The Easy Way to Stain Wood Darker

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This is The Easy Way to Stain Wood Darker, which will show you how to stain wood darker with a few easy techniques. This is a super easy process, and I’ll show you everything you need to be successful. Enjoy.

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How to Stain Wood Darker

the-easy-way-to-stain-wood-darkerMany times in woodworking, you will need to stain a piece of wood darker than it already is. You might also find that you have a finished project that also needs to be darker. In both of these cases, there is a simple way to accomplish your goal.

Wood stain is a wonderful product, and there are so many different colors available. This is by far the easiest way to darken any piece that you are working on, and you can find a product anywhere.

Whether you just like the look of darker woodworking projects, or you’re planning on changing the look of your living room furniture, going darker is definitely a good plan.

Darker colors tend to match with more designs, and it’s easier to go from light to dark than go from dark to light.

I’ll show you everything you need to know coming up, and you should be well-equipped for your upcoming project.

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See Also: How to Prepare Wood for Staining

All Stains Darken The the Wood

Every wood stain that you buy is designed to darken the piece of wood to which it is applied. Now, if you apply a very light stain to a very dark piece of wood nothing will happen. One thing that you need to pay attention to is the starting color of your wood.

That being said, most of the time you are not going to apply a stain to a piece of wood that is already naturally dark. The more exotic and better colored species of wood tend to be more expensive, so they tend to be left in their natural state.

Where people find that they need to stain wood darker than it already is typically comes from using common lumber like pine, popular, or oak. These are abundant wood species that are often colored darker to match different looks.

Thankfully wood stain can be found in thousands of different shades, many of them deep and rich dark colors. All you need to do is select one that you like, and apply it to the surface to give you that same look.

See Also: How to Speed Up Wood Stain Dry Time

Going from Medium to Dark

If you have a surface that has already been stained, but it does not have a clear coat yet, you can still go darker if you want. Let’s say you accidentally picked out a stain that’s a little too light, and you need to go darker. This is a pretty easy process.

The first thing that I recommend you do is find a scrap of the same species as your main project and apply the original stain. This way you have a test board, and you can see what your new stain would look like on top of the old.

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Select a darker stain than your original, and apply it to the scrap the same way that you plan on applying it to the project itself. This way, you get an exact representation of what the stain will look like on your finished project.

If you like the look, simply apply that same stain do your main project and you will make the color darker than it originally was. The nice thing about the scrap is that you can test several colors without accidentally ruining your project.

See Also: Using A Test Board

Double Coating with Stain

Another thing that you can do to stain wood darker is to just apply another coat of the original stain over the first. If you are not too far off on color, a lot of times just coating the surface again with the same color stain will deepen the look.

Again, I recommend finishing a small scrap and allowing it to dry out thoroughly before you do this process on your main project. It’s always best to test, and the one time that you completely miss the mark on your scrap you will be happy you didn’t touch your project.

Since the first layer is already completely dry, the second layer deepens the color and will definitely darken the look of your project. If it’s going in the right direction but not completely there yet, let it dry and apply a third coat.

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See Also: Staining Wood and Experimenting With Stains

Let the Stain Penetrate for a Longer Time

If you are just starting to apply your stain and you notice that it’s not quite dark enough, allow the stain to linger on the surface longer before wiping it away. Stain works through penetration, and the longer you leave it, the deeper goes.

All you need to do is fill your rag with stain and mop it on the surface to leave a noticeable wet layer. It doesn’t need to be a lake, but you definitely need to have a little extra stain than you would normally wipe off.

Leave that to penetrate for several minutes, and then wipe off the excess with a clean rag. Take a look at the color and see if you like it. If you need to go darker, quickly add more stain to the surface and allow it to penetrate for several more minutes before wiping it back again.

If a second staining doesn’t do the trick, you may need to resort to one of the tricks that I mentioned earlier in the post. Both of these will get you there faster, and you can get the color you’re looking for.

See Also: Rustic Wood Staining Technique

Staining Existing Furniture

If you’re trying to stain wood darker on existing furniture pieces, the game is only slightly different than staining raw wood. The biggest difference that you have to encounter is the clear coat that is already on the product.

If you’re looking for an easy solution, there are products that are sold to coat over things like kitchen cabinets and other commonly refinished items. These are self-contained products that you apply and they just work.

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Another thing that you can do is look for a penetrating stain, and you can stain right over the clear coat. Also, you can purchase a glaze and use a rag to apply that over the surface evenly. Both of these methods will darken the look.

The easiest method is to apply stain directly over the cabinets from one of the pre-made products that is specifically built for the purpose. You can also do the same thing on your wood furniture, it doesn’t necessarily have to be cabinets.

See Also: Staining Wood with Steel Wool and Vinegar

Your Action Assignment

Now that you know a few different ways to stain wood darker, it’s time to get out in your shop and take action. Pick up that project that you’ve been hesitating on, and test some scraps to see if you can darken the stain color.

It’s important to do all of your testing on scraps, or at least on a part of the project that’s not very visible, like the underside of a drawer. This way, you get to test out the look without having to commit the entire piece to either a huge success or a huge failure.

If you have any questions on staining wood for a darker look, please Post a Question in the Q&A Forum and I’ll be glad to help. Happy building.

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brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

  • 20 Years Experience in Woodworking
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Clear Coating Over Stain?
AnsweredBrian answered 5 months ago • 
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Do I Need a Clearcoat Over Stain on Furniture?
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What Finish is the Easiest to Apply?
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How do I finish a Cutting Board?
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How Thick Should I Apply My Finish Coats?
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