Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 136, December 2016 Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Shading Wood Finishing Tip
By Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher

When building a piece of furniture from beginning to end or when restoring an older piece we often run into the problem of inconsistent color throughout the wood finishing process. A good example of this would be the face frame of a chest of drawers where the styles going across the piece match but the styles going up and down appear to be lighter. This is usually due to the direction of the grain and lighting, or if the plywood or glue-ups that are used to build the case appear blotchy or inconsistent after the initial staining is done.

If this is the situation we mix up a "shader" using either an acetone or alcohol based dye mixed with un-thinned gloss lacquer to blend these areas together in order to even out the overall appearance.

Here are some tips:

  1. Always use gloss lacquer for clarity.

  2. If using more than one color always make more than you need in case you need more. You will be glad you did!

  3. It is better to mix shaders darker than the color you are after so less is used to achieve the match and you can save the rest in a mason jar for future use.

  4. The shading process should be done after the initial sealer coat so the color can be "buried" deeply within the finish, thereby lowering the chance of sanding through the color in the topcoats. We usually apply two coats before denibbing and moving on.

  5. When using conventional spray guns lower the pressure to 20-25 lbs so you can "float" the shader onto the surface.

  6. When using HVLP Finishing equipment the presure is set.

  7. When starting out, pull the trigger slowly. The more you pull the more color you get.

  8. The learning curve for this technique is quite extensive, however, once mastered, shading allows the finisher to have ultimate control over the entire finishing process.

  9. Most importantly this is where you really need to practice on plywood scraps to get the feel of it. Once you have the confidence to use this technique it will open up a vast amount of endless options with spactacular results.

Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at anoelfurniturere@bellsouth.net .You can also visit Alan's website by CLICKING HERE .

Visiting Atlanta? Attend one of Alan's upcoming highly informative Highland Woodworking wood finishing seminars:

Dec 14, 2016  Finishing the Finish
Dec 17, 2016  Finishing 101
Jan 4, 2017  French Polish Workshop
Jan 18, 2017  Coloring Wood
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