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Thread: Sapele too orange....opinions on solution?

  1. #1

    Sapele too orange....opinions on solution?

    I have wonderful ribbioned Sapele, but it's far too orange after planing. I've worked with Sapele many times and had great success using Transtint in toning lighter boards to match darker ones. However, I need to "cool" the color this time. Obviously, experimentation is the key....I've done nothing yet but I plan to start with a very light brown/DA mix (I have several TT brows in my shop) on a test piece. Also, I notice TT has a blue dye available which I do not have in my shop....was considering buying the blue as logic/color wheel would dictate mixing a cooling color would work.

    I have any of you run into "too orange"?
    Thanks,
    Fred

  2. #2
    Try a two part wood bleach. Should be able to dial back the orangeness.

  3. #3
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    You are on the right path. Transtint Blue or a mix of Green and Red will move orange towards brown. Don't be afraid to use a combination of dyes to get the color you are after. That will allow you to shift the color in small amounts that's often impossible when try to do it with just one, where the only levers you have are concentration and number of coats. Of course, try your ideas on scrap until you get it right.

    John

  4. #4
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    I also don't like the orange cast in mahogany and its friends. I used to "dye" my way around it with a bit of blue dye but, have found time can be your friend. Here's some sapele with an oil varnish blend after about 6 months.

    GnG Wall Cab (178).jpg
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 04-19-2019 at 8:27 AM. Reason: clarity
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  5. #5
    Finish it in a waterbased finish. I have used Enduro Clear Poly, and has no amber to it; in fact, it goes on slightly blue but dries clear.

  6. #6
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    Theory says that the approach is to add color from the opposite side of the color wheel, so if your current color is too orange you'd need to add blue/green to bring it down. Practice is, of course more "interesting" than theory. Try any dye out on a piece of scrap sanded in exactly the same way as your piece, and complete the finishing schedule all the way through, as the color will change with different layers of finish, generally leading to non-good surprises.

    house-painting-kitchen3-300x300.jpg

    I've just had the interesting experience of cataract surgery. As well as the expected effects it's also as if all the illumination in the world has been cranked from 2300K (a soft yellow glow) to 5500K, (bluish daylight), and I realized color perception truly is in the eye of the beholder, and made me even more resigned that I'lll never get colors "right"! So at least look at your piece and the samples under the most common intended illumination.

    Adding brown dyes should, in theory, add more orange and take you in the wrong direction.

  7. #7
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    Orange is difficult as it is a combination of red and yellow. It's hard to beat yellow whereas red is easy to counteract so you have to be careful you don't end up with a yellow-brown. Patience as per Glenn's advice is the best solution but if you don't want to wait, remember that any attempt to colour change is going to darken the job. That being said, Prashen has good advice that should work. Cheers

  8. #8
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    You lost me there, Wayne. A dead clear WB finish won't change the color; it will still be orange afterwards.

    John

  9. #9
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    John, it won't colour change as such but will remove the chance of amber tones from the clear. By comparison with hydrocarbon based clears, it will appear to reduce the orange.

    My actual preference is to scrap the lot and start with timber that has a base colour that can be worked with. Timber finishing is intended to enhance the timber, not bludgeon it into submission. My second choice is to wait it out and let it age in the light.

    Neither is really what the OP was asking however. As solutions they are financially challenging and/or a bit demoralising. I try not to offer either type of advice. Don't they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Cheers

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    You are on the right path. Transtint Blue or a mix of Green and Red will move orange towards brown. Don't be afraid to use a combination of dyes to get the color you are after. That will allow you to shift the color in small amounts that's often impossible when try to do it with just one, where the only levers you have are concentration and number of coats. Of course, try your ideas on scrap until you get it right.

    John
    Thx. I will def go the "creep up on it" route on scraps. Gonna say this out loud so I remember....I MUST DOCUMENT TT DROPS IN MY TEST MIXES. How did I mix that again....lol

    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    I also don't like the orange cast in mahogany and its friends. I used to "dye" my way around it with a bit of blue dye but, have found time can be your friend. Here's some sapele with an oil varnish blend after about 6 months.

