Color or solvent Dyes to correct an “orangey” tone on exotic hardwood

Michelle M

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Thank you for reading my post. I’m excited to learn more about finishing and expand my possibilities!  
I have an unknown to me species of hardwood from Peru.  (Bought from the importer off of Craigslist) Finished with pre California ban Waterlox original and satin.   It is very “orangey” and sometimes red like a Sapelle.  

I’m aware that I will need to go to bare wood to attempt a color correction 

I’ve eliminated stains as a possibility.  Samples look very artificial.

I have allot of this lumber and would like to find a solution and reinstall it.  
I am actively investigating using dyes (water or solvent?)and possibly a 2 part bleach to change the tone.  Which isn’t something I’ve done before. 

my questions are….

*I’m unclear on what to purchase water or solvent based dyes?
*Is a 2 part bleaching needed? If so is a neutralizer needed and what? 
*Is blue dye the best way to start and move to brown based hues in successive washes?  If not what? 
*is a dye application best sprayed vs rolled and wiped? 
* if I use grain filler to pop the pores at what point in dye process is that done.  Does the use of solvent vs water dyes affect use of fillers?

I will use Hopes and citrus solvent as my “sealer”.   

Thank you



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  • Michelle M changed the title to Color or solvent Dyes to correct an “orangey” tone on exotic hardwood

I would ask, what color tone are you trying to achieve? Changing the wood from its natural color, without looking like paint, is more art form than science. If possible, I would avoid bleaching, because it can affect the cellular structure of the surface, and change the wear properties of the wood.

Perhaps a color wheel would help you get started. Lots of paint stores have them available, and I know Sherwin Williams has a line of alcohol dies. Find the color on the wheel that most closely matches the natural wood, and pick a dye from the opposite side of the wheel. Apply in light layers until you achieve the look you want. Use a "water clear" topcoat that is carried in water, not oil, to minimize ambering.

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Hi thanks for your feedback.

A darker brown color or even a mimic of rosewood is my aim. Using the color wheel is why .
I think to use a blue dye as a way to diminish the orange hue.  It is not to create a blue board. 
I have had excellent results with Tung oil in furniture refinishing. That said Tung oil will not help me on my stated goal of diminishing orange.  That drawback is still preferable to a neutral finish (plastic)that sits on top of the wood. 

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