On a Southwest style home, Iím doing a job with rough sawn 1x6 Douglas fir latillas (sanded to 150 but with saw marks and character left in) installed on a 9í high ceiling. The latillas have been finished with Watco Danish tung oil (natural), resulting in that classic warm hue that Doug fir is noted for. The latillas are attached to the trusses and the vigas will be brought up underneath, supported by furred out 2x4 walls. The vigas are Engleman spruce (peeled and sanded), which is a very soft, rather dull, boring cream colored wood (yellows quickly). The local sawmill had the standing dead spruce so the homeowner went with them. However, tung oil does nothing to enhance the spruce. The homeowner wants the hue of the vigas to somewhat match the luster and warmth of the reddish-orange tone of the latillas. They donít have to be an exact match, because the finished product is on the ceiling, but we would like to have the vigas look ďcomfortableĒ up against the latillas. Iíve tried mixing many stains and made several samples, but havenít been able to make the vigas look comfortable (the spruce just absorbs too much and looks dull and lifeless against the Doug fir). I did just purchase some Zinsser seal coat, which I plan to dilute and experiment with a washcoat and perhaps some dyes, but this is a new process for me. Does anybody have a recipe for this situation or suggestions on how to proceed?
From contributor C:
Buy your oil soluble dyes from Lockwood dyes, just the primaries - red, yellow, blue (you can get almost any color from mixing these three). Strain and mix some in the tung oil/varnish, not directly to the wood, thin first with mineral spirits. Dyes come with the instructions for use and mixing.
I usually use white cheesecloth to strain, folded several times. It may take a couple times. Make sure there is no grit/trash/filler in it before proceeding.