Throughout the process I felt that achieving the 'right look' for a high-end architectural products showroom was just as important to you as it was to me.
- Richard S. Cohen, Feather River Wood, Wilmette
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Darkening Already-Finished Woodwork, Without Stripping the Old Finish

This week, we refinished a client’s staircase, taking it from a traditional oak color to a rich brown mahogany color. This client has been upgrading her house for many years and repainting as she went along. The last spaces she redecorated were her 2-story living room, a two-story foyer and upper hall, as well as the basement.

Wood Refinishing - After Wood Toning

Wood Refinishing - Before Wood Toning

During this past summer, she had her front door system replaced with fancy fiberglass doors, which we finished in a brown mahogany color. Upon completing that project, she realized that, when she is ready to redecorate the foyer, she would need to darken the stain color of her staircase, in order to balance off her new doors’ color. Achieving that change in woodwork color is what we call wood toning.

As painting contractors in the Chicago Northwest suburbs, wood toning is one of our specialties. Several years ago, we introduced our client to wood toning when we altered the blond color of her knotty pine ceiling beams, in her study, to a walnut color, in order to match the woodwork color of the adjacent room. So, in the case of her foyer, she knew exactly what to ask for. This is what happens when we educate our customers on the magical possibilities in the field of painting and decorating!

The wood toning process first involves the light sanding and cleaning of surfaces to eliminate any possible contaminants from the surfaces. We then use a gel stain to tome the surfaces with a thin veil of color over the existing stain color. This is the most critical step to achieve a beautiful look. It requires skill and artistry. Once toned, the surfaces are then varnished. Voila!