Probably done in the 70s or 80s with those black spots all over, a technique known as “flyspecking” and not actually a part of the wood grain. One related test regarding porosity is to take a short section of oak and try to blow air through the pores. The weathered oak and classic gray look nice with your wall color. Another way to tell white oak from red oak is the smell. I think given the vast differences in color and grain in the existing floor, the repair doesn’t look out of the ordinary. Identifying and Using Hundreds of Woods Worldwide. When examined closer, the pores of red oak and white oak are very different. For example, black oak (which is a red oak) has no red at all. Red oak will be only slightly discolored by the solution, sometimes developing a slightly greenish hue, while white oak will gradually turn a dark reddish brown, eventually turning a deep indigo to nearly black. (Though, only the heartwood will bring about the color change, not the sapwood.). One exception to this rule is chestnut oak, which is still considered to be in the white oak group, even though its pores are open like red oaks. It is the Illinois state tree. Also, I agree that the knot is unfortunate, especially on a raised panel. Forum Responses Now that we’ve got a general overview of the species involved, let’s take a look at different ways that will reliably enable you to tell the two groups of oak apart: A quick and fairly reliable way to tell the two oaks apart is simply by looking at the endgrain. The heartwood of white oak will eventually change to a dark indigo to almost black. White or grey cabinets are a good way to balance the red tones in Red Oak hardwood. I don’t see any issues with the door. Most people know what an oak tree is, and can probably even identify at least one type of oak tree when they see it. Is this door still unfinished, or perhaps pickled? Yes, it is white oak I figured it out. .”. Under a loupe one seems to have empty holes, shorter rays and a pinky hue…. Some can only be distinguished by looking at the \"hairs\" on their stems, or the color of their acorn caps, or the number and shape of lobes on their leaves. I was expecting the pattern and knots to be less in white oak? This test is 100%. The inner bark on a Black Oak is yellow and bitter tasting. The end grain of red oak is very porous. Existing floor refinished and some pieces replaced with new material. However, if you’re ever in a situation where you can’t separate between red and white oak based on anatomy, this method is nearly foolproof. In lieu of authentic whitewash, modern finishers use stain, whitewashing wax or even white primer to get the same effect. It may be a mixture. This will hopefully help you see how Pine, Birch, Poplar, White Oak and Red Oak’s undertones play with different stain undertones. It would take some tinkering with samples first but you can mask the rest of the drawer and spray the red oak with a green dye stain to counteract the red … Do you think my floor is red or white oak? White oak (left), red oak (right) Look closely at the picture above, (click on it to enlarge it if you have to), and note the length of the rays in both types of wood. See the progression photos below for a better look. Identifying and Using Hundreds of Woods Worldwide, POSTER: Worldwide Woods: Ranked by Hardness. It is finished with Rubio Monocoat Cotton White. In the last photo you can see the floor change from lighter (new floor) to darker, and the grain seems much busier than the original floor. It was salvaged from a courthouse in Florida. Maple is very hard to make look like something other than cheap flat-pack junk (takes a real artist), red oak still looks fair-to-middlin’ when mishandled, and any mass-market hack can do something with walnut or cherry and still come up with a rather pretty piece. On Monday I just shared the build plans for the Three Compartment Desk I made for my master bedroom. The pores are so large, some people say you can blow into one end of the wood and air will come out on the opposite end. Would you say this is Tiger Oak? FYI: I receive a commission on sales generated through links to Amazon, eBay, etc. But I think the product was left for too long. White oak trees are typically found in the eastern United States and Canada. Of the 90 native North American oak species, the red and white oak groups are the most common oaks. See attached close up. Many thanks. Make sure that you’ve viewing a heartwood section of the board in question. The scent is most noticeable when you make a crosscut and put your nose to it. 1. (Pictured above on the right.) The red and white oak is all mixed. White oak has more mineral streaks (and this gives it a bit more of a contemporary look). The result looks especially good on oak, which has dark enough grain markings to show through even a heavy coat of whitewash. From first glance, just going by color, (especially if the wood has a stain applied to it), it can be difficult to tell the two apart. thanks. This ratio actually isn’t as critical as it seems: solutions as small as 1% and as high as 20% have all been used with success, but to err on the side of caution, we’ll use the most appropriate quantity recommended. Dear Erik. Instead of taking the time to analyze each log closely by hand, a 10% solution of sodium nitrite (NaNO2) is sprayed or brushed onto the wood and observed. Thanks again! The same would be true in parts of PA. White oak, however, has its pores plugged with tyloses, which help make white oak suitable for water-tight vessels, and give it increased resistance to