    GnG Wall Cab (178).jpg
    Very nice Glenn. I agree to an extent, as I have Sapele projects that started brown and became richer brown, some that started brown and went redish, and some that started brown and went slightly orange-ish.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Lomman View Post
    Orange is difficult as it is a combination of red and yellow. It's hard to beat yellow whereas red is easy to counteract so you have to be careful you don't end up with a yellow-brown. Patience as per Glenn's advice is the best solution but if you don't want to wait, remember that any attempt to colour change is going to darken the job. That being said, Prashen has good advice that should work. Cheers
    I have a bit of room as the orange is quite bright, but your point is well taken regarding darkening. I do not want to wind up too dark.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Lomman View Post
    John, it won't colour change as such but will remove the chance of amber tones from the clear. By comparison with hydrocarbon based clears, it will appear to reduce the orange.

    My actual preference is to scrap the lot and start with timber that has a base colour that can be worked with. Timber finishing is intended to enhance the timber, not bludgeon it into submission. My second choice is to wait it out and let it age in the light.

    Neither is really what the OP was asking however. As solutions they are financially challenging and/or a bit demoralising. I try not to offer either type of advice. Don't they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Cheers
    Good point on the amber tones and an oil based varnish schedule is my "go to" finish. I've read water based has come a long way, but it's a confidence/control thing with me....I know how my "go to" will go on initially....and look after a decade.
    Thanks,
    Fred

  11. #11
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    Yea, Fred...we all need to remind ourselves (frequently, unfortunately) to document the tests better! "D'oh!!!"
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
    Everyone's screen is different so may not look too orange, but figured I post couple photos. The sweeping ribbons and often interesting side grain is why I love this wood so much. Thanks to everyone for the EXTREMELY helpful advice.

    Sapele_1.jpg


    Sapele_2.jpg
    Thanks,
    Fred

  13. #13
    +1 on John T's advice. I have encountered the same problem you are facing. In my case blue pigment added to my finish worked perfectly. You could accomplish the same with Transtint or a blend of transtints as John suggests.

    One safe way to do this is to seal your wood with your finish of choice, let's say DW shellac, and then add blue tint (or a combination of tints) to heavy bodied natural or clear glazing medium and use a dry brush to remove, blend and work the glaze it until you see what you want. If you don't like what you see, remove it all. If it's heading in the right direction but not all the way there, do it again. When you have what you want, topcoat with your oil based varnish.

    Creep up on it. Looking at your photos, I would say you only need a subtle change to accomplish what you want. It is easy to go too far which is why I suggested glazing because you have a lot of control and total reversibility. Alternatively, if you work out your solution on scrap with reasonable certainty, then you may not need the control or reversibility, it would be your call.

    I do not fully understand the suggestion to use a clear based WB finish and nothing else. I cannot see where this would accomplish anything if changing the present color tone is the objective.

  14. #14
    "I do not fully understand the suggestion to use a clear based WB finish and nothing else. I cannot see where this would accomplish anything if changing the present color tone is the objective."

    The use of a water-based topcoat (at least the Enduro product I referenced below) will make the final, finished sapele look less orange than finishing in an oil-based finish.

    To that end, even sealing with DW shellac will exaggerate the orange in the sapele. I use Zinsser Sealcoat precisely this way - to encourage amber when using a wb finish.




  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    "I do not fully understand the suggestion to use a clear based WB finish and nothing else. I cannot see where this would accomplish anything if changing the present color tone is the objective."

    The use of a water-based topcoat (at least the Enduro product I referenced below) will make the final, finished sapele look less orange than finishing in an oil-based finish.

    To that end, even sealing with DW shellac will exaggerate the orange in the sapele. I use Zinsser Sealcoat precisely this way - to encourage amber when using a wb finish.



    Okay, I get it now. You're right that WB will keep "too orange" from becoming "way too orange". But the OP is trying to resolve "too orange", in other words change the present color tone.
    A colorant like blue or blue/green will do this. If glazing or toning, any trace amber from the DW shellac will disappear in a NY second in the face of the tint.
    Your suggestion is great if he is satisfied with the existing color and just doesn't want it to move but that's not what he's after.


    Edwin

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