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How to Mix Stains to Create Custom Colors

Intermixing Custom Stain Colors

A little while ago, I took a fixture off the shop wall and was left with a patch of paneling that was bare wood. I wanted to recolor this to match the surrounding surface. The only problem was, when I went to pick out the stain, I couldn't find exactly the right color. 

So instead, I selected two stock colors that were close to the color I wanted to match. One was primarily yellow-brown and the other more red-brown. 

I was sure some combination of these two would blend with my wall. The colors you choose will depend on what it is you're trying to match.

Be sure to stir the stain thoroughly because, over time, the coloring agents or pigments settle to the bottom of the can.

Use a baby syringe to transfer small amounts of the stains to a mixing container. Add various amounts of each one until the color looks right. In this case, I ended up using two parts of the more yellow stain to one part of the more red.

Finally, test the color by brushing it on a small section then wiping it off. Once you're satisfied with the result, apply the custom stain to whatever it is you're finishing. For more of Ron's tips on staining click here or here.

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