From the time a tree is felled, light and air start changing the color of wood – some lighten while others darken. Regardless of what we do, over time (and given just the right amount of light and air), the color mellows to those earthy, woody tones we all love. If it eventually becomes pleasing to the eye, why would we ever think about coloring wood?
There are several reasons you might consider coloring the wood in your projects. Most of us aren’t patient enough to wait for our furniture to look good. Surprisingly, we want our work to be visually pleasing from the outset. Additionally, most of us want the various parts of our projects to blend in color from one to another. And, as woodworkers, we want to use a less expensive species, yet make it look like something more exotic. To achieve all of this, colorants become a necessity.
For many woodworkers coloring their project is the scariest part of the process. After all, if you blow it on this step, it’s often difficult or impossible to recover, right?
The best finishers understand wood and use a small group of skills to overcome the trouble spots. Learning how wood reacts to different colorants gives you an advantage when it comes to finishing and helps to overcome your fears.