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I am replacing a small section of oak flooring (I believe it's European oak) and am at the stage of colour matching.

I have found a dye which, after three applications, gives the correct colour. However, in the existing flooring, the grain doesn't stand out very much - the colour is quite uniform. Whereas when I dye the new wood the grain is much more accentuated.

Question: is there a way to lessen the darkening of the grain?

Would it work for me to apply a grain filler first? Or a sand sealer? Ideally I don't wish to alter the way the wood feels to the touch.

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    something like a spit-coat of blonde shellac (pretty diluted shellac dewaxed shellac) will help prevent the grain from absorbing too much. basically the "grain" is like a straw, and it will suck up a lot of stain comparatively. so if you put some shellac, it will fill the tips of these straws up and prevent them from drawing in too much stain. – jbord39 Sep 3 '17 at 17:50
  • @jbord39 Thank you. I have ordered some shellac. Will let you know how it goes. I welcome any other suggestions/tips in the meantime. – lemon Sep 3 '17 at 18:11
  • Sorry to rain on this idea but you have to know that shellac will also make the entire surface of the board stain more lightly — much more lightly! — because it also seals off the surface wood fibres over the entire surface. Stain or dye relies on wood being absorbent for the darkest colour. Now this doesn't mean that it was a waste that you ordered some shellac, shellac is hugely versatile and you'll find a host of uses for it! – Graphus Sep 4 '17 at 5:55
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    I don't want to put this as an Answer because I feel we have too little to go on to give proper ones but grain filling would most definitely help here, it's one of the standard ways of preventing an open-grained wood from having the pores or grain pockets go much darker during colouring operations. There's a but though, it might make the oak look less like the rest of the flooring unless that too was grain-filled. – Graphus Sep 4 '17 at 5:59
  • Thanks, @Graphus. I have now ordered some oak grain filler as well :) – lemon Sep 4 '17 at 8:08

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