A solution made by dissolving rusty metal in white vinegar will react with
the tannins in the wood (of which oak has an abundance), resulting in a black
color. A drop of dish soap will lower the surface tension of the solution,
when you apply it, so that it will get in to the pores of your oak boards. A
little light sanding to knock down any raised grain, then clearcoat.
This is one way!
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The vineger and steel wool or nails thing works real well.
If you sand it after you will take off the stain. Touch it up with a black
sharpie. I would use NGR stain myself.It's more of a dye than a
stain.Brelen's makes it.
You can have the best of both worlds by "fuming" the oak before
installation, a technique which was popular about 130 years ago. It means
building an outdoor airtight tent out of plastic sheets, stacking the oak
with plenty of circulation space in between planks, then pumping in ammonia
gas (a small tank from a gas supplier will do nicely). This will darken the
wood amazingly, right down to a rich ebony color if you want it that black.
The advantage over painting is that the wood grain is still visible, and the
overall effect when properly varnished is quite impressive. Do some research
first and experiment with a small batch of the flooring before you go all
the way. Ammonia is lethal stuff, so alert your local fire department in
advance and don't even think about doing it indoors.
I've also heard that you can apply a strong ammonia solution to the
unfinished oak floor directly, but the outside tent is safer in the long run
unless you have access to a hazmat suit with an independent air supply.
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