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Thread: Walnut coloring due to aging

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Runau View Post
    John, I have some WD Lockwood powdered walnut water based stain. If I use this diluted to my preference, seal it with dewaxed shellac, then a light oil coat of stain and Arm R seal, would this hold up on the coloring? thanks. Brian
    I don't know how light fast WD Lockwoods dyes are, Brian, sorry. I do know that Transtint dyes are very light fast, which is one reason they are my preferred dyes. Take a look at Lockwood's website and see if they at least say something about how light fast their dyes are.

    John

  2. #17
    Brian,
    In my experience, as well as self-educating through books and publications, the general consensus is that powdered dyes are not as lightfast as the liquids, such as trans-tint. Again, John is correct - asking the manufacturer is probably a good idea.

    Just to clarify, the wood generally still shifts color over time, regardless the type of stain you use. Your job with walnut is to reduce that shift as much as possible, without going overboard. I like to think of dyes like tinted glass, whereas, using a pigment based stain deposits particles in addition to a dye frequently contained in the oil. You mentioned adding a pigmented, oil-based stain over the top, so I'd say you're on the right track, as you now have introduced opaque particles that damp the bleaching effects of hard sun exposure. While dyes have the advantage of superior clarity, the pigments provide a unique advantage in this scenario.

    I'd avoid shellac wash-coats, if test results are acceptable, so the raw wood can grab more of those pigments and retain more deeply. In testing this way, you may find the dye + pigment is too much. At this point, try a 50% thinned shellac wash coat just prior to the oil stain. This is why I often use the aforementioned Minwax dark walnut. Lots of VanDyke brown pigment, lodging on the surface and pores, deepening the black walnut color and blocking sun rays like a dye never could alone, yet it really doesn't look contrived or too muddy from the pigments, IMHO.
    Again, John's info regarding topcoats with a higher UV protection factor would be the final step towards preserving that original look.

    So, in the end, that would be the maximum assurance of color stability; pigmented stain and extra UV protective topcoats, with or without a dye base colorant.
    Do some sample boards until you're happy with the look - you still want to see some of that walnut character smiling through the finish!
    Always a balancing act.

    (Can you imagine, in just a few years, how many people who spent extravagant bucks on live-edge walnut slab furnishings with a simple, easy oil finish will be wondering what in the world happened to their treasured piece of nature's artwork?)

    jeff

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    As mentioned, if you want to keep the color constant, or change as little as possible, you need to use a finish with a dual UV package. The only one I personally know of is SW's KemAqua Plus, but there are others. Note that I didn't say a finish with a UV package, I said DUAL UV package. The first UV inhibitor is typically a tin based compound. It protects the finish itself. The second UV inhibitor protects the underlying wood. Those compounds are called HALS, for hindered amine something something.

    Another way to minimize fading is to use a pigmented stain under your clearcoat. Many folks think that's a sin, but a lot of commercial furniture uses stain, and sometimes dye then stain, so the color will remain nearly constant over time. It all depends upon what your objectives are. I personally am not a fan of faded walnut so I typically dye the pieces I make with Transtint dark walnut dye and then clearcoat, and keep the pieces away from direct sunlight.

    John
    John:

    Lockwood says they will fade. So I am off to Rockler to get some trans tint dark walnut. I just want a light coloring, any suggestions where to start in terms of how many drops per how much water? I can start light and add more drops to the mix as I go to get where I want to go, but not sure where to begin. Thanks Brian
    Brian

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Runau View Post
    John:

    Lockwood says they will fade. So I am off to Rockler to get some trans tint dark walnut. I just want a light coloring, any suggestions where to start in terms of how many drops per how much water? I can start light and add more drops to the mix as I go to get where I want to go, but not sure where to begin. Thanks Brian

    8 drops of TT Dark Walnut in 30 ml H2O took this:



    To this, with Arm-R-Seal satin on top:




    It's browner than the photo shows, but at least it gives you an idea. I'd start at around 5 drops in 30 mls.