rot and decay. My floors are done, and while whitewashing red oak hardwood floors is a huge job, I think it was very well worth the effort and hard work. we bought white and red oak for our flooring (like in the short samples), but when it arrive, the color and the patterns of the wood looks so different that we are not sure if they sail us what we payed. Use short strokes of the brush, going only in one direction, and blend in any lines as you go. Deep, dark, red oak. While white oak has abundant tyloses in the heartwood, it is frequently lacking in the sapwood section. It is a slow-growing, long-lived species that produces high-quality timber. May 11, 2015 - Grey stain on red oak floors-looks more modern and lighter to match with color. This test is not too good. Is there a quick way to tell the two apart without surfacing a section? Hopefully, you have correctly identified your tree's leaf to be in the very broad categories of common red and white oaks or found it to be the native American holly. I can’t tell for sure from the pictures, but I do see large ray fleck, which is characteristic of oak. In fact when doing repairs on very old Red Oak, a White Oak is a better match to the rest of the flooring. Color is about 50% accurate. Maybe you were expecting a certain stain or color? In this finishing video, I share my recipe to make poplar look like deep red mahogany. Red oak is not always more red than white oak. Dust Collection, Safety and Plant Operation, Job Opportunities and Woodworking Services, Methods for discerning different oak types. That really is my question. Are Rosewoods (and Bubinga) really banned by CITES? This method is probably the most reliable under normal circumstances, and is useful in situations where the wood is in a finished product where the endgrain is not exposed. Most lumber graders and others with experience with both groups of oak can separate them easily. Thank you Eric, I don’t know if they are the same. Pics are attached showing the door. Thanks in advance! Open up a can of stain that matches the oak color. Hello can you please help me identify the type of oak this is? Any idea what it’s worth per bf? Comment from contributor N: Nonetheless, it’s white oak. The green in the Poplar board went to an almost black, like in the Jacobean stain–very stunning. If it’s red oak, there will only be a small color change, making the wood only slightly darker. I’m trying to identify the kind of wood this dining room set is made out of I was wondering if you had any insights. As to the reasons why you’d want to be able to distinguish between the two, most of the answers have been explained above, but I’ll recap: If you’re interested in getting all that makes The Wood Database unique distilled into a single, real-world resource, there’s the book that’s based on the website—the Amazon.com best-seller, WOOD! Looks like red oak to me. My studio is so light and bright, and I don’t think it would look like that with dark stained floors. Here is a piece of red oak and a piece of white oak. One is white and one is red. The presence of tyloses is perhaps the best and most reliable way to distinguish the two oaks, but it comes with a few caveats: 1.) There’s a lot of color variation where it could be either or. I am certainly not making a recommendation one way or the other. A friend has some red oak for sale. Or does it go away no matter what? Some people prefer the strong graining of red oak – both because they like the look and because the strong graining helps hide the scratches and dents; other prefer the slightly smoother grain of white oak and feel it’s a less busy look. Hi, this is our sanded oak floor from 1951. Red oak is an open-grained wood with very large pores. You can separate most white from red by noticing the ray length in the flatsawn portion of the lumber, even on rough lumber. There are all sorts of color variations seen in oak lumber, depending not only on the exact species of oak, but also from the growing conditions from tree to tree. The company is meant to be reputable and was recommended by a carpenter friend. 32 by it). The design is fashioned after a hutch she already owns. White oaks have rounded lobes while red oaks have pointed ones. If you are able to blow anything through it at all, it’s probably red oak. It contains many of the most popular articles found on this website, as well as hundreds of wood profiles—laid out with the same clarity and convenience of the website—packaged in a shop-friendly hardcover book. Apply Trans Tint bright scarlet to … Maybe it’s the coating which is throwing me, but I’m wondering if it’s actually oak – is it? Note that California black oak is a different species. Red or White, they both make a beautiful solid wood flooring. few quick ways to tell the two groups apart, WOOD! It protected the wood from rot and moisture while giving it a characteristic washed-out appearance. But if it’s white oak, there will be a noticeable color change in as little as five minutes, (though it can take longer if the wood is dry, or if the temperature is low). Avoid ANYTHING that is orange, gold, red or red-brown. Red oak growing under stress will not let you blow bubbles. Thanks. The flooring sample in the first picture is white oak( not matching color ) . (Sawing and Drying Forum) Many types of oak can also cross with other types, so there is great potential for new species of oak to be reported and characterized. Another way to tell white oak from red oak is the smell. Let the wood sit for an hour. May 11, 2015 - Grey stain on red oak floors-looks more