Clear Finish Color Correction

Misting with purple successfully turns an ugly yellow finish to a rich brown tone. November 25, 2005

A customers wanted aromatic red cedar posts and beams installed in their great room to accent the loft area. We selected the logs and after working them, sealed them and applied a clear coat. Most of them came out a beautiful banyan brown, accented with splotches of red where the knots were removed. However, some of the logs, for lack of a more descriptive phrase, look like babys**t. They have a very ugly yellowish hue around the knots. Short of replacing the logs, I'm looking for a solution to soften and blend that color so that the logs match the other logs. I've tried a brown stain, but it highlighted the yellow. What colors should I use to eliminate the yellow color?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor G:
Yellow and purple make brown. I would try making a very transparent spray stain and fogging it on lightly with an airbrush. Something along the lines of 4 parts blue Microton, 1 part red Microton and 20 parts thinner. This will bite into the finish and you can put more clearcoat on over.

From the original questioner:
Thank you so much for your assistance. Your solution worked great.

From contributor R:
When I studied color theory, yellow + purple made grey. They are complementary colors and cancel each other. What you are doing is mixing all three primary colors, which in theory should make black, but as most pigments are not true primary colors, you get grey. Shading or glazing with purple will cancel the yellow; however, I think I would use more of a red-violet or else add a little red after canceling the yellow with purple.