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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
Could anyone please give me a little guidance? I am wanting to change the colour of some speakers which are finished in lacquer over veneer. I want to use lacquer tinted with stain/dye but am unsure about where to start with the colour. At the moment they are a golden brown/chocolate brown rosewood and I want them to match my other gear which is much more red/almost black rosewood colour. I have seen dyes which look the colour I want, but I assume the examples shown will have been applied straight on to light coloured wood. As I'm starting off with a fairly strong colour, and I'm only tinting, will using the dye which looks the same work, or should I use a brighter red?. I know it's trial and error but the only place I can test is on the bottom of the speakers so if someone could point me in the right direction it would be great.
Thanks
 

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You can alter the tone of previously finished wood but if you need to alter the color very much it will start looking painted, sort of like gel stain. What I would recommend is to sand the lacquer with 220 grit paper to roughen the surface slightly and spray the dye first and allow it to dry which is usually only about 5 or 10 minutes. Then without doing anything else spray a clear lacquer over the top. Now, spraying a dye it looks like nothing when you apply it so you have to resist adding a second or third coat. It would be better to get it too light and repeat the process rather than getting it too dark. Once you get it too dark then you have to strip all of the finish off to fix it. I use this dye, Mohawk | Ultra® Penetrating Stain M520-01436

If you have the original stain you might make some samples on scraps and then try the dye on that first to work out how much dye to add or the color before you put it on your project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Steve, I never thought of doing that. I don't have the original stain, but if I get something close at least it will give me some idea before trying it on the speakers.
 

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You can alter the tone of previously finished wood but if you need to alter the color very much it will start looking painted, sort of like gel stain. What I would recommend is to sand the lacquer with 220 grit paper to roughen the surface slightly and spray the dye first and allow it to dry which is usually only about 5 or 10 minutes. Then without doing anything else spray a clear lacquer over the top. Now, spraying a dye it looks like nothing when you apply it so you have to resist adding a second or third coat. It would be better to get it too light and repeat the process rather than getting it too dark. Once you get it too dark then you have to strip all of the finish off to fix it. I use this dye, Mohawk | Ultra® Penetrating Stain M520-01436

If you have the original stain you might make some samples on scraps and then try the dye on that first to work out how much dye to add or the color before you put it on your project.
Another alternative is to wipe sand the bottom of the speaker just enough to give it teeth to bond. Use some hand mixed shellac. If you are going to depend solely on the dye I would get a super blonde or blonde. If you want to gain some red from the shellac you could use a garnet. build thin coats of the shellac and dye. The color will gett deeper with each coat. If you do not like what you see you can go backwards by wiping the shellac and color off with a rag and denatured alcohol. Once you get the color you are after you can topcoat it with lacquer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I’d use Mohawk toner. I’ve used it a few time and found it easy to use and works well.

That would match my skill level a little better, but there's only one place that sells that product over here and I just can't get to any of their depots at the moment. They don't ship I'm afraid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
B Coll - I like that idea as I'll be able to see exactly how it looks on the speaker. I am only an amateur though and don't have a clue how to use shellac. Does it take a lot of skill to apply?
 

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Shellac doesn't require a lot of skill, but it does require a bit of discipline. It dries quickly, so you must have the discipline to stop brushing! Many people brush and brush to smooth finishes, but the opposite is the case with shellac; you must brush it on with just a brush stroke or two and then leave it. If you can spray, it will go on very smoothly.
 
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