Ebony stain not dark enough - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-01-2016, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ebony stain not dark enough

Hey all, need some help. I'm working on a project made from red oak. I applied ebony stain and it's just not dark enough. I let the first coat of stain dry and applied another coat thinking I could darken it up a bit, but no luck. I rarely use stain so my experience is a bit limited.

Is there a good way of darkening what I already have? I thought spraying dewaxed shellac and then black transtint in a water based poly.

Is this a bad idea? What other options do I have? Thanks for any help you could give.
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-01-2016, 10:10 PM
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Are you using TransTint black for your ebony stain? Have you tried mixing it in a higher concentration? You can put TransTint in the dewaxed shellac too if you want. Lastly, there's a dye called Feibings oil dye. It's blacker than night.
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-01-2016, 10:18 PM
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I've had good results with Transtint added directly to shellac solution; multiple coats (I like to spray it on) builds up color quickly. Their Dark Walnut is a *powerful* stain- with my first use it actually got too dark for my liking. Now I just add one drop of stain to about 2 ounces of shellac, so my guess is you'd get a good deep dying with a few drops.

I have no experience with adding dy to poly.
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-01-2016, 10:23 PM
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Read this article. I've used this formulary to ebonize red and white oak. The Bark Powder Tea I ordered from a leather supplier. I tried to upload some photos to show you how great that stuff works but it's not allowing the upload to go through.

No. I only do that when I'm drunk.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-01-2016, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
Are you using TransTint black for your ebony stain? Have you tried mixing it in a higher concentration? You can put TransTint in the dewaxed shellac too if you want. Lastly, there's a dye called Feibings oil dye. It's blacker than night.
No. Transtint was a thought I had to try and darken the stain I already applied (oil based).
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-01-2016, 11:23 PM
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Don't know how dark you want to go but I got my red oak pretty dark. I used a vinegar and rusted steel wool solution and it turned the oak dark black. I actually whitewashed the sanded floor with a gray paint before moping the rusty vinegar solution onto it. If I didn't whitewash the floor was too dark for me. So if i were to put two coats of white wash down I could have lightened the floors up more, or if I would have used a more of a diluted white wash the finish would be darker. All the wash does is prevent the rusty vinegar from penetrating into the wood to far. Once the solution is applied it turns dark within minutes.

I guess you could also whitewash with a water polly also. I was just looking for gray hints in the wood.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-02-2016, 12:31 AM
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A dye stain such as transtint is more similar to ink. It can be used to supplement a color where a wiping stain won't. It's a bad habit getting into applying two coats of an oil stain. If you manage to allow any to dry on the surface it can interfere with the adhesion of the finish. Anyway about the only way you can darken with a second coat is to do it immediately and adding more pigment to the stain. It doesn't take very long for the first coat of stain to seal the wood prevent absorption of any more stain.

I like this dye stain. http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/cata...asp?ictNbr=178
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-02-2016, 12:51 AM
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Davidcarl: That is an absolutely stunning result. I've never seen a floor done that way. BRAVO!
Oaks, red oaks in particular, have enough tannin for the iron acetate to hit the bull's eye.
You have done a magnificent job.
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-02-2016, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
Davidcarl: That is an absolutely stunning result. I've never seen a floor done that way. BRAVO!
Oaks, red oaks in particular, have enough tannin for the iron acetate to hit the bull's eye.
You have done a magnificent job.
Thanks for the compliment. It tooks weeks of trial and error before I came to that process. Once I found it it was real easy to apply which is just to get the wood wet. And very inexpensive 3 gal of vinager and a pack of steel whol.

Not sure if this would work for the original posters problem as his wood is sealed already.
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-02-2016, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jdonhowe View Post
I've had good results with Transtint added directly to shellac solution; multiple coats (I like to spray it on) builds up color quickly. Their Dark Walnut is a *powerful* stain- with my first use it actually got too dark for my liking. Now I just add one drop of stain to about 2 ounces of shellac, so my guess is you'd get a good deep dying with a few drops.

I have no experience with adding dy to poly.
Thanks for the suggestion pertaining to my exact question. I picked up some black transtint and added it to a 1.5lb shellac and snuck up on the color. Worked perfect.

I normally do not use stain (especially ebony), but the tinting of shellac has me curious about what else I can do with it. Seems to be much more subtle than just stain and I can really dial in the color a lot more so than I can with stain. Thanks again.
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-02-2016, 08:14 PM
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Yeah, I am really a novice as far as finishing, and never have had the skill set or patience to work with stains without getting a lot of blotchiness and gross grain patterns. For me, dyes have been the answer- as you said, when added to shellac you can "sneak up" on the depth of color you want by adding multiple coats. Glad it worked for you.
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-02-2016, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Barn owl View Post
Thanks for the suggestion pertaining to my exact question. I picked up some black transtint and added it to a 1.5lb shellac and snuck up on the color. Worked perfect.

I normally do not use stain (especially ebony), but the tinting of shellac has me curious about what else I can do with it. Seems to be much more subtle than just stain and I can really dial in the color a lot more so than I can with stain. Thanks again.
I wouldn't make it a practice of adding transtint to your finish. Sometimes you have to but it's a foreign substance in the finish which will shorten the duty life of the finish a little.
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-02-2016, 08:44 PM
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A simple way to get better stain penetration is to sand back to a heavier grit by hand after finish sanding by machine.
For example, I finish sand pretty much everything with an orbital to 150 grit. 150 can close up the pores in the wood however, not allowing the pigment to transfer fully. To remedy this I put a piece of 100 grit paper on a sanding block and hand sand with the grain to rough up the surface a little. Has to be done by hand though, or it will leave a bunch of swirl marks because the 100 grit is pretty heavy.
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