I need to make some rails and stiles with black color. I want to stain
and not paint. I've reviewed some of the older links to this sort of
topic and not exactly any sure-fire easy answers.
I'm willing to work with any wood, although I do have lots of oak and
cherry on hand always.
Anyone found a decent off the shelf solution?
I once tried the Vinegar and steel wool technique:
Got some white vinegar, poured some in a jar, shredded some fine steel wool
into it. Let it sit for a coupel days. Shaking occasionally.
Then I dunked a piece of oak into it.
It definitely turned black but not deep dark black. More of a grey. I dont'
know if the ratio of vinegar to steel wool would affect that.
I tried india ink as a dye. Got it nice and black but it came off when I
brushed on some varnish later.
Tried minwax ebony stain. Worked ok. More brown than black.
Replicas of 15th-19th century nautical navigational instruments:
Oak blackens easily. Painting or dipping with liquid ammonia solution,
about 25% (not gas fuming) will give a dark colour similar to oak that's
a few hundred years old.
The iron acetate / vinegar and wire wool ebonising solution gives an
even darker black on oak. Search this group for details.
Cats have nine lives, which is why they rarely post to Usenet.
India ink works really well for me, and gives a truer black than
ebonizing stain. Just make sure you use an appropriate top coat, or
you could dissolve the ink. (I started with Shellac, and that took
the ink right off, but water-borne poly worked just fine)
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
I've ebonized a handrail made from poplar using a water-based Transtint
black dye. I used three or four coats of the dye, lightly sanding
between coats to remove any raised grain. Then finished using a
water-based gloss polyurethane. It turned out jet black and shiny almost
like a black enamel paint job.
In retrospect, I would probably use fewer coats of dye next time since
the handrail shows virtually no grain. It does however show any and all
imperfections in the wood because of the gloss.
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