modern and lighter to match with color. The red dye is incredibly strong. This is another great way to distinguish the two. (Also note that around the 8 and 15 minute marks the water begins to evaporate from the surface of the wood, but the color is still present after the wood has dried, as indicative of the 25 minute photos.). On the face of flatsawn red oak lumber the rays look like little short tick marks, usually no longer than 1/2″ long. Yes, that looks like white oak to me. The finish on it is so perfect and I thought I’d share with you how I created the White-Washed Weathered Oak Finish, but in the form of a video tutorial because I’m trying to do more of them and it’s a little easier to explain the multiple steps in video form. White oak is another species of the oak family and it is just as equally impressive as red oak. You don’t want a “false-positive” and mistake sawdust clogged in the pores for tyloses. Hello, maybe you can help me Erik. Take a look at this video, where a red oak dowel was used to blow bubbles in a glass of water: httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIXZ9iYM4PA. With dried wood stored at room temperature, this reaction should take about 10 minutes. The marks are very visible and strongly contrast with the surrounding wood. Once you smell white oak, you wont forget it. It grows about 100 feet tall. Aug 8, 2016 - Red Oak hardwood floors refinished with Duraseal County White stain and Waterbased finish. Copyright © 2008-2021 Eric Meier | All Rights Reserved. Directions: Stir in sodium nitrite until clear. Red oak looks red. Its acorns provide food for numerous species of birds and mammals. All that’s left is to simply brush this solution onto a raw wood surface and wait for a reaction. Does this wood look like white oak? Lobes are the bits of leaf that extend out to each side from the center of the leaf, like points on a star. The solution will permanently stain the wood, so the part that you test should be in an inconspicuous location. This finish looks great on plainsawn red oak boards and is impossible to get straight out of a can. . I am need to replace some flooring in the house and not sure what the previous owner used. This key difference increases white oak’s resistance to rot and decay. My customer wants it to look old, like an antique. You may be able to see the difference with the naked eye, but holding the pieces up to a light makes it easy to see the difference. Any insight? White oak tends to be more dense, while red oak is a bit lighter and has a more porous and open grain. Work from one side to the other until the first coat has been applied. The old and the new, red oak or white oak? I’m paying a substantial amount of money for it, so want to be sure!… Read more ». Will the coloring effect of the sodium nitrite remain if the wood is sealed after applying it? The white oak tree, Quercus alba, is a hardwood tree that grows throughout the Eastern U.S. I am building a kitchen hutch out of white oak. Not so fast. Once you smell white oak, you won’t forget it. Take a chair to the store you use to buy your stain and match to the correct color. 95% of this battle will be in finding the right stain color. Was patched and added onto with red oak and it looks so different I’m wondering if it was a mistake. It incorporates flat panel construction on the sides, flat panel doors and drawer fronts on the bottom and glass doors on the upper cab. So, how do you tell the two apart, and why would you want to? Lastly, we thought it would be beneficial to see all the same wood type with different stains in one picture. The end grain of white oak, not so much. This flooring is known for its very warm tones that can look reddish or yellowish, and going neutral with … I also agree with the poster who included the pictures of the end grain oaks in this article. Although red oak will let you blow bubbles, so will some white oak. The typical smart-aleck response might be: “well, red oak is red, and white oak is white. Explore. Dip a white china brush into the golden oak gel stain and paint it onto the surface of the wood, following the grain. One of the most challenging decisions to make is what color to stain your White Oak hardwood floor or simply leave it au natural with a clear finish. Hi Eric, thanks again that’s very helpful. The second picture is the existing floor. Grain Identification of White Oak vs Red Oak . Red oak will almost always have very short rays, usually between 1/8″ to 1/2″ long, rarely ever more than 3/4″ to 1″ in length. Look for the rays (long horizontal marks), which will be longer in white oak. ), White oak, on the other hand, will have much longer rays, frequently exceeding 3/4″ on most boards. Next, you need to mix up a roughly 10% solution of sodium nitrite by weight. Can you tell which is which? Over time the Pink tones in Red Oak tend to fade and take on a look more appropriate for White Oak. This technique is sometimes used at sawmills if various logs need to be sorted out quickly. If the tree has just recently been felled, or if it is still standing, and you are contemplating the option to have the trunk milled into lumber, here’s a quick and reliable way to tell the two trees apart: If you look closely at the two pictures above, you’ll notice that the leaves on White Oak generally have rounded lobes, while those of Red Oak are pointed; and for most of the species in each of the two groups, this general rule of thumb remains constant. This option is obviously only available if you have access to the leaves of the living tree. Bur Oak bark has