Orange Wood

How to Tone Down Orange Wood – Step-by-Step Guide


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Orange wood is highly controversial. Some people love it while others hate it entirely. To be fair, orange wood has its own charm. Used sparingly, orange wood has the capacity to add a certain warmth to an area. But due to their surreal appearance, many people are turned off by the orange glare.

Whatever your reason might be, it is possible to tone down orange wood. This way you can get that brown or red shade on your wood that looks natural, desirable even.

Before finding out how to tone down orange wood, here is some trivia on orange wood. As the name suggests, orange wood contains an orange tinge. But it is not completely orange in color, like the orange fruit. Your typical orange wood actually has a bright yellow tinge, which looks orange depending on the source of light.

Many types of wood carry a natural orange tone. These include – Blue Mahoe, Purple Heartwood, Lignum Vitae, Ebony, Greenheart Wood and African Heartwood.

To begin toning down your orange wood, you need to gather some materials.

Materials Required

Before learning how to tone down orange wood, you need to assemble the necessary tools. You will need:

  • Stains – Blue, green or violet
  • Transparent Aerosol Toner
  • Painter’s tape
  • A cleaning cloth

Once you have assembled the things you need, it is time to learn how to tone down orange wood.

How to tone down orange wood – Methods

To learn how to tone down orange wood, you can choose between two methods. The first method is easy and quick, but only if the orange wood has not been coated with a protective layer. The second method involves the use of an aerosol toner that works well with orange wood already layered with a protective coat.

In this section, you will explore both options.

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Method 1 – With the help of a Blue-tainted stain

This method is useful only if there is no protective layering coated over the orange wood. Without the protective coating, using the blue-tainted method is a much easier way to obtain a desirable brown color on your wood.

The thing about wood coating is that woodworkers generally prefer to layer the first stain with another layer of stain. This is done right before the wood is sent for protective coating. When it comes to orange wood your safest best would be on a stain of blue hue. The precise shade that will neutralize the orange of your wood is Ashy blue.

Ensure that the blue stain is not too bold. Having a visible cool undertone is also important in browning the orange wood. By changing the hue of the secondary stain you can alter the color of the wood. For example, staining the wood with a violet-colored stain will impart a reddish look to it (almost similar to a cherry). If you choose dark blue stains, then the wood will carry a greyish color. On increasing the intensity of the stain, you can end up with an almost black color on the wood. So be careful when choosing the right stain.

Method 2 – With the help of a transparent Aerosol Toner

For orange wood which has already been coated with a protective layer, a transparent aerosol toner can help in toning it down. Aerosol toners usually come in spray bottles and can be applied directly on the wood. The purpose of using a transparent aerosol toner goes beyond the toning down of the shade of a particular stain (like orange). These toners can also be used for necessary touch-ups, especially for stubborn colors that are otherwise difficult to deal with.

To tone down orange wood using transparent aerosol toners, simply follow the steps mentioned below:

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· Purchase the right toner – The shade of your transparent aerosol toner will determine the final color of your wood. If you are looking for a regular brown or reddish stain on your wood, then choose between the color green or blue. Green will result in a mild toning down of the orange wood while blue will have a more powerful impact.

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· Protect areas of wood you do not want to tone – Coloring, painting, toning and spraying is nasty business. Your clothes can get dirty; your hands will get dirty. What you definitely do not want to do is to get the wrong section of the wood toned down. To prevent this, deploy a painter’s tape and demarcate the areas you do not wish to spray on. By doing this, you will save time and money from cleaning up all the mess you might end up creating.

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· Do your homework before getting to work – Even if you have used a transparent aerosol toner before, you should still read the instructions mentioned at the back of the can. This is because every spray can follows a different mechanism, requiring a different set of directions. In general, you need to spray the toner from distance of 12 inches (ca. 30 cm) to get the work done. But the transparent aerosol toner you have may require other specifications.

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· Wait for the toner to dry – Do not judge the outcome of your endeavors before the toner dries out on its own, naturally. You may think that the wood needs more toner, but please wait. Toners can take some time to show their full effect. If you spray extra toner without waiting for the last coating to dry up, you may end up with an undesirable wood color. So be patient.

· Finishing touches – If you are dissatisfied with the look of your wood after the first spay, you can go for another layer of toner. As with the previous step, wait for the second layer to completely dry up before making the final assessment. If you are satisfied with the result, congratulations! You have successfully toned down your orange wood. You should remove the painter’s tape now.


Hope you have learned how to tone down orange wood. As with all woodworking activities, wear your protective gear before commencing work. In this case, a protective gear will prevent your clothes from getting dirty. If you fail to tone down orange wood as per your requirement, do not worry and try again. Practice makes perfect!