|The top two sections of this sample shows the colors achieved after five and 10 hours of ammonia fuming, respectively. The lower half of the photo shows the two sections after a clearcoat is applied. There is a slight difference in color between the two sections.|
|These four samples show various combinations of colorants on quartersawn oak. Clockwise from top left, red colorant with a little black gives a mahogany color. The next sample features burnt umber, a reddish brown color. The next sample combines raw sienna with burnt umber to produce a yellow-brown color. The last sample is just raw sienna, which gives a warm yellowish color. All samples were coated with a few applications of an oil finish.|
The photo on page 52 shows a panel that was ammonia fumed. The top section, which is a tan color, was fumed for about five hours. The bottom section is dark brown and was fumed for about 10 hours.
The lower section of the photo shows the samples after they were clearcoated with lacquer, showing the subsequent color change in both the light and dark sections. This is a good example of how clearcoating can change the final color of the finish and why I always suggest making complete samples.
Here are a few universal colors I used to make up the stained samples: Red and black produce red mahogany shades. Burnt umber or Van Dyke brown with black produce many shades of brown. Raw sienna and French ochre give shades of yellow. You can combine these colors to create a multitude of other colors as well.
I use a method I call âstain dilution,â in which I take these colorants and reduce them down with the proper solvent to different percentiles. This gives me other shades of the same color. I stain a sample of the same wood with each reduction, allow the sample to dry and clearcoat the stains. The photo at left shows an example of my stain dilution chart. An additional four photos on page 54 show other colors that can be created using various colorants.
When you make your samples, the wood must be clean, well sanded and free of dust or any residue. Making up complete samples not only allows you to remedy any problems you may encounter, but also it allows you to make sure all your finishing materials are compatible.
It may take some trial and error to get the color you want. But it is always worth the time you put into learning.
Mac Simmons is a freelance writer and 40-year veteran of the furniture finishing, refinishing and restoration trades. Questions may be directed to him in writing c/o CWB, 400 Knightsbridge Pkwy., Lincolnshire, IL 60069 or via e-mail c/o firstname.lastname@example.org.
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