So a long time ago I inquired about a project regarding a board game table. Well, we planned it out, scouted the wood, bought it, cut it up, and now we're on assembly!

For the outer visible portion of the table I have this beautiful red oak.

Very, very, foolishly, I got different wood for the drawers, legs (which even the legs have different colors in them, partially pink/white), and a pull out extension. Basically we bought whatever wood best fit our needs. There weren't 3x3 posts, 1x6s, 1x4s, and 2x4s all in red oak at home depot. It was only 1x8s.

I want to show off the natural tone of the red oak, but I also want the piece to be cohesive. Do you guys have any clever tips to maybe mask/hide/stain the disparate wood, and let the red oak shine through? Or did I just make a blunder that will teach me a lesson for future projects?

Thanks for any help!

  • Feel free to change it but I wanted to improve on your title
    – Matt
    May 23, 2015 at 16:47

2 Answers 2


At this point, you have numerous options:

  1. Replace the mismatched parts with red oak.
  2. Experiment with dye and/or stain on several scrap pieces to try to get them to match the coloring of the red oak. This will be incredibly difficult, and even if you do succeed, they may age differently.
  3. Rather than trying to match the red oak, experiment with dye and/or stain on several scrap pieces to try to find a nice contrasting color.
  4. Veneer the mismatched pieces with red oak.
  5. Paint it all!

Personally, I think options 3 and 4 are potentially the most promising. You could even do a combination, veneering the drawer faces and legs, and staining/dyeing the pull-out extension a contrasting color.

For future reference, you could have bought all 1x8 pieces of red oak and made all of your other pieces from that by ripping down to the appropriate sizes and, in the case of the desired 3x3s and 2x4s, you could have laminated multiple 1x3 or 1x4 strips.

  • 1
    I think 3 and 4 are good options, although I've never been a fan of veneers, it may work out here. Thank you for the list of choices! May 23, 2015 at 19:51

Adding to rob's answer.

There is nothing wrong with using different woods in a project and most projects have a couple different ones in them any way. Most drawers are made of a cheaper wood and the face is the only piece that has the more expensive wood that matches the rest of the case.

So you have the table top, (Which I assume is where most of the oak is going) the drawer fronts, and the legs, which is going to be most of what one sees when looking at it. The top of course is the most important piece.

Not knowing what the other woods you bought are makes it a little difficult for exact recommendations, but I'll give it a try. As rob pointed out contrasting colors can make a nice difference if done well. I am going to assume that your 3"x3"'s are something like pine or ceder, a softer wood, since that is likely what you would find in those dimensions. If ceder the red/pink/white color might 'match' nicely with the red oak. Pine (white) could also be a decent look. Though I would be temped to stain them a dark walnut to almost black. This would make them become less obvious and leave the look of the table top to stand out more. At this point I would probably either put the red oak on the drawer fronts to make them match, or put a white piece such as aspen on the fronts to make them stand out.

You always have stains and paints to either make things more uniform in color or to bring out more contrast, either one can be used to make a piece attractive.

  • The type of wood that went into the construction and drawer faces are labeled as "common board" at home depot. I'm assuming they're either fir or pine, although I do not know. Part of the reason I don't want to put faces on my drawer is because I liked this idea of having a "floating" box drawer with no flash that was flush with the edge of table. I thought it would look cool and modern. Putting faces on them may be my only option now! May 23, 2015 at 19:51
  • 1
    Actually, you know what, I can still make them flush and use red oak. I'll just set the drawer rails back 3/4" (thickness of the oak) and I'll be good! May 23, 2015 at 19:54
  • 1
    @ScottJamesWalter exactly!
    – bowlturner
    May 24, 2015 at 12:00

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