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Color wheels diagram to make color

There are many color wheel diagram made to show many different colors and displays the color harmonization. But at this time we will discuss about a color wheel diagram that is used for mixing colors. The color wheel diagram in here is made to make easier in the color mixing and making in the wood furniture finishing. The color wheel schema principally is very similar to the color triangle diagram (see our previous article how to make stain),  but with a wheel diagram hopefully it can describe more completely mixing. The color wheel may also easier to be understood by some peoples who familiar with the color wheel.

color wheel diagram

How to use the color wheel diagram.

Red, yellow, blue and black are the primary colors that can be used to make the other color. There many colors can be made from the mixing of the four primary colors. The rule in the color diagram is as follow: 
  1.  Mixing color side towards the circle will produce a color in accordance with the existing color in the diagram. The red color mixed with yellow color will produce orange, yellow mixed with blue color will result in green, blue color mixed with red color will produce a purple color. The mixing colors can be continued to make many other colors. For example, red color mixed with purple will produce reddish purple; purple mixed with blue color will produce a bluish purple color, etc. 
  2. Mixing the color towards the center of the circle will produce a brown color. All the colors when mixed with a balanced force will produce brown color. A brown color can be obtained from mixing the opposite colors in the color wheel diagram. For example, the orange color mixed with blue, red with green, purple with yellow and so on.
The uses of color wheel diagram for select the stain in wood furniture finishing.
This diagram can be used as a tool to simplify the choosing of color stain in the wood furniture finishing. In a solid color or paint finish, the color of the finish is fully determined by the color of the stain is used, so what we need to do is find the right stain color and then apply it until he completely covers the substrate. But in the wood finishing with transparent color, the final color is obtained from the blending of the color of the substrate and the stain color applied thereon. Since that the stain color selection should be well mix with the color of the substrate to produce the desired finish color. For example we want a dark brown finish color from the yellow pine wood. We need a stain color that will neutralize the yellow color in the wood. From the color wheel diagram we can see that the yellow color is opposite with purple. Then the stain we used should be purple brown.
The purple stain can also be applied separately before the application of brown stain. So we make the brown color with 2 stain, the first stain is purple stain to tone down the yellow and the second stain is brown stain to bring to the final color. The second process is known as process of color equaling on wood finishing (see our previous article: how to match color in the wood finishing).
This mixing principle is also can be used on a finishing process that uses 2 or more stain. For example, a finishing in solid colors with glaze application. Then final finishing colors always should be considered as the mixing between the color of the base coat as the underneath color with the color of the glaze on the top.

The uses of color wheel diagram in the mixing stain.

The color wheel diagram can also be used to simplify the stain mixing. The mixing stain color can be done in the same principle. For example: to make a purple stain, then we can mix the red stain and blue stain, if we want to make brown stain then we can mix the purple stain with the yellow stain. Now the finishing material manufacturer has already make stains in many colors that can be used directly. But sometimes the existing stain colors was still not quite fit to the finishing colors we need, so sometime we need to add some other color to adjust the stain. In this situation the color wheel diagram will also be very helpful to adjust  the stain color. The principle of stain adjusting is the same with the other color mixing (the rule # 1 and rule # 2). 

However the mixing stain may not such as that easy. We may need lot of trial and error to find the proper color. Currently, there are many stains that each has particular specification. We have to make sure that the stain is compatible mixed. The best mixing is if we use the same pigment type and the same thinner. 
The same situation in the process making color or matching color. Even the experienced finishing people still need to do some trial to find the match the color.  Especially when we deal with wood substrate. Each species of the wood has specific properties and may give different result if it is applied with the same stain. Even the same species wood if it is sourced from different origin can have different properties. A step panel is a very important toll and it could be the only one tool to make color in the wood finishing.

There still 2 more colors in the mixing stain, the black and white. The black color gives the similar result with the blue color in the color wheel. Please see the picture below.

 color wheel diagram with black color

While the white color if added will reduce the strength of the stain color to make paler or duller. For example when white is added to the red stain, then he will make a dull red or pale red. Same result to the other color, the white color added to the brown color stain will reduce the brown to become pale brown, etc. 


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