The Beginner’s Guide To Black Wood Stain

Since dark wood aesthetics have grown so prevalent in homes in recent years, black wood stain has become quite prominent among DIY enthusiasts.

The Beginner’s Guide To Black Wood Stain

Darker wood stains have become increasingly popular recently in household furniture, cabinets, and hardwood floors.

This article will cover all you need to know about black wood stains and show you how to use them on your own household furniture.

What Is Black Wood Stain?

For those who are unaware, black wood stain is an oil, gel, or water based compound that dries quickly and thoroughly absorbs into wood pores to accentuate the organic wood grain.

It is perfect for use on all interior wood projects, such furniture, cabinetry, doorways, trimming, and flooring, and may be handled with a rag, brush, or foam dispenser.

If you’re looking to purchase furniture, you’ll typically find that black wood seems to cost more.

This is due to the fact that it has already been stained black by the original manufacturer.

There is a different sensation to black staining wood than there is painting it, and while it takes a little more time and effort, it is definitely worth the end result.

Staining furniture black, rather than simply adding a coat of paint, can give it a little more character.

This is well-liked among woodworkers, because doing the construction and staining themselves at home will result in significant financial savings.

You could always buy wood readily stained black, but it will cost so much more compared to doing it yourself.

There is a reason this effect is so popular; it looks great in so many people’s homes, as the color black seems to fit with most, if not all, themes.

However, if you are looking for this kind of effect, we absolutely recommend that you stain your already-purchased furniture yourself.

What Purposes Does Black Wood Stain Serve?

Many various types of furniture, cabinets, doors, paneling, and much more can be stained with black wood stain.

Not only can it be done, but it looks great when completed. Both indoor and outdoor furniture can be fashioned with it.

The pattern it produces in the grain is one of the factors it is so adored by both customers and crafters.

It can produce a stripey, zebra-like pattern, which is both incredibly fashionable and unique.

A coat or two of black stain gives any piece of furniture a little pizzazz without being overly dazzling, drawing too much attention from other pieces of furniture in the room.

For tables and desks that absorb some of the inevitable damage from your home, caused by children, pets, etc, black wood stain is also implemented to accomplish a sleek and long-lasting finish.

The pigment penetrates the wood’s microscopic pores, strengthening the surface.

A black wood stain will hold up and not show messes as much as other stains might, whether you’re dining, working remotely, or have pets running around your home.

‎If ‎‎you ‎‎ask ‎‎us, ‎‎there ‎‎aren’t ‎‎many ‎‎wooden ‎‎furniture ‎‎pieces ‎‎that ‎‎won’t ‎‎look ‎‎great ‎‎with ‎‎black ‎‎wood ‎‎stain.

However, ‎‎each ‎‎piece ‎‎has ‎‎a ‎‎different ‎‎level ‎‎of ‎‎complexity, ‎‎so ‎‎if ‎‎your ‎‎existing ‎‎furniture ‎‎is ‎‎a ‎‎bit ‎‎difficult ‎‎to ‎‎dye, ‎‎you ‎‎need ‎‎to try ‎‎to ‎‎prevent ‎ruining ‎it. ‎‎ ‎‎

You ‎‎may ‎‎think ‎‎that ‎‎you ‎‎are ‎‎improving ‎‎the ‎‎furniture, ‎‎but ‎‎if ‎‎you ‎‎are ‎‎not ‎‎careful, ‎‎you ‎‎ ‎‎may ‎‎end ‎‎up ‎‎spoiling ‎‎the appearance ‎‎completely. ‎‎ ‎

‎If ‎‎you’ve ‎‎already ‎‎used ‎‎a ‎‎stain ‎‎and ‎‎didn’t ‎‎like ‎‎it, ‎‎or ‎‎if ‎‎you ‎‎just ‎‎want ‎‎to ‎‎switch up the style of ‎‎a‎‎ ‎piece‎ ‎‎you ‎‎bought previously, ‎‎black ‎‎wood ‎‎stain ‎‎can ‎‎be ‎‎placed ‎‎over ‎‎an ‎‎existing ‎‎finish.

Why Not Just Paint Your Furniture Black?

