How Do I Stain Furniture Black?


Most interior decorators believe that every room should contain at least a few touches of black. Furniture made of ebony wood fits the bill, but it is rare and expensive. A good alternative is to stain furniture black to achieve the same look. Also called ebonizing, this process works best on woods with fine grain, but can also be done on woods with larger grain, such as oak. Dye stains, which penetrate deeper into the wood, are best for staining furniture black.

Things You'll Need

  • Sponge
  • Black, water soluble aniline dye
  • Distilled water
  • Plastic gloves
  • Sponge brush
  • Sanding Sealer
  • Rags
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Dampen stripped or unfinished furniture with a sponge soaked in water to raise the wood grain and allow furniture to dry for 24 hours.

  • Sand furniture with fine sandpaper to remove raised wood fibers and wipe with a tack cloth to remove dust.

  • Mix aniline dye powder with distilled water according to manufacturer's directions.

  • Pull on gloves to protect skin.

  • Apply dye with a sponge brush. Repeat until desired shade is achieved.

  • Let furniture dry for 24 hours after applying dye.

  • Apply a sanding sealer to the furniture piece with a rag and allow to dry for 30 minutes.

  • Buff furniture piece with a lint-free cloth to achieve desired luster.

Tips & Warnings

  • Store unused dye in a cool, dark place in a tightly-sealed container for up to six months.

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  • Photo Credit beautiful furniture image by Leticia Wilson from
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