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When using Lye how does altering the pH affect any finish you put on top?
Best to neutralize with distilled white vinegar then rinse with deionized water. I generally test pH after neutralizing by placing a drop of deionized water on the wood followed by setting a piece of litmus paper in the drop. Residual lye salts can wreak havoc w/shellac and urethane alkyds plus they can also negatively impact water permeability of waterborne clears, plus the lye can reactivate in humid or damp conditions. I generally water pop and sand before using lye on wood due to causing significant grain raise.
 

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Best to neutralize with distilled white vinegar then rinse with deionized water. I generally test pH after neutralizing by placing a drop of deionized water on the wood followed by setting a piece of litmus paper in the drop. Residual lye salts can wreak havoc w/shellac and urethane alkyds plus they can also negatively impact water permeability of waterborne clears, plus the lye can reactivate in humid or damp conditions. I generally water pop and sand before using lye on wood due to causing significant grain raise.
Is there any reason to use acetic acid over say cirtic acid which is significantly less irritating to the olfactory sensors? I'm familiar with the byproducts of neutralization but I mean as far as the overall darkening effect and top coating
 

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Is there any reason to use acetic acid over say cirtic acid which is significantly less irritating to the olfactory sensors? I'm familiar with the byproducts of neutralization but I mean as far as the overall darkening effect and top coating
I generally neutralize with an acetic acid solution w/a pH of value of between 2.5 -2.6, yet I don’t think it’s possible to concoct a citric acid solution strong enough with that low of a pH value which is probably why acetic acid is commonly used. Same applies for neutralizing 2-part sodium hydroxide/hydrogen peroxide wood bleach.

edit: correction, citric acid can be purchased in similar strengths…my wrong…
 

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I generally neutralize with an acetic acid solution w/a pH of value of between 2.5 -2.6, yet I don’t think it’s possible to concoct a citric acid solution strong enough with that low of a pH value which is probably why acetic acid is commonly used. Same applies for neutralizing 2-part sodium hydroxide/hydrogen peroxide wood bleach.

edit: correction, citric acid can be purchased in similar strengths…my wrong…
makes sense, would have to add some HCL to get to the same pH at similar concentration
 
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