Best Way To Stain & Match Alder Boards To Cabinets

We want to match the alder boards to our brand new kitchen cabinets. What is the best was to do this and what products would you recommend?

In this case the raw alder boards and the existing kitchen cabinets need to match so  getting the “exact match” is difficult but possible if you are willing to do what is recommended.  We would usually spend a day getting the color match set.  The final coat would be a topcoat on all existing cabinets, probably using Nanotech or Easy Safe so the sheen matches throughout.

I would use Bio Poly Natural first to get the color close.  Clear will bring it close but probably not exact.  I will list the series of samples we would do to get an exact or near match.

Starting on a board, coating a 4-6” test area, labeling as we go, moving from Left to Right:

  1. Bio Poly Natural Clear 00
  2. Bio Poly Natural Light Cedar
  3. Bio Poly Natural Light Cedar and Fawn (artistically mixed, using whatever color necessary to get the browner tone seen on existing cabinets, writing down amount of color added.)
  4. Top Coat with Nano Tech Clear 00 (or Easy Safe , depending on sheen desired.)

A minimum of two top coats are applied over wood that is stained, usually more coats are applied on cabinets.  The existing cabinets I would scuff with fine steel wool, wash with Earth Clean and spray or brush a coat of NanoTech Clear 00 (test first to insure compatibility of existing coating).

The other thing that we watch out for on this kind of work is that our tools do not contain ANY leftover oils that are not fully dried.  This we call contamination and can cause separation of the top coat.  So the sprayer, brushes, sandpaper, steel wool, rags…all of that must be kept clean of any oils.  Once they are fully dry the NanoTech adheres but when wet it will cause separation.  If this I possible for any reason, then omit the Bio Poly Natural and use NanoTech as the stain.  It comes in all the same colors.  The reason we would use Bio Poly Natural stain is that it is a bit more inline with the color tones on the existing alder.  Both products will probably illuminate the wood grain more than the exiting cabinets are.  This is a lot of info but important considerations to insure the project comes out flawless.

Outlined above is the finish schedule required for an “exact” or “near exact” match.  Not everyone needs or wants that level of expertise.  Sometimes, it just needs to be a “close match”.  So you can decide how far you want to go with it.  I’m just trying to lay it out so you will know what to expect and how it would be done professionally in the field.

The Colorant Containers are sold separately for mix and match situations.  I would buy a couple of these and some untinted Bio Poly Natural.  That way you can reduce sample expense.  Of course, if you want to buy pretinted sample pints that is fine as well.  This is the best procedure we recommend, for a project such as this one, that requires matching up to existing cabinets.