    John

  5. #20
    Thanks john. Very nice. Appreciate the help. Brian

  6. #21
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    I like to use WATCO danish oil with the Dark Walnut tinting to help keep it darker longer, and more uniform between pieces. One step, or add another topcoat.
    Hobbyist

  7. #22
    I like to use a light inlay, such as Maple, on many of my walnut projects. Of course it needs to be flushed up with a hand plane or sanding, so pre-tinting before the inlay is installed is not an option. While I have used TransTint dye on solid Walnut pieces, that seems impossible with an inlaid piece if the intent is to keep the Maple clean. I don’t think that masking tape would work. Has anyone found a solution to this?
    Last edited by Tim Andrews; 01-31-2023 at 1:15 AM.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Andrews View Post
    I like to use a light inlay, such as Maple, on many of my walnut projects. Of course it needs to be flushed up with a hand plane or sanding, so pre-tinting before the inlay is installed is not an option. While I have used TransTint dye on solid Walnut pieces, that seems impossible with an inlaid piece if the intent is to keep the Maple clean. I donít think that masking tape would work. Has anyone found a solution to this?
    Tim, do the inlay, as normal. Then carefully brush a coat or two of dewaxed shellac on the inlay. That will keep the Transtint dye from absorbing into your nice white maple. After you dye the piece, you can proceed with most any topcoat. Here's a set of walnut cabinets I made with maple and "oyster" (walnut branch cut on a diagonal into veneer) inlays.

    John





  9. #24
    Thanks John, Iím going to try that on some test pieces. My biggest concern would be getting a perfect edge with the shellac. It seems if you miss a spot or get some on the walnut, the result would not look good.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Andrews View Post
    Thanks John, Iím going to try that on some test pieces. My biggest concern would be getting a perfect edge with the shellac. It seems if you miss a spot or get some on the walnut, the result would not look good.
    There's no such thing as perfect. You just have to be close. If you miss some of the maple, that's bad, but if you get a little onto the walnut it won't show.

    John

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    8 drops of TT Dark Walnut in 30 ml H2O took this:



    To this, with Arm-R-Seal satin on top:




    It's browner than the photo shows, but at least it gives you an idea. I'd start at around 5 drops in 30 mls.

    John
    John:

    Good morning. You were kind enough to offer your experience using trans tint on walnut. I did a sample and happy with your 8 drops per 30ml. My problem is I have walnut that came from different trees I am trying to use up in a project and I have no experience with how the stain will even out the coloring on what I have. One pic shows a more reddish coloring on the legs, and the bottom shelf material. Other pic shows the box coloring a little more brownish, and the flat material I was planing on using for the top. The top material is washed out faded dirty brown coloring. Not sure if the stain will even out the coloring between all this wood so when it is assembled into an end table it would not look to odd. Appreciate your opinion. Thanks. Brian

    walnut top coloring.jpg walnut leg shelf coloring.jpg
    Brian

  12. #27
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    To further complicate your life, Brian, all that walnut is also going to change color over time...generally lighter to a golden brown. So there is risk with "custom coloring" at the component level as that could possibly show a few years later. Personally, I'd use the same dye overall if you want to color it to mask any differences now, but I generally don't color walnut and cherry because they change so much with time and UV oxidation.
    --

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

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    To further complicate your life, Brian, all that walnut is also going to change color over time...generally lighter to a golden brown. So there is risk with "custom coloring" at the component level as that could possibly show a few years later. Personally, I'd use the same dye overall if you want to color it to mask any differences now, but I generally don't color walnut and cherry because they change so much with time and UV oxidation.
    Jim, willing to stain it all. Seeing the variation in wood color, will it even it up enough to look passable? Thanks brian

  14. #29
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    Honestly, I think it will even up over time. All the walnut I have ever used was air dried and cut on my previous property. There was wide variation in color initially. After a number of years, it pretty much all looks the same in finished form. For me, that was BLO, wax-free shellac and waterborne topcoat.
    --

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

  15. #30
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    Lots of good conversation here. Here's some Woodsmith Magazine pedestal frames I made back in 2009.

    walnut change-2.jpg

    Here is the same base from a year ago after setting where diffused sunlight could reach it daily.

    walnut change-1.jpg

    Granted we are on the left coast where the sun favors us 9 months out of the year but, the effect is pretty obvious.
    "Never underestimate the power of negative people in large groups." - George Carlin (paraphrased)

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