" " wisno wood furniture finishing: Triangle color theory for wood finishing

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Triangle color theory for wood finishing






triangle color diagram




Color is an important element in the finishing process. The color is one thing that always be viewed by the quality control person. The reason why people want to finish his furniture is to make a specific color for his furniture. The process to make color is by apply the proper stain in the proper way. The proper stain means the stain with the right color.The finishing material industry has provide the stain with many color to serve the finishing industry. An the finishing person just need to choose the right stain and applied the stain properly to get the right finishing color.
One tool that can be used to simplify the color selection is by using the color triangle theory. In or previous article we already write an article about : how to use the triangle color theory for mix color. Now I will try to share how to use the triangle theory to choose stain in the wood finishing with transparent color. 
Transparent color is finishing with the final color is still showing the basic color of the substrate. Transparent color is much preferred for finishing to the wood furniture, because it will show the beauty of the wood grains and pores, the unique value of wooden furniture. At the transparent color finish, the final color is the result of the blending from the wood base color and the color of the stain applied on. When we make the stain we need to consider to the wood base color. Sine the wood base color is already there, then we need to adjust the stain color so it will blend and mix to get the desired final finishing color.
The most common color used for wood finishing is the brown. However there are a lot of brown color, such as reddish brown, dark brown, light brown, yellowish brown, etc.
If we have the wood with light-color, then we can use the stain with color is about the same with the target of the final finish color. But the fact is each type of wood has a certain basic colors, for example: mahogany wood has a red color, oak has green brown color, pine has yellow color, etc. Then the proper stain may need to neutralize the wood base color.

If we need to equalize the wood color, then we need top get the right stain that can blend with the wood base color and bring to the "brown" color. In this case we can use the 2nd law in the triangle color theory : "mixing color towards to the center will produce brown color"  The more explanation are in the mixing color diagram below.



Orange and Blue is Brown


Orange and Black is Brown


Green and Red is Brown


Purple and Yellow is Brown

For example we need to finish mahogany wood to a dark brown color. The mahogany wood has red color, how to bring the color to dark brown? From the color wheel and color mixing table above we see that to produce the brown color red color must be mixed with green color. Therefore, to end up with dark brown color, the red mahogany wood need green stain or a greenish brown stain.

The same way to the select the color for equalizer stain and sap stain. For example we need to finish the wood with varied base colors as shown. In the picture you can see that there is a wood furniture with many color from part to part.
 


unfinished wood furniture with variation base color

There are some different color in the wood base of the furniture: red, light yellow and white. We need to event color first before we do staining this suit to bring to final color. We need to even color with the appropriate stain. The selection of the stain used is depending on the wood color; usually do to bring the varied base color to a brown, even color.
The red part is stained with a green stain; the yellow is stained with purple stain, while the white part is stained with a brown stain. All the stain applied are to bring the varied color of wood to be an even brown color. After we get the even wood color than we can apply the other finishing materials such as body stain, sealer, top coat and glaze colors to achieve the desired results. By this process we can expect to get better match final color.
This same principle is also can be use at the time when we apply pad stain to even the final color. In the finishing process sometime we find that after top coat or sealer the result color is slightly away from the target, such as a reddish, greenish or yellowish. To bring the color to the desired color, we need to tone down the color to go to the right color. We can apply some pad stain in small amount to reduce the "too much" color. We can apply green pad stain to tone down the reddish color. We can use the yellow stain to neutralize the dark purple color, etc.

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