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Fir is most often used for building; however, it is inexpensive and can be used for some furniture-making as well. It does not have the most interesting grain pattern and does not take stain very well, so it is best to use it only when you intend to paint the finished product. Douglas fir is moderately strong and hard for a softwood, rating 4 on a scale of 1 to 4. This wood is worth mentioning because it is very common at your local home center and it is so inexpensive you will probably be tempted to make something with it. Pine comes in several varieties, including Ponderosa, Sugar, White, and Yellow, and all of them make great furniture. In some areas of the country (especially southwest United States), pine is the wood to use.
Test out your colors with paint swatches and fabrics. Draw out plans of your rooms and sketch in the colors. If they work on paper, try painting small areas of your walls. You can buy any color paint in a sample size specifically for this reason. When painting sample areas look other rooms and how they connect so that you can create a flow from room to room so that the colors complement each other. An adjoining room may want a non accent or a neutral color, or conversely you can work with contrasting tones as well as long as there is always a semblance of flow.
Start by working from a color wheel. There are primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Primary colors are red, blue and yellow. They are pure colors and cannot be created. Secondary colors are orange, green and purple. These colors are formed when equal parts of 2 primary colors are combined. For example equal parts yellow and blue make green. As basic as this is this is where we begin the color selection. Tertiary colors are a mixture, in varying parts of secondary and primary colors to create different hues, as a result the primary and secondary colors become less vivid. White and black are often added to darken and soften these hues.
Solid wood — that is, wood cut into boards from the trunk of the tree — makes up most of the wood in a piece of furniture. The type of wood you choose determines the beauty and strength of the finished piece. Many varieties of wood are available, and each has its own properties. The following sections introduce you to the most common types of soft- and hardwoods. The most common type of cedar is the western red variety. Western red cedar, as its name implies, has a reddish color to it. This type of wood is relatively soft (1 on a scale of 1 to 4), has a straight grain, and has a slightly aromatic smell. Western Red cedar is mostly used for outdoor projects such as furniture, decks, and building exteriors because it can handle moist environments without rotting. Western red cedar is moderately priced and can be found at most home centers. Often referred to as Douglas Fir, this wood has a straight, pronounced grain, and has a reddish brown tint to it.
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