You are here:

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/refinishing a Ethan Allen table


Side by side
Side by side  
My dining table had a deep scratch on one of the leaves. So I stripped it off and tried dyeing it with aniline dyes to match the rest. Unfortunately it did not work out well and I am back to re stripping all of it and doing it over again. The wood is Cherry and the table is from Ethan Allen.  Due to the many tries with colors, the Cherry is slightly stained. No hopes of getting it back to the original color since I have already tried bleaching with oxalic acid and sanding. The color to be matched is a dark muddy brown. I am enclosing a photo of the bare wood next to what I am looking for. Any suggestions on how to do it will be appreciated. Or if you would know if I can get a stain similar to this from some manufacturer.

Hi Vijay, a dye stain by itself, in this situation, is probably the wrong choice, it looks like a pigmented wiping stain, and I have found the Mohawk colors to be the best matches for Ethan Allen colors. Your table looks like "Perfect Brown", or "Dark" or "Brown Mahogany"...but another company's oil stain would likely work as well, but the color may need to be adjusted, as often they do. It's quite likely that more than one stain and/or type of stain was used. These finishes are often "toned" as well....meaning the use of colored lacquer topcoats, over the stain/sealer coats, to build the appropriate "look", but this is highly skilled finishing, and if one is unfamiliar with the use and application of these techniques and products, or lacks the stock of colorants/topcoats/spray equipment,'s nearly impossible to hope to match the factory finish. This type of finish schedule has multiple steps, some times upwards of 8-10 individual steps, and takes some serious finishing 'chops' to do correctly. Often people will dive into such a project, unaware of how difficult it is, and assume that they can just get the "right" stain and it will look just like the factory finish. Unfortunately this is not the case, and these layered finishes are labor intensive, and require the skill, knowledge and proper materials to do correctly.Dining tables are among the most difficult projects to master, and it takes years to develop the skills necessary, and a good working knowledge of color, and how to get there. Wish I had an easier answer, but not sure where to direct you next. Many people balk at the expense of having such a table refinished, as it can reach over $1000 easily, and now you have a personal insight as to why. Also, trying to completely strip and refinish one leaf to be a perfect match to an older, U.V. altered factory finish is almost impossible, even for the Pro's, usually the entire table top needs to be done.. Mohawk products can be ordered from PondCove Paint in Maine, or perhaps otherplaces, but not sure of their availability in CA. Please post back- Regards- Greg

Just to be clear I am NOT recommending Minwax oil stain, these "consumer" level products do NOT have the color strength of more professional stains, and dry slow and unpredictably for lacquer work in my experience...

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Greg Scholl


Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects, Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings, wood species recognition and usage,tool recommendations, blade types and recommendation,techniques and methods for many Woodworking related issues, etc.


Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.) Sold, built, serviced, setup Home, Industrial, and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools , provided knowledge, parts replacement, service, and on site service, Trade show Demo, and training as well.

Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002) ...("27 year compilation of expert know-how")

Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars from major Tool manufacturers, Skil/Bosch, Delta, Powermatic, Ritter, Porter cable, Milwaukee, Dewalt/B&Decker, Performax.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT. (the Antiques capital of CT.), Golden Age of Trucking Museum,Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies. For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

©2016 All rights reserved.