I mix my own stain colors using a mixture of paint thinner, naptha, linseed  oil and colorant. This allows me to get the exact color the customer wants.

Usually the customer will show me a picture or a piece of furniture to match or maybe just describe the color to me. Then I get to create it.

This is one of the most fun aspects of my job. I enjoy doing this. It’s a challenge to get that exact color they’re looking at in their head.

Now, it helps if you can read their mind but if you can’t that’s no excuse, because you can do everything else right, but God help you if you get the color wrong.

You can say, “But look, it’s beautiful, it’s absolutely flawless and this finish will last for a hundred years.”

And she will look at you and say, “You *%#*&%#, for the next hundred years I have to look at this everyday and puke because I hate this color!”

So, getting the color just right is a priority with me. And the only way you can be assured of that is to be able to mix your own colors.

I did not attend art school and sit at the feet of the old masters as they imparted their wisdom to me. Rather, I learned from other finishers, from my own research and from endless trial and error.

From way too many times having the color just about perfect and then going, “hmm, I wonder what’ll happen if I add just a little bit of this.” And I’m sure you know how that turned out.

So, anyway, this mixing color thing is an ongoing process. I’m always learning something new- there is, after all, an infinity of colors out there.