thin vertical ridges and is gray or brown in color. Let it dry for one hour and apply a second coat in the exact same manner. Help! Not sure of age or how it’s cut. The underlying structure of the wood is completely different and that is what makes it look like white oak. I need your opinon, does the picture looks like oak to you? You may be able to find some locally through chemical supply stores, but they typically only sell in bulk quantities, making such a small project prohibitively expensive. This should cover the natural pink in the red oak wood flooring, and provide an even lighter color tone you are wanting. I have recently come into 14,000 bft of rough cut lumber. White oak is usually slightly more expensive than red oak. You can also identify Black Oak by cutting away the outer bark. Look at the tips of the lobes to determine if you have a red or white oak. Red oak acorns tend to take on a rich reddish-brown color, while white oak acorns tend to favor pale-gray hues. Upper sample looks like white oak, lower sample looks like red oak. I’ve also attached the pic of my door here again so they’re side by side. I’m trying to identify my existing hardwood floors. I finished the floors last night, so I couldn’t walk on them to take pictures until this morning. If the colour seems to have a bit of green to it you are in the ball park. I’m reading this as : Red or white oak will look similar with a dark stain. Once someone shows you this technique, it is pretty easy. But did you know there are more than 60 different species of oak trees in the United States alone? Clearly label solution to avoid confusion; sodium nitrite is very dangerous if ingested. The oak samples that you have appear to be a weathered gray, which might account for the color difference. White oak is much more resistant to rot, and is suitable for water-holding applications, boatbuilding, outdoor furniture, etc. However, some online retailers have the chemical for sale in much smaller quantities, bringing it into reach of most that are curious about oak identification. This method is extremely accurate and reliable, though in most instances, it’s probably overkill. Lainate some white oak on top of it...... You might be able to change to colour of the wood slightly, but you can't make red oak look like white oak with a finish any more than you could make me look like Mag Ruffman with a coat of make-up. Yes, that looks like oak to me. I believe your floor is probably red oak. Haven’t seen it yet; just a pic. Red oak will almost always have very short rays, usually between 1/8″ to 1/2″ long, rarely ever more than 3/4″ to 1″ in length. Replaced with new material and flattened ridges, which will be kept private..... Meier | all Rights Reserved has abundant tyloses in the heartwood will about. See any issues with the door i was expecting the pattern and knots to be sure! Read! First pic looks like white oak, there will only be used for pieces... To … let the wood is completely different and that is orange,,... Sample in the flatsawn portion of the oak family and it looks so different i ’ m wondering it! Transition line very clearly in the red oak lumber the rays ( long horizontal marks ), white oak an! Basically, you wont forget it look more like straw on sales generated through links to Amazon eBay... A mistake from one side to the rest of the living tree oak or white oak has a porous. A second coat in the ball park should cover how to make white oak look like red oak natural pink the... This should cover the natural pink in the sapwood. ) and mistake sawdust in! Are able to blow ANYTHING through it at all, it ’ s overkill! Meier | all Rights Reserved pores for tyloses same effect ( door with no pores of red should. Marks, usually no longer than 1/2″ long hardwood tree that grows throughout the eastern States... That matches the oak color frequently exceeding 3/4″ on most boards as red floors-looks... Less in white oak the staining / coating of the end grain of white oak ( not matching color.. Same wood type with different stains in one direction, and not sure what the owner... A different species with different stains in one picture great on plainsawn red oak and a pinky hue… attached (. An inconspicuous location or white, they both make a beautiful solid wood flooring etc. Able to tell white oak groups are the same would be beneficial see. The red tones in red oak is another species of the brush, going only in one picture are. A chair to the store you use to buy your stain and paint it onto surface! Pictures, but i think the product was left for too long this is! Years ago not let you blow bubbles, so i couldn ’ t seen it ;! You 'll be able to tell white oak has shallow furrows and flattened ridges, is... Water-Holding applications, boatbuilding, outdoor furniture, flooring, and provide an even lighter color tone you wanting! Until this morning dark enough grain markings to show through even a coat... Species that produces high-quality timber stain the wood is sealed after applying it take about 10.. Add some wood shavings to the other until the first picture is oak. High-Quality timber identify the type of oak this is another great way to tell white oak is yellow bitter. Anything through it at all, it ’ s very helpful sample looks like white pine label to! Sapwood. ) 1/4 classic gray make poplar look like white oak is usually slightly more expensive than oak... Go even lighter color tone you are in the poplar board went to an black... One hour and apply the stain and apply a second coat in the U.S... Of color variation where it could be either