Should we refinish the mantel so that the everything matches?

by Lou
We have a beautiful new floating fireplace mantel that is dark cherry. An HDTV horizontal cabinet and tower speakers are close to the new fireplace mantel. As you will see in the photos those items are a different stain color. There is a distinct possibility those items can be easily re-stained to a extremely near match to the dark cherry. I also thought about painting the stand and speakers in a contrasting color or simply give the older furniture a thorough cleaning and leave as is. Basically, I'm confused. BTW, all of the walls are being repainted a neutral beige. We are in the process of selecting the color(s).
Please consider my situation, have a look at the attached photos and give me your comments and suggestions. Thanks in advance.
PS. The audio video equipment cannot be moved.
Broad view of new dark cherry mantel
Front view of Audio Video cabinet and tower speakers.
Comparison of dark cherry and finish on tower speakers
Comparison of dark cherry and distressed AV cabinet finish.
  16 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Feb 01, 2016
    Looking at the photos In my opinion I would stain the pieces in question,however there is no mention or photos of the other furniture in which should be taken into consideration as well.
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Feb 01, 2016
    You could definitely stain but I wonder, because they do seem to be very different types of wood if painting the furniture a light color would draw the eye more to the mantel, which I think is just beautiful and makes a great focal point btw :)
  • Lou Lou on Feb 01, 2016
    Thanks for your reply Janet. Here is a photo of the remaining current furniture.
    comment photo
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Feb 01, 2016
    Ok so now after seeing the rest of your room in my opinion I think the TV unit etc. may look better in a black tone Vs the cherry color.The focal point is now the mantel and perhaps trying to match up the color may take the attention away from it.
    • See 6 previous
    • MN Mom MN Mom on Feb 01, 2016
      You are amazing!
  • Lou Lou on Feb 01, 2016
    Disappointing discovery. The new Minwax Multi Purpose Wiping Stain process did not yield the desired match to the dark cherry mantel.
  • Lou Lou on Feb 01, 2016
    I do have another question. Why is using a stain better than paint. Honestly, paint would be easier to apply plus there is a much wider selection of black hues. So sorry about your health issue. There is a Home Depot about a mile away. Thank you Janet.
    • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Feb 02, 2016
      @Lou I thought stain would be a lighter look to achieve the black hue I originally stated, however if that does not work for you then go for the paint. Just a word of caution with Home Depot associates please make sure you approach one that has a lot of knowledge to direct you to the right paint. And again if you decide the black is not for you than possibly a dark brown to compliment your other furniture. Black is not for everyone but I happen to like it. Good Luck with your project.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Feb 01, 2016
    Lou wood stain penetrates the wood whereas paint lays on top. I personally would not go black. I think the wood tones compliment each other and black could seem too much like you tried to change it up. That mantel is gorgeous!
    • Lou Lou on Feb 02, 2016
      Thank You Barbara S. My wife agrees. I was about to purchase the black gel. We may test the black by putting very conforming black sign vinyl on the front surfaces. If it does not pass the Cathy test the vinyl is easily removed.
  • Lou Lou on Feb 01, 2016
    Even though a black gel stain is available painting the AV furniture and tower speakers would be easier plus black will be available in more hues. Why is the black stain better than high quality paint?
  • Jhmarie Jhmarie on Feb 02, 2016
    My personal preference is not to try to make wood tones match as long as they harmonize. I think a little wood tone variety looks more natural. a person's home decor usually evolves over time, so a newer side table will be in the same room as a piece passed down from grandma - and it works. What I mean by harmonize is that the wood tones are all brown tones - for example weathered gray and cherry might clash a bit, but from what I can tell - and monitors are not always very true to color, the pieces work fine together.
  • MaryAnn B MaryAnn B on Feb 02, 2016
    You can try using the black paint or stain and then wiping it off so that you get the same color tones on each piece. I've done this using mahogany stain with paint over it and wiped to lighten the overall effect
  • 861650 861650 on Feb 02, 2016
    Okay. Here is my two cents: In choosing colors for your fireplace, I would not even consider the entertainment center at all. Throw some white sheets over it and then look at the entire room with new eyes. What does the rest of the room look like? Is your room going to be traditional, country, soft contemporary, etc. I would consider painting the hearth as well. You best bet is to google, "fireplace ideas." and "pin" the ones you love. This will save you time and money and all the anxiety of trying to find the right colors. Sit back and relax awhile and please, take your time! Then, go back and look through your pins again and again. Then, sit back and will come to you. You also can go to a craft store and buy several poster boards. Stroll over to the craft paints and pick out some colors (most are about a dollar), go home and paint the poster boards. Tape them to the walls, to the fireplace, the mantle and even lay one down on the hearth...just play with them. Just so you know, I have done this several times and again, has saved me a lot of money. Nothing worse than having to re-paint!
  • Cindi Cindi on Feb 03, 2016
    I agree with jhmarie, and think you should leave it as it is, rather than try to match everything. My whole house is eclectic, including wood, and I have dark oak, cherry, and walnut pieces in the living room. I started with a dark oak entertainment center from the 80s, which I still like, and as I bought other pieces I like, I didn't like it at first, since they didn't match, and I'm a matchy matchy person, but I've had many complements on it all, and now I love how they all go together, without really "going" together. I now think that's how it should be, plus it's so much easier to shop, I can buy what I like without worrying about what kind of wood it's made out of, as long as it doesn't clash. All your pieces look similar, and look good together, so I guess I'm saying, that's what I'd do, just leave it.
  • Cindi Cindi on Feb 03, 2016
    I was thinking, you could re-do the hearth, since it's just kind of flat brown, and maybe introduce some of the other colors into it, to kind of bring it all together.
  • Dina mattas Dina mattas on Feb 03, 2016
    Hi Lou, I would leave everything as is except for the hearth, maybe you could strip it back to its original brick. Then I would play with different colours on the hearth & see which you like best. What I do when I'm not sure is place an item (sheets, towels, clothes, you get the idea) over the area, walk away & then walk back in the room with fresh eyes. Your mantel is beautiful, put something on it that makes it the focal point of the room.
  • Kayo Frazier Kayo Frazier on Feb 03, 2016
    Here's my 2 cents...This is a radical idea that might not work, but something to consider...Instead of matching the 2 different woods...This idea will take a little more DIY work, but it is still doable. How about using different colors of copper w/ or w/o different patinas w/ lines of fake or real rivets to encase the walls above & below the mantel. The range of rich colors could play off of each wood color. That would make the whole fireplace a conversation piece & make a huge statement in the room.
  • Patricia Norman Patricia Norman on Feb 03, 2016
    I think if you decorate the mantle it will look good. I would leave it as is.