I’m trying to match some aged birch cabinet doors that were originally finished with clear. Now that they have aged they are good and orange. The trouble is the customer wanted only a few replaces because they were water damaged. Of course I wish now I hadn't taken the job because it appears the sunlight can do to a clear finish what I cannot!
Trying 844 yellow oxide in CV gives me a green cast yellow, and I need an orange cast yellow. Currently yellow oxide is the only yellow I have so I tried toning on some orange made of toludine red in clear CV.
It is giving me fits as in the daylight color temp my target door color (old door) looks yellower than my test piece, but under incandescent light they are reversed. When I get a match with incandescent, the next day in daylight it is way too orange. Is there a different yellow 844 that could solve my problem - one that is warmer yellow orange instead of yellow green cast
From contributor J:
Maybe a Mixol color (or blend) would work for you. They sell in really small quantities.
Close is good. You know this now, but as a rule it is very difficult to match in one or a few new doors in amongst others that are several years old. If the original work is stained, the situation is easier as there is more variation to work with, but your situation (aged natural) is the most challenging in my opinion since you are pretty limited in what you can throw at it. Stick with dyes on this.
If you have a good supplier in your area you can send them a door and some wood cut-offs and have them match the color for you. Or you can get a color chart from Mohawk and order a few dyes that are in the right color range. Mohawk is one company that has a wide range of stock colors to choose from. Or you can take a door to the paint store, find a color chip that matches the door and have a quart of oil-base paint mixed to the color. Thin the paint way down with mineral spirits or naptha and then use it as a stain. Personally, I'd stick with a dye on bare wood. It will match the look of the aged wood better than a pigment stain or toner.
I tried some Belen medium wheat I had which has a yellow orange tone. I thinned it way down in acetone and have now gotten very close, just need a little more orange and I got it.
But now my daylight is gone and the target is turning way to deep orange. The kitchen where these go has big wrap around windows with tons of natural daylight, so I'm not even going to attempt to match in incandescent light. I will tell the customer not to expect the match to be the same at night, and also as Contributor C suggested that the natural aging will change things the way it wants to later on.
My biggest problem now, and why I hesitate to use dyes as stains, is spraying them on evenly. I thought I had the dye thinned way out enough to not get overlap streaks but the doors still come out streaky. My best luck has been to open up the fluid some and pull the gun back farther to waft it on more gently.
It’s harder than a sealer or topcoat cause there is not sheen to help me see how well it’s covering and the color is so light it’s hard to see it even going on. I guess a toner in the CV might be better for that reason. I got two doors nice but the next pair streaked on me.
Of course some spray guns just do a heck of a lot better than others when it comes to spraying dye without stripes. If you have more than one gun, give them all a try on some scrap pieces or even white paper.
To tweak the color towards orange add a little Behlen American Walnut dye. Spray the backs of the doors first. That will allow you to warm up on your spray technique and any minor striping won't matter since it'll be inside the cabinet. I'd do all the backs first before the faces.