What color stain to use

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by Air Force Retired, Aug 2, 2017.

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  1. Air Force Retired

    Air Force Retired New Member

    Jul 15, 2017
    Hemet, California
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    Hi all. I recently purchased a Howard-Miller Barwick model 4878 "Esquire" grandmother clock. The finial is missing and I have found a replacement but it comes in just plain wood. I need to know what stain to use to match the existing wood. Any help is appreciated.
  2. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    Retired General Dentist
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    That can be a tough one AFR. Especially if the case has "acquired" color/shading with age. I would start off with a stain color charts from several paint stores/departments and go from there. It's kind of like an art, you may have to blend two or more stains or dyes (applied to similar wood test strips) to get something you'll be happy with. Good luck and have fun.
  3. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
    Donor NAWCC Member

    Nov 4, 2002
    self-employed in the clock business
    Whitby, Ontario, Canada
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    Not sure what kind of wood "just plain wood" is, but different woods take a stain differently. Also don't know what the existing wood has for a type of wood or finish.
  4. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 5, 2007
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    Hi, Air Force Retired,

    First of all, please accept my most sincerely heartfelt appreciation for your service to our country. It is heroes like you that protect our American way of life, and I simply cannot thank you enough for your service.

    As to your question, if you have purchased an unfinished finial, you have a bit of a difficult job in matching, as stated above. I do want to give you a hint about this, learned from experience. My advice is that in dealing with raw, unfinished wood, use a sanding sealer, or wood pre-sealer before applying any stain. These products absorb into the wood and seal it just under the surface. This will facilitate achieving an even, smooth stain application. Unsealed wood will take stain very unevenly, depending upon a long list of factors. Sanding sealer will prevent uneven stain absorption. Do remember to lightly sand the finial first with very fine sandpaper, remove all sanding dust, apply your choice of sanding sealer (Minwax brand is my recommendation here) and after the sealer dries, apply the stain of your choice (Minwax also recommended). Any dealer that carries Minwax products will have a sample chart with the stain, featuring stain colors on two or three types of actual wood samples for easier matching. Good luck with your project, and again, many, many thanks for your service! :clap:

    My very best,

    George Nelson
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