Matching the Amber Tint of Pre-Finished Plywood

A finisher gets advice on adding a slight amber glow to drawer fronts and boxes to match his prefinished plywood cabinet interiors. September 3, 2010

I have cabinets constructed with a clear pre-finished birch plywood. I have to build drawers and roll out shelves and spray a clear, natural finish on them. There is a slight amber in the pre-finished stuff and I would like to have my work look similar. I'm sure lacquer would be fine, but I would like to try a waterborne product and still achieve the slight amber effect and some durability for kitchen use. Any suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
You could get some clear water based poly and add some colorant to get the desired amber color.

From contributor T:
Look at Fuhr Industries and Target Coatings. They both have solvent look products, meaning they have a slight amber or they color naturally with the wood. The other possibility is to find a natural stain.

From contributor D:
The easiest and quickest way to achieve this is with a spit coat of thinned diluted amber shellac. I know this is not a water-borne finish, but I have had no luck matching a lacquer based clear with water-borne counterpart. This technique dries very quickly, so you can apply your final water-borne coats.