Finish

I have come across a couple of pieces in the last few months that folks have asked me to either duplicate or restore. The problem is matching the finish. On both pieces, the finish was a varnish/urethane over a brown stain with decided yellow high lights.
Anyone have any idea what this color stain is? All I know is that it was used on a lot of inexpensive/cheap furniture made about 30-40 years ago, or maybe longer.
Thanks for any suggestions.
Deb
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Sounds like it is time to buy a few flavors of transtint dye and do some mixing and testin'. Keep in mind color won't be true until after you apply the film finish, especially with dyes which look dead until finished. So the tests should do all the steps up to and including wax. If you find one that is close you can try placing a toned (dyed) film finish. Sometimes some yellow in some shellac can add the final warmth.

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I agree that you will have to buy some different colors and practice your tone on tone.
Most of the old furniture finishes were just sprayed on, the covered with some type of lacquer. A favorite of years ago was "provincial maple" which around here was the color of a Hershey's milk chocolate bar. Yellow streaks can easily be found in these old finishes as the resins degrade in the finish and pull slightly away from the wood due to shrinkage. When purchased, it probably had no fading.
Of course, there was the famous "golden oak" which was used on just about everything for a while.
Streaking can be caused from a lot of different issues such as placement in the home, exposure to air flow (go ahead and look at the grime on that table you put by the return air vent), exposure to sunlight or a strong lamp, pads or covers left in it, etc.
Be aware that asking "what color is this" over the internet is like someone asking, "how many fingers am I holding up now?"
Robert
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