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Thread: Ebony stain

  1. #1
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    Ebony stain

    I have just finished building a couple of bookcases and a computer desk for my #1 son. I used Oak plywood and trimmed it with oak face frames with the idea of applying red oak stain on the project. When all joined together, it is 133" wide and will take up one wall of his home office.

    My problem is that my sweet daughter-in-law wants me to stain it black and black it will be. However the biggest problem is that I have never used black stain and don't know what it is supposed to look like hence I can't tell whether I'm doing it right.

    Can someone suggest any referrences or make suggestions?

    Sammy

    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

  2. #2
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    RE: Ebony stain

    I think what it is supposed to look like is subjective. Generally you can continue darkening a stain by applying additional coats, so I would have the DIL take a look at it and if she wants it darker, apply another coat.

    I've had decent luck ebonizing white oak using iron/steel filings. Moisten the wood, rub the filings on and let them sit overnight. The tannin in the oak reacts with the iron and turns the wood black. Reapplying darkens the color in this case also.

  3. #3
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    RE: Ebony stain

    Yep - you can get the same effect from Copperas, from the garden center. It's ferric sulphate, and it's what yields "rabbitwood" from sycamore - the only non-species wood type differentiation in the entire woodworking world. Its effect on sycamore is slight, though, compared to its effect on oak. I've completely blacked oak with it, blacker than a pair of fresh-shined military shoes.

    Speaking of which... black shoe polish (which is carnauba wax mixed with lampblack) works very well to ebonize wood, too, provided you're good with the waxed surface.

    -- Tim --

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  4. #4
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    RE: Ebony stain

    I have never done it myself but I want to see how it turns out. Pics please.

  5. #5
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    RE: Ebony stain

    the ebony stain is acually pretty nice. It's not overally dark the wood grain shows threw nice. I would sugest two coats of stain and it should look sharp.

  6. #6
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    RE: Ebony stain

    I've had good luck with black aniline dye powder, alcohol based (methanol). It can be mixed in graduated strengths. Most any finish can be applied when the dye is cured.

  7. #7
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    RE: Ebony stain

    To get a very dark black on oak, I used Minwax ebony stain followed by black Transtint dye. (Or was it dye followed by stain?) My formula for the dye was 2 oz bottle of dye w/ 3/4 cup of water and 2 1/4 cup of alcohol. This didn't raise the grain but the addition of the water made the dye easier to spread w/out it flashing off too quickly. I used a foam brush. It does run a little bit, so be careful if painting on a vertical surface. Also, be careful what top coat you use so that it doesn't pick up too much of the dye. Test first on scrap or something.

  8. #8
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    RE: Ebony stain

    Thanks guys. Pics will follow in the completed projects section. Later.




    Sammy

    South of Atlanta

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

  9. #9
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    RE: Ebony stain

    I had tried to use ebony stain on a maple item, attempting to get the rich black color of Asian furnature without covering the underlaying grain with black paint. Tried both minwax ebony stain and home made ebanizing(sp?) using steel wool. No matter what I did it always came out grey, prestain didnt help, in order to get black I had so many layers of stain that the top layer did not stick to the under layer. I finaly found some black oil based paint that was thin enough to show some grain but still went on army boot black. But it killed me inside to paint something I had worked so hard on.

    If you have any better luck please post the method and type of wood you used.

  10. #10
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    RE: Ebony stain

    That sure is pretty Jack. Can you tell us more about it?

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