So, as we previously mentioned, you could always simply use some suitable paint to color your furniture black.

This is, in fact, a less messy way to change the appearance of your furniture, and could potentially take up less time.

So, why stain your furniture instead of painting it? To put it simply, staining wood looks so much nicer than painting.

When you are changing the color of a piece of furniture, you don’t want it to look like it has been painted; you want it to look the same, but just colored differently.

If you want to paint your furniture instead of staining, you will need to make sure that you have the correct type of paint. If not, the end result will look tacky.

In order to completely seal and set painted furniture, you will need to apply at least two coats of paint and primer.

Anything that requires four coats, such as paint, makes the furniture appear somewhat flimsy and sticky.

Painting something, especially fine furniture, makes it appear manufactured and artificial. You will want to avoid this.

On the other hand, a stain gives anything a smoother aesthetic appeal, and this is as a result of less manipulation.

A stain that covers completely in one coat and lasts for years without showing signs of wear is more preferable, as it is much easier on the eye.

Visitors will think that you already purchased your furniture in a dark color if there is a decent stain on it.

It appears really professional and is, in our opinion, far superior to paint. Paint thinner will be required to tidy up the stain after applying; as it is oil-based, this will easily work.

You can get a premium foam brush in place of a brush if you don’t want to wash and maintain one, as this can potentially get a little messy.

You can also purchase bristle brushes that were manufactured for wood staining.

In either case, the result will be a lovely, flawless surface that endures for many years, making the whole work ultimately so worthwhile.

Ebony Wood Vs. Black Wood Stain

Given their similar hues, ebony wood and black wood stain are frequently mistaken for one another.

However, the difference is quite simple: ebony wood is not actually black, but rather, a very dark, brown-colored wood.

Compared to black wood stains, ebony wood is quite a bit lighter in color.

It may not be completely noticeable to the untrained eye, but when you look close enough, the difference can be crucial, especially if you want a black finish rather than a dark finish.

Genuine black wood stains are deeper and more solid, entirely concealing the wood’s grain as a whole.

This is one of the biggest differences, and it is definitely noticeable when you compare the two styles next to each other.

Contrasting to ebony wood, this results in a smoother and more modern aesthetic.

Your choice between the two basically comes down to your desired look, as well as the expense of each stain.

Appearance And Texture

Ebony might be a better alternative for you if you prefer the texture of the wood grain, and the intricacy that lies beneath it.

The black wood stain, on the other hand, can give you the pristine black appearance you desire if you prefer something more solid and smooth, without a grainy appearance.

The Cost

The fact that genuine ebony wood is both expensive and uncommon should also be taken into account while deciding between the two types of wood.

The majority of individuals choose another sort of wood when they hear the price, despite it being a highly sought-after resource in the United States.

You would be far better off saving your money and putting a black stain to the wood instead if you don’t care about the general grain of the wood, and simply want a darker-colored appearance for your furniture.

Future Lightening

Imagine that a year has passed, and you’ve decided to change the decor of your room by adding lighter-colored furnishings.

You can sand most types of wood to make them appear lighter.

Sanding won’t make ebony wood lighter. This is something you should absolutely take into account if you frequently alter your mind, and the aesthetic of your room.

Ebony furniture might need to maintain that dark shade after you get it. When you sand your wood, black wood stain will help the color come out lighter.

This increases flexibility overall because changing the appearance is not too difficult.

Staining Wood Black: A Step-By-Step Guide

Staining Wood Black A Step-By-Step Guide

You must apply black wood stain in a specific technique if you don’t want to mess up the whole project, or the stain may not end up adhering properly.

Applying the stain correctly is important, otherwise you risk wasting your effort, and you will have to start all over again.

The steps for applying black wood stain to your furniture are listed below.

