Asked on May 12, 2017

What's the most efficient way to restain oak trim?

Caseyem11DavidJanet Pizaro


The oak has "yellowed" over the years and I would like to take it from golden/orange to a medium brown color. I've considered painting it but would like to stay with the period of the home (1900 farm house).
5 answers
  • Katherine Anne
    on May 12, 2017

    I'm going to be following this discussion. I have a house that's 100 years old and have the same desire to change the color of the stain to darker. I'm hoping it's as simple as lightly sanding, then rag rubbing or brushing, on the new desired stain color, then sealing. Thanks for asking the question!
  • Nancy Gramm
    on May 12, 2017

    I've heard that gel stain will restain without having to treat first, though I've never tried it. You could pick up a small piece of wood cheaply from Home Depot or Lowes and try staining it first then restaining with the gel stain before putting it on your trim. Or if that's too much trouble, pick up a cheap piece of furniture from the thrift store and practice on it. BTW kudos to both you and Katherine Anne for respecting your old homes.
  • Janet Pizaro
    on May 12, 2017

    to be honest with you sanding the trim will give you the best color.When wood yellows from the sun etc. it is always best to start with a clean slate.Been there and done that.
  • David
    on May 12, 2017

    First, please don't paint the trim, take it from someone whose stripped paint from trimwork.
    The easiest way would be to purchase a product called Minwax, which is a polyurithane/stain combination. Simply choose the darker color you want, and apply a very thin coat, making sure the grain shows through (practice on scrap wood first). I did this in my home to match a new door to the trim.
  • Caseyem11
    on May 12, 2017

    First you need to lightly sand the existing finish, go over carefully with a tack cloth and then re-stain. I agree with David that the minwax combo stain and poly is a good choice.
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