Custom Colors & Effects

Color is an entire world unto itself. I have been having fun with the endless possibilities of this art for some time.

In determining the best colors to apply to a certain species of wood, I take into account color harmony and the context by which the colors are going to be used. With the use of a handy color wheel and taking into consideration the scheme of colors in the same space the floor will occupy, I can recommend favorable options for colors with light, medium or heavy contrasts to natural grain and accentuated grain colors.

In visual experiences, harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye. It engages the viewer and it creates an inner sense of order, a balance in the visual experience. When something is not harmonious, it's either boring or chaotic. At one extreme is a visual experience that is so bland that the viewer is not engaged. The human brain will reject under-stimulating information. At the other extreme is a visual experience that is so overdone, so chaotic that the viewer can't stand to look at it. The human brain rejects what it cannot organize, what it cannot understand. The visual task requires that we present a logical structure. Color harmony delivers visual interest and a sense of order. Extreme unity leads to under-stimulation and extreme complexity leads to over-stimulation. Harmony is a dynamic equilibrium.

Long before there where man made stains available in a can, woodworkers were using chemicals that change the color of wood. These chemicals react with those present in the wood to form compounds that change the color. Techniques of chemically altering wood color are mentioned in the writings of a 15th century artisan named Vasari. I use these old world techniques and materials to alter or age the appearance of wood with chemistry and dyes, thus not using pigments to color the wood, which can cloud the natural brilliance of wood grain, but using pigments to accentuate grain or add depth of color.

Using such brews as "iron buff" or ferrous nitrate, which react to the tannins, or fuming with ammonia, which reacts with lignin and resins, all produce slightly different variations of a naturally aged greyed wood. I can achieve some of the deepest, most beautiful, natural colors using organic elements such as Van Dyke crystals from walnut husks, extracts from Gamboge, Dragons blood, Madder root, Brazil wood, Logwood and mixing them with mordants like, potassium dichromate and potassium carbonate, and natural tars like bitumen and burnt molasses for darker accentuations. The quality of anything the starts with, and mass produced colors use materials that are most plentiful and cheaper, thus lacking in their brilliance.

Only nature is as pure as nature and the wisdom of the ages is in using these natural materials, thus bringing Gods creation into our homes, and replicating an unadulterated balance of texture and color to our spaces for living. 
We also use newer technologies that include pigments in oil finishes, such as " Woca" oil, to accentuate a fumed floor, for instance, and is less in cost, because the color effect and application of an oil finish is simultaneous.

Matching existing colors for repairs, blending dyes, pigments, layering with glazes for color consultants and getting all the depth and richness out of colors that I can, and with techniques such as Antiquing, Pickling, Bleaching, French bleed, I am able to provide you with any look, you are attempting to achieve. It is rare to achieve the ultimate desired look by opening a can of stain and applying it. You may accept it, but if you compare it side by side with a color that has an added layer or its composition is tweaked a bit, with a little more time you can get a superior depth of color.

A floor can be installed and sanded perfectly, but if the color doesn't hit the mark, you have to decide, do you live with it or do you re-sand and start over. Samples are the key for dialing in a color that is acceptable, and once a color and or effect is accepted we make a 3 ft. x 3 ft. sample, using the same methods and machines to most clearly reflect the clarity, depth and over all qualities that was chosen for your finished floor.

It's fun stuff and beautifully unique as we work with you in creating a look that you were part!