I wanted to relate an experience I had today to perhaps save someone some
time and money in the future. I have some maple that I want to stain black
to approach something ebony-ish. I stopped by Rockler and picked up some
black stain from General Finishes. It's a water based stain. After
applying it, the color I would most associate with it is "gray". Not exactly
what I had in mind. I decided to then follow some other advice that I had
read in the archives about using india ink. I stopped by the art supply
store and picked up a pint, which also happens to be water-based. I used it
by just applying to my test piece and letting it dry without wiping it.
Now, that's more like what I had in mind. I may try to go over it again to
even things out a bit, but I'm pretty happy with it. Not to mention that a
pint of the india ink is about the same price as a half-pint of stain.