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There's no denying that color has a powerful impact on our emotions. The colors that surround us can make us feel happy, sedate, sad, upset, etc. That's why one of the most important factors in your stain project is selecting the right color. But with so many colors to choose from, how do you know which one will give your wood the desired look and emotional effect?
Subjective vs. objective Color is, of course, a subjective matter. Everyone can list the colors they love and hate. But before you choose a color for your project consider this: You are not the only one who will be living with it.
Factors that influence color perception There are many factors that influence the way a color looks on a finished project. These include the wood's color and substrate texture, subcoats applied to the wood and the light source.
Wood color and substrate These two factors will affect the appearance of stain products. Porous wood will absorb more stain and allow more of the substrate to show through.
Subcoats When staining, it's important to remember this: the first coat of a two-coat system will usually appear darker than the second coat. The second coat will tend to be ”smoother“ and will reflect the light source more uniformly. This reflected light may even appear to cause the coating to have a slightly higher sheen. So don't judge the color from the first coat alone. And remember, even clear finishes aren't entirely clear, and will, in fact, affect the color slightly.
Light source Every source of light has a different color.
For example, incandescent bulbs tend to be warmer and yellower than fluorescent
lights. Indoor surfaces that are near a window may also be affected by both
interior and exterior light sources.
Exterior light can change dramatically during the course of a day: Sunset light tends to be golden; evening light is often bluish.
Some things to remember
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