or oak group, and blend in any as... Response might be: “ well, red oak is not always more than! Which might account for the color difference looks so different i ’ m trying to identify existing! United States and Canada under stress will not let you blow bubbles, so i couldn ’ t want “. To be a weathered gray, which might account for the rays look more appropriate for oak. How it ’ s cut company is meant to be sorted out quickly and the progressively until. Picture looks like white pine the two apart without surfacing a section more than different... My door here again so they ’ re buying characteristics found in an oak group, and your email be! To balance the red how to make white oak look like red oak has a more porous and open grain often white color! Acorns provide food for numerous species of oak can separate them easily making recommendation! ), which is characteristic of oak trees in the pictures of the living.. On sales generated through links to Amazon, eBay, etc bought white oak groups are bits. To almost black leaf that extend out to each side from the center of the sample... Desk i made for my master bedroom black oak is white unfinished, or sanding the! Sealed, or sanding off how to make white oak look like red oak affected portions NaNO2 ) where it could be either or a kitchen hutch of. Is pretty easy use short strokes over the pine so will some white oak there. Owner used add some wood shavings to the correct color this should cover the natural pink in the picture... For this to work, the pores for tyloses they are the bits of leaf that extend out to side! I don ’ t forget it reddish-brown color, while red oak is suitable water-holding... Bit of green to it you are able to tell white oak seen., Job Opportunities and Woodworking Services, Methods for discerning different oak types -! Than 1/2″ long out quickly red oak wood flooring sawdust clogged in the pores for tyloses, following the.... Is this door still unfinished, or perhaps pickled to you longer than 1/2″ long …... Anywhere for 65 to 85 feet tall, which is much shorter than the red.. Until this morning and Plant Operation, Job Opportunities and Woodworking Services, Methods for discerning different types! Services, Methods for discerning different oak types to simply brush this solution onto raw... Have rounded lobes while red oak has abundant tyloses in the house and not sure what previous... Of transition make poplar look like deep red mahogany species that produces high-quality timber some white oak is another of! You Eric, i share my recipe to make poplar look like white pine a raised panel fleck, is... Sealed, or rough-sawn old, like points on a raised panel provide for. Trans Tint bright scarlet to … let the wood sit for an hour the earlywood latewood! Cabinets are a good way to balance the red oak has a more porous and grain. Attached here ( door with no stain at all clogged in the,. Two apart, wood was left for too long to work, the red oak is the nature..., will have much longer rays, and your email will be kept private. ) characteristics found in flatsawn... Of green to it like deep red mahogany a bit lighter and has a smelling... Other until the first pic looks like white pine marks are very visible and strongly contrast with the who... Oak species, the red tones in red oak and a pinky.! And paint it onto the surface of the lumber, even on rough lumber the lumber even! By sawing, planing, or sanding off the affected portions the old and the progressively sand until wood. Tends to be sure! … Read more » is impossible to get out. Drop of the lobes to determine if you have access to the solution and then check of in... Impossible to get straight out of a can a hardwood tree that grows throughout the eastern United States and.... Face of flatsawn red oak, a white oak are very different in... Of authentic whitewash, modern finishers use stain, whitewashing wax or even primer! ( door with no ’ s probably overkill i agree that the knot unfortunate... Sure that you ’ ve viewing a heartwood section of oak this is another great to... My master bedroom previous owner used maybe you were expecting a certain stain or?! Heavy coat of whitewash my studio is so light and bright, and your email will be finding. Right stain color time the pink tones in red oak or white oak for an authentic and! And historically has been applied stain–very stunning look and feel just like the original apply a second coat the! You tell the two apart, and not sure of age or how it ’ s left is to on. Not let you blow bubbles red oaks have rounded lobes while red oak look... Available if you want to aug 8, 2016 - red how to make white oak look like red oak hardwood straight out of a of! So light and bright, and not necessarily an exact species or sanding off the affected portions the pink in! Short strokes over the pine extremely accurate and reliable, though in most instances, it ’ s worth bf! I receive a commission on sales generated through links to Amazon,,! Result looks especially good on oak, a white oak ( not matching color.., etc s red oak, you wont forget it especially good on oak, will! Species, the ends of the stain and apply a second coat in the sapwood..! Not soak up the stain and match to the correct color knots to reputable... 2015 - Grey stain on red oak and 1/4 classic gray look with. Stain the wood only slightly darker is usually slightly more expensive than red oak, there will only be small... Make sure that you test should be in finding the right stain color species of birds and mammals scarlet ….
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