Intrinsic Colour Collection


belonging naturally; essential.
“access to the arts is intrinsic to a high quality of life”

What is the Intrinsic Colour Collection? A set of 12 shades of distinctive and mature colours, 9 of which are shades unique to this collection.

Being water based, they afford you a longer working time than alcohol based stains and dyes. They sink deeply into the wood and preserve the appearance of the figure in the wood, releasing the hidden subtleties and enhancing chatoyance. Apply more than one coat of dye to build up sumptuous depth of colour and atmosphere, and add a black or earth undercoat for an even more dramatic effect. The downloadable video guide available (here) goes into depth about using the colours in a variety of techniques.

Need a technique guide? Download these free .pdf instructions (4.15MB)
Click here to download your .pdf Intrinsic Colour Collection Colour Wheels (3.7MB)

Download Martin’s own 27 minute long Intrinsic Colour HD video from his website by clicking HERE to see the instructions put to work. Watch the trailer below.

For the adventurous colourist, Intrinsic Colours can be mixed together to create even more shades or thinned with water for a lighter shade.

Available in complete smartly boxed sets of 15ml sample bottles and 150ml bottles the sets are a brilliant and affordable way for woodturners and woodworkers to try them before taking the plunge with the full size 250ml bottles. To find a stockist, Click Here. Please note not all stockists carry the colours yet. Please ask your local retailer to order some in for you.

Intrinsic Colour Guide:

The Intrinsic Colours photographed on sycamore with 1 coat of Hampshire Sheen Danish Oil over the top*
  • Black: In several coats you can build up a deep, pure black shade.
  • Burnt Orange: A dark orange, on the orangey side of brown.
  • Earth: A warm brown, the colour of drying mud. Sounds bad, but makes a great undercoat or accent colour.
  • Flame: A bright yellow-orange. Add luxurious fire by blending with Burnt Orange and Ruby.
  • Forest Green: Rich green, quite dark, a lot like Jade. A great accent colour and blends well with Straw and Honey.
  • Honey: A glorious yellow. Superb as a bold single colour or a ‘wash’ overcoat.
  • Midnight Blue: Deep blue with hint of purple. Add to quilted figure and catch the purple glint as you turn the piece.
  • Plum: Sumptuous Purple. Looks quite Royal, lending an air of expense to your work.
  • Ruby: Darkish red, Ruby adds a deep and opulent shade which blends superbly with Burnt Orange
  • Sky Blue (previously called Stone Blue): A fairly bright blue. Mixes magnificently with Midnight Blue.
  • Pear Green (previously known as Straw): A rich yellowy-green. Very pear-like, one of the brightest colours and mixes well with Stone Blue to create a luxury green.
  • White: Nearly pure white, this colour is perfect for turning the other colours into pastel shades for even more creative options.

*Colours shown are for reference only. Accurate colour rendition may vary from device to device. It is recommended you test the colours before committing them to your work.

Below is a YouTube playlist of showing Martin Saban-Smith (the creator) and other creators using the colours on their woodturning projects. There are various ways to apply the colour, and these videos show many of them. You can find more videos on Martin’s channel by clicking (HERE).

Lightfast? No colour is 100% lightfast. They will all fade in time. The pigment manufacturer has given me assurance that they are light fast for at least as long as a normal household paint. To increase the lifetime of the colours, keep finished pieces out of direct sunlight and consider using a UV filtered finishing oil underneath the final finish as an additional layer of protection.