Gold finish & Color Theory

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Forum topic by CEFreeman posted 04-25-2018 12:46 AM 688 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2721 days

04-25-2018 12:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finish stain mahogany door doors yellow

Hello! I’ve been a reader for a long time, but never posted. The Woodworking board on Gardenweb/Houzz brilliantly reminded me of the resources here!

SO….My dilemma:
I stripped a mahogany front door, and before I knew any better about oil yellowing, I used Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil on it. I liked the idea of the durability it is supposed to have, and indeed, it’s durable.

That said, it immediately turned my gorgeous door Gold.

I’m in love with gray-browns, and have managed to get the 2nd mahogany door, the sidelites and trim to the shade I love. (Who knew removing repeated staining layers with Citristrip could work so well!?)

Anyway, I realize I’ll never get this door to match all the pieces, but I’d absolutely love to tone down the darned yellow in it. Short of staining it dark brown with the same thick deck stain originally used, then stripping that all off, I can’t figure out how to neutralize the gold.

I’m leery of putting anything on it in case I just make it worse than it already is. i.e. Never ask God how something could possible get worse, because he’s happy to show you!

Any suggestions? Gray? A new door?

I appreciate your time!

7 replies so far

View Rich's profile


6939 posts in 1713 days

#1 posted 04-25-2018 03:55 AM

That’s a tough one. Can you provide any photos? That might help get some responses. Also, some idea of the degree of UV exposure would be useful.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Woodknack's profile


13559 posts in 3503 days

#2 posted 04-25-2018 04:30 AM

That kind of color manipulation is challenging without an artist’s eye for color because you don’t know the exact combination of pigments/dyes in the Cabot’s so it’s hard to predict how additional color will react. I would try extra hard to strip the Cabot’s back to bare wood. Also I would contact Cabot’s and ask their advice. It might get you somewhere and it might not, but I’ve often been pleasantly surprised at the level of professionalism and help from a manufacturer. They know their product better than anyone and I guarantee they have a guy who would geek out on trying to solve this problem, the only trick is getting to that guy.

-- Rick M,

View mrg's profile


883 posts in 4123 days

#3 posted 04-25-2018 10:29 AM

Are you sure that the oil just didn’t make the color POP? The beauty of mahagony Is the gold tones. Take some mineral spirits and wipe down your newly sanded door and see what it looks like before the mineral spirits evaporate, you will see the gold pop.

Post pictures, someone will come along with an answer.

-- mrg

View CEFreeman's profile


4 posts in 2721 days

#4 posted 04-28-2018 01:28 PM

Rich, thank you. The UV exposure is a shaded front porch. Never direct sunlight, but a lot of reflected light. The pics attached are just after sanding (before I also knew about Citristrip—actually it might not have been invented), before I got the chocolate colored Olympic deck stain out of the detail and before Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil. I’d love it if the door were even close to this color.

Woodknack, Cabot’s was less than helpful. I was surprised and disappointed. OTOH, I’ve also been given some just plain WRONG advice from manufacturers, too. But I try to have faith for the simple reasons you stated.

mrg, no. I have different mahogany pieces, including a “sister” door to this one, which I didn’t oil. (OIL! If I’d only known!) This puppy is GOLD. Gold-er than Golden Oak, Gold-er than pine. Speaking of which, I stripped an antique interior door and got heart of pine, which is even a more mellow gold than this mahogany door.

Luckily, I’m not shy about stripping things. As I mentioned, Citristrip will take stain out to bare wood with just one application, so when it warms I’ll get some help taking this heavy beast off the hinges, lay it down and slather the stuff on. It’s really cool to watch the stain lift out of the wood.

I guess I’ll let you know how things go!

View builtinbkyn's profile


3027 posts in 2064 days

#5 posted 04-28-2018 03:35 PM

That door looks more like oak than mahogany and could possibly be made from different species if it has been repaired thru the years or was originally intended to be painted. Also, unless you know the history of the door, that panel could have either been replaced or simply made from a different species when it was fabricated, if it was originally intended to be painted.

A glaze finish is probably the only way you’ll get the even tones you’re looking for. JMO

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View CEFreeman's profile


4 posts in 2721 days

#6 posted 04-28-2018 06:04 PM

Brand new in 2006, mahogany.
Remember, it’s probalby looking otherwise from the stain and subsequent sanding it had.

View Rich's profile


6939 posts in 1713 days

#7 posted 04-28-2018 06:44 PM

Not knowing how receptive to color that finish is, I was thinking that a weak solution of dye could be used and applied repeatedly until you get the look you want. That’s why I asked about UV, since most of them won’t stand up well. TransFast is supposed to be a good one for that as is Behlen Solar-Lux. A little fading probably won’t kill you since you’re really only using it as a toner to change the hue.

Bill’s suggestion of a glaze hadn’t occurred to me, but is definitely worth a try.

Maybe you can test on the top edge where it won’t be visible to people under 7 feet tall.

Short of stripping it and starting over, that’s about all I can think of.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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