  1. You should choose the ideal black wood stain first. Later in this post, we’ll discuss the top wood stains and why it’s crucial to pick the right one for your project.
  2. You must properly sand the surface of your artwork before applying the stain. You do this with a bit of paper with a fine to medium grit until it becomes a coarse texture, and then you clean it off. In order to avoid minor bumps in the wood after staining, make sure there is no dust remaining on the item.
  3. Next, the stain needs to be thoroughly mixed using an application brush. This is an extremely crucial stage because if it’s too thick and heavy, it won’t apply evenly to the wood.
  4. Start at the center of your piece after dipping your brush tip into the can, collecting a small amount of stain on the brush. Fine, lengthy strokes should be used to work from the piece’s center to its margins. Keep in mind not to paint too strongly, and stain until it is completely saturated.
  5. Once you have finished the first coat – potentially, the final coat – you will need to let the stain completely dry. The time that it will take will vary depending on the brand of stain that you are using, so be sure to check the tin before applying.
  6. If you want to add another coat once the wood has completely dried, do this next. Again, make sure that the wood is completely dry before adding more layers!
  7. Once you are happy with the color of the wood, and it is bone dry, you can take the sandpaper and sand the wood again. Once it has been sanded, use a clean cloth to remove any dust and excess product from the wood.

While this guide is safe to follow to stain wood, you should always check the tin, or container, that the stain came in beforehand.

There may be different instructions labeled on the tin, and you should follow those before following our guide.

Additionally, you will want to stain your wood in a well-lit area so that you can see the wood from all angles.

If you attempt this activity in a dim, poorly-lit room, there may be uneven blotches that you won’t pick up on until later.

Staining Exterior Wood

A lot of people like to stain their outdoor furniture black, as well as their interior furniture.

This is because the darker color lasts well in exterior settings, even when the weather changes.

True black staining, as opposed to painting, enables a straightforward, clean appearance that is not overly dense, but still provides a flawless appearance that will persist.

A black outdoor deck also complements any garden, regardless of the color scheme used there.

The benefit of using a color like black or white, or any other hue that goes with just about anything, is exactly that; the style of your furniture remains timeless.

Black is a neutral color that complements the majority of hues and styles, if not all of them.

A black wood stain will be considerably more enduring than paint when adding color to an outdoor deck, because you want the wood’s color to be strong and durable.

Black can be a terrific color for you if you need to stain an outdoor space, and it is a much faster and easier option than painting.

The Top Black Stains For Wood

Finding the right black wood stain for you is the first step in staining any piece of wood black, as we said in the previous section of this article.

Depending on what you are staining, a different substance will be required. Here are a few of the top black wood stains on the market right now.


Since it doesn’t require many layers, and it is semi-transparent, Minwax is a highly desirable oil-based stain.

As a result of its consistency, you will still be able to see some of the grain pattern through it once it has fully dried.

Your piece will be entirely cured and ready in 3 hours after being stained, saving you a lot of time.

In order to preserve the stain and make sure it lasts, Minwax also supplies the polyurethane that you must apply once it has healed.


Verathane is arguably the easiest product on this list to apply, since it combines polyurethane and stain into one product.

Because of this, you may apply both substances at once and save yourself a tonne of time.

This product is a quick and easy fix that works best for beginners who may not have stained before, and are searching for the simplest way to get started.

It only requires two coats, with a two-hour delay between each application, and dries entirely in four hours.

General Finishes

Another company that produces a high-quality, user-friendly interior black wood stain is General Finishes.

Given that it is a gel stain, it will not soak as thoroughly into the wood as an oil-based stain.

Overall, the color is richer as a consequence, but you will need to apply more layers. This also applies to their finish coat, which should be applied a day or so after your last coat.

If you’d like, you may combine this stain with other General Finishes stains to create even more color combinations.

You must wait for about a week before utilizing it, and after 30 days, it will be completely cured.


Last but not least, Behr offers a fantastic black wood stain for exterior objects. This stain combines oil and latex to produce a durable and rich color that is ideal for paneling and fencing.

You don’t have to be concerned about it fading in the sun, mildew or mold developing on it, or rain rinsing the color away because it is made to withstand any weather.

This means that it will take an awful lot to fade this immaculate color, no matter the product’s surroundings.

Final Thoughts

Our biggest piece of advice when it comes to staining wood black is to check that you are using the correct product for your project.

Failing to do this may ruin your furniture, causing you to have to start again from scratch.

When done correctly, applying black stain to wood can completely switch up the way an item appears, for the better.

We hope you found this article helpful.

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