Staining 3 different woods to look the same

I have a 3 different kinds of kitchen cabinets and am wanting them to be the same. I don't want to paint them but would rather use a gel stain. We have oak, cherry and light walnut. I think the Java stain will be too dark but I'm worried about how well each wood will take to the stain too. Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you
  5 answers
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Feb 09, 2015
    Have done this but with smaller items. I don't use gel stain - I use oil-based. Also have about a dozen little cans of different coloured stain. LOL Sometimes what I do is paint/spray on a light coat of poly, let it dry and then "paint" or use a cloth to drag on the stain/combo of stains so the stain is not reacting to the wood. Sometimes I'm dipping into a couple of stains at a time as I go. It will take a bit of time to dry. Once dry, I usually spray on a light coat of poly, and then paint on a heavier layer. Takes a bit of experimenting, but it can be done. The alternative would be to hire a pro to spray on a new finish as if you were doing a piece of furniture. Alternatively, experiment a bit. Cherry - maybe mahogany. Light walnut - maybe a darker walnut. Oak - maybe a combo of mahogany and red oak, etc. With patience and experimentation, you can get them the same colour.
  • The stain manufacture of your choice makes a wood sealer that will seal the different types of wood so they take the stain color in the same manner. The issue with different woods is that their grain pattern allows for varying amounts of stain to be soaked in at different rates. The sealer fills all the spaces sort of speak between the wood fibers and the result is when you use the stain it soaks in at the same rate, giving you an even look overall.
  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Feb 11, 2015
    If you are using a dark gel stain and put at least 2 coats on the wood, it will not show through. You can do it but you still may end up with your light walnut cabinets looking a bit lighter than your others. I have done many different pieces (all wood) in General Finishes Java Gel Stain and absolutely love it!! It covers nicely and is easy to put on. I would suggest painting it on with a paint brush for the first coat and rolling it on with a roller for the second. Your first coat will look well..awful! BUT when your 2nd coat goes on it is just gorgeous! Of course you will also need a poly on after your stain. I do 2 to 3 coats of poly on each. I have also used clear wax to seal. Good Luck with that!
  • Unfortunately, @Kim Borcherding Torson ea. wood type will accept/absorb the stain differently..Trying to match isn't the best plan maybe? Depending on the location of the cabs---having a variation is a wonderful way to create a very customized presentation.... Also, gel product is also a little "iffy"....:) Sending you good thoughts and DIY ju-ju:)
  • Jerry Ford Jr. Jerry Ford Jr. on Feb 13, 2015
    I have use oil stain not sure how the gel compares to it, I allow stain to sit longer before wiping rubbing with cloth on lighter wood. When I made my mom's dresser out of birds eye maple had to keep it wet for several hours to get the color she wanted. It helps to experiment with small areas to get the results you are looking for. I recently had a stair case, that I did for my brother and it was oak and risers and walnut treads they both took the stain but the walnut had to sit on the longer and more than one application of stain. Hope this helps.