Creating the Perfect Match – Matching New Woodwork Stain to the Existing

  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Creating the Perfect Match – Matching New Woodwork Stain to the Existing

Last updated on January 14, 2021

So often you see before and after photos and probably don’t know all the different details that go into making that after look so good. It’s not just updating the cabinets, painting the walls or replacing the floors. It is about the details and we are going to delve into one of those details today. Matching the existing woodwork stain.

Mismatched stain immediately draws the eye and not in a good way. A stain that is matched correctly shouldn’t draw any attention to itself rather it should blend seamlessly. Over the past 38 years we’ve worked in many homes and matching woodwork stain is often part of that project.

In this project, we created a new opening between the dining room and kitchen and it was important the new woodwork matched the existing.

Use the Same Type of Wood

The first step is to match the wood. If the existing trim is an oak, you’ll want to make sure the new trim is also oak. Why? Wood species are all different. They have different compositions, some are soft while others are hard. This is important not only for durability but how they absorb a paint. Hardwood such as walnut may be a great choice for moldings and trim because they absorb stain well. Softwood such as a pine may be a better option for paint because of it’s a little more budget friendly and easier to work with.

Match the Stain

A stain, like paint, can be tough to match…maybe even more so. A stain on woodwork in a home could have been re-stained many times over the years and has its own unique color. We suggest taking a piece of the existing woodwork to match at your favorite paint/stain store. They’re going to get it pretty close. You’ll use that as the base stain.

Making it perfect

So, you get your new stain that is supposed to be perfectly matched up on your new trim, it dries and it doesn’t match. Don’t freak out. Perry Holloway our in-house paint expert says the trick is going over the base stain with a gel stain. It allows you to get the perfect match without stripping the stain off and starting over. The gel stain pulls the entire look together.

If you’re not up to the challenge of staining woodwork in your home the Schloegel Painting Services team is here to help. Take a look at Caleb Ables working to match the stain on a recent addition project. He won’t stop till he gets it perfect!


Thinking about painting or staining in your home? Give us a call to speak to a Schloegel Paint Services team expert.