Asked on Jun 22, 2012

Can stains on 2 different wood floors be made to match or closely match?

Kristin ToppingAPSuess Fine WoodworkingS_P


We have 100 year old heart pine floors in our home. We are doing a kitchen remodel and cannot use the floors there. We put new oak floor on top of that. Is it possible to match the stain on the new floor to the old one?
7 answers
  • Dee W
    on Jun 22, 2012

    I don't think you can "match" them but you can get pretty close. They sell small stain containers-just pick a few and try them on an extra piece of your flooring and see how they look. If you are talking about wanting the floor to match going into an adjoining room then it really is personal taste whether they match closely or if you want to set the kitchen flooring apart. A rug between rooms could also help blend the floors smoothly.

  • Becky H
    on Jun 23, 2012

    Another thought is to do a stencil design around the perimeter of one of the rooms. Generally, this is done w/stains. With that between the two floors that don't match, you wouldn't really notice.

  • The colors can be matched pretty well, but the pattern that is left behind because of the grain types will make them look different. To help prevent this you would need to seal both of the floors to prevent excessive soaking of the stain into the softer woods. Once done both species of wood will accept the stain making the colors match. But again, the grain pattern will look different between them. You may want to choose different color stains to accent the difference between the two so it looks as though it was intended. Trying to match each floor may make it stand out worse.

  • I think Becky has the right idea. If you try to match it and it only comes close, you will have a "near miss". That actually draws more attention to it. If you add a design, it looks like a clever and intentional plan. Here is how it was done an example:

  • S_P
    on Jul 8, 2012

    The best thing to do is take a samples of both floors in to a paint store (i.e. Sherwin Williams) and have them match it up for you. It might take some time, but they can get an almost exact match for you, even with different wood types.

  • APSuess Fine Woodworking
    on Jul 11, 2012

    In these situations I generally use an old furniture repair/refinisher's trick. I'd match the color as close as possible using a Finisher's Colorwheel (available online; Google "Finisher's Colorwheel"). All you do is turn the color wheels to combine different tints and the resulting color will show up in the window. Includes over six dozen combinations, including all the standard tints like Burnt Umber, Raw Sienna, Van Dyke Brown and more. The colorwheel will also provide color gradations for various mixing percentages.

  • Kristin Topping
    on Sep 3, 2015

    In my opinion, you should mix and match the old with the new. If there are several boards of old flooring that need to be replaced but they all are not in the same area, you can mix in newer boards with the old ones. The slight variation in colors will give the flooring character, forming a kind of custom pattern.Nice share.

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