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Working on a current project (much interrupted by other work). Finally got the stain on and despite a sample board from a previous can, it came out way too red for my objective. Well, there are ways to adjust the color in flight. Or as I say, use the stain to get the the right church and glazes and toners to get to the right pew. Maybe in this case, it was the church across the street. Using some color theory, the complement of red, and what neutralizes it, is green. In finishing terms the green used is Raw Umber. I ran some samples. And I added a couple of other of my commonly-used color glazes. I mix up my own glazes from my UTC (universal tinting colors -- the same as on the rotary where you get your paint color blended from a base). But you can buy pre-mixed glazes, custom mixed glazes from glaze base, or even gel stains (though you are unlikely to find a gel stain called VanDyke, Warm Brown, or Raw Umber) Shop-blended ones: Store-bought ones I liked the VanDyke the best, and so did the customer (daughter). So off to adjust the color from reddish to more of the brown we're trying to get Need to let the glaze dry for a day (or whenever I can get back to it) and top coat. (to be continued) Some notes: Why I used a glaze instead of a toner (finish with color in it) 1. Glazes are ultimately manipulative. I can wipe off a little more of a little less. They have long open times so I can play with it, even wipe 90%+ off if I want. I can add two glazes on top of each other, while still wet or while dry. Or I can add one glaze, put on a coat of finish to seal it, and if it still needs more work add the same or different color in another round. 2. Toners need to be sprayed, IMO and the little cubby-holes in these units were difficult to get a spray gun in and the cabinet with doors has an unstained interior to make it lighter. 3. I am using a water-borne finish on this (Enduro-Var) so need compatible (water-based) glazes, that are difficult, if not impossible, to find. So I mix my own. 4. Toners tend to even out the color, glazes, on oak, tend to accentuate (highlight) the difference between grain pores and flat areas. More reading: https://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/finishing/friends-finisher-glazes-toners-wax/ I first got introduced to glazes when I worked with a local author (though in a very minor way) when she wrote a book for F+W Publishing. She did amazing stuff with glazes.
Three things that affect the finished color of a project 1. The wood. You would not expect the same resulting color if you applied the same products to, say, pine, poplar, walnut, maple, cherry, or white oak. Each wood will impart not only its own natural color, but the grain and porosity of the wood can affect how it absorbs the upper layers. I have applied exactly the same stain to ash and red oak, that look very similar in the rough (ring porous woods) and on red oak it comes out a light brown and on ash, a light yellow. 2. The colorant. The dyes and/or pigments in a stain, glaze or toner will obviously impact the resulting color. And it may interact with the underlying wood. For example, if you add a raw umber color, normally a darkish green to a wood like cherry with a lot of natural red, they will neutralize each other and come up with more of a brown result. If you put raw umber on maple, you are going to see more of that greenish color. 3. The finish. All finishes can add (or omit) color. Waterborne finishes and lacquers called "water-white" add virtually no color. These are great if you don't want added color, for example over a pickled finish. On the other hand, they can look like the finish is washed out. Shellac comes in different grades from super blond, blonde, lemon, orange and garnet. Sometimes they are called light amber, amber, natural, or whatever just to confuse us. Varnishes (oil-based) generally have an amber color. Exactly what depends on the mix of which oil and which resin. Soy-alkyd, linseed-urethane, or tung-phenolic are the common combinations and vary from light to dark amber, respectively. So that is why when you are doing test boards on scrap, you need to use the same wood, the same colorant, and the same finish, all the way to completion. Also, the color you get on day one may not the color 10 years down the road. Woods tend to change color - cherry darkens, walnut lightens, and maple ambers. Dyes and pigments tend to fade in light, dyes usually more so. And if you have a colorant with two or more ingredients, one of them might change faster than the others. So an amber might fade to an orange. On one hand you have the woods going one way and perhaps the colorants going the other, each at their own rate.
I used a glaze made by Star Chemical Co. Raw Sienna thinned down turned out to be real close.. This was what I thought I was best at of all the wood working and related chores associated with wood....matching shades of old furniture people brought in to match...
A long time ago, I did this project for a retail customer. Long story short, they gave up this vendor and needed to move the pieces left in stock. Consumer wanted this look, that wasn't one of the options left in inventory.. Applied a couple of coats of white lacquer, then burnt umber glaze, then clear lacquer. I was as glad to be rid of this mfr as the retailer was. Not my tastes, but "whatever." Before During After. White spots across natural stained top are "dusty wax," another of their specialties that caused all sorts of problems. My wife always said it looked like "Insufficient housecleaning," which I guess was the intent. Dusty wax On Off And another job, same mfr, customer wanted the painted highlights on the front of this armoire, what was originally all stained.