Testing a Corrective Toner Before Applying

Here's a slick trick for testing a toner to see if it will have the desired effect — before you spray it on and you're stuck with it. April 9, 2007

I built a maple bar that is a little bit darker and more red tint than the existing kitchen. The customer noticed it before I did and I am leery about being able to fix it. I know that to tone down red you need to use green. I want to make sure I am doing the right thing as this is already in place and would be disastrous to have to move. Any advice will be appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor L:
The green will brown out the red but it will do nothing about the darkness of the item except to probably make it darker. Do tests before spraying anything on the project.

From contributor K:
Mix your green shade and thin it for easy spray. Shoot a coat on a sheet of anything clear. Glass is close, but not perfect. I use photo album pages and peel back the clear sheet after I've sprayed it. Place it on the part to be eventually shaded to check the effect. Proceed when you feel good about the mix. Remember to topcoat the shade job with a good coat or two of clear finish. The Transtint colorants from Homestead make got good shade colorants. They have a nice green.

From contributor L:
That's a neat trick. I’ll have to stick that one in the bag to pull out later.

From the original questioner:
That is a great idea and I will try that. Thank you.

From contributor M:
That is a great idea Contributor K. I use MLC's Microton dyes. I add them to the lacquer (or CV). Green is indeed what you want, but it will darken it some as well - there's no other way to get out the red color.

My toner coat is always thinned at least 50/50 with thinner for a perfect flow-out and sprayed barely wet. Expect the dye to "darken" as it cures so shoot it a bit less intense than you want - it will darken as it cures. And just as said above, shoot a coat of clear over the toner coat. I shoot the final coat immediately after the toner coat has skinned over and is still "chemically wet" but nearly dry to the touch. That way there is no sanding of the toner coat.