How can identify the stain color I need to get for the nosing that I've installed to match it with the color of the floor on the left side. As you can see in the photo, I've stained the nosing with a Walnut stain, but the color does not match the floor.

The floor wood is: Fuzion Engineered hardwood Northern Retreat Bronco

nosing image

  • Is the nosing and the floor the same specie of wood?
    – Jack
    May 27 at 14:33
  • Can you take off a sample of the material you are trying to match? Many higher-end paint shops do stain matching as a service Jun 26 at 19:56

Good news you can always stain darker over a lighter stain, but if the wood is different than the floor, it may be a little trickier. On top of that mass produced items are stained differently than on site wood typically is. You may need to use a dye and not a stain. A dye colors all the wood, and stain soaks into the softer wood and when wiped the softer wood changes more than the harder wood. You may be able to tone the finish, but that weakens the film of protection that the clear coat gives.

  • A dye would probably not be appropriate in this case, assuming the goal is to match the stained wood on the left, not the painted wood on the right.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 25 at 15:42
  • @FreeMan If you are thinking the dye I refer to is an opaque product, it is like a stain, but different in the way it colors the wood. It does not differentiate between the hard and soft grain like stain does so it gives a more even color.
    – Jack
    Oct 26 at 0:54

Staining new wood to match existing wood is far more about art than any kind of science.

  • You'll need several feet of scrap of the new wood and a variety of different stains.
  • You'll want to put masking tape on the scraps to cordon off sections.
  • Take your best guess stain right from the can and apply it to the first section of scrap wood. Wait for it to dry.
  • Once it's dry, compare the color to the existing wood and determine how much darker you think it needs to be and if it needs a color change (like more red).
  • Mix up a bit of your base color stain with something else that you think will get you closer to your goal. Apply it to the next section of scrap wood.
    • At this point, you could mix up several different samples in resealable plastic containers. Apply multiple samples to different areas on your scrap pieces.
    • Be sure to accurately label each container, then write on the masking tape to indicate which container went into which sample area on the board.

Eventually, you'll have found a combination that's close enough to make you happy. Use the remaining stain in this container to stain your "real" piece.

If your containers seal well, you can keep them and the sample board in a cool, dry location and pull them out later if you need to do more staining. You already know what will match the original sample, and you'll have a variety of other mixes ready to color match to a different place in the house.

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