Help with achieving this dark gray/silver look on oak? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-23-2018, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Help with achieving this dark gray/silver look on oak?

Hi folks,

Total newbie here. Making a kitchen table to seat my growing family. I'd love to stain the oak a dark gray with black/silver tones, that still has the grain of the wood shining through. First pass looks just like boring, gray paint, no grain.

Any suggestions on how I might create this color below?

Thank you so much!
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-23-2018, 02:14 PM
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Ammonia fuming should produce a darker gray than iron/vinegar stain (which reacts wit the natural wood tannins.)
There's probably some gray dye in a can that's the modern thing to do (test on scrap).
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-23-2018, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SEMGK View Post
Hi folks,

Total newbie here. Making a kitchen table to seat my growing family. I'd love to stain the oak a dark gray with black/silver tones, that still has the grain of the wood shining through. First pass looks just like boring, gray paint, no grain.

Any suggestions on how I might create this color below?

Thank you so much!


It looks to me that they have first stained it black to make the figure pop, then sanded it down and stained it with some white/greyish stain.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-23-2018, 04:57 PM
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You might try staining the wood black with a dye stain first. Then apply a thin oil based white paint and completely wipe off the excess. If too much of the white stays on the surface try sealing the black first with zinsser sealcoat so the white stays just in the grain.
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-23-2018, 10:20 PM
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There are companies that sell barn wood but it cost to buy it. You might find something here.

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...arn+wood+stain

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-24-2018, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
You might try staining the wood black with a dye stain first. Then apply a thin oil based white paint and completely wipe off the excess. If too much of the white stays on the surface try sealing the black first with zinsser sealcoat so the white stays just in the grain.

yes, he propably should use a dye for the black layer as it will sand off easier and not obscure the grain. I guess he can make a white stain by dilluting white paint with white spirit, or if water based - water


I still think he needs to sand after the black layer thought, or the white stain wont look like white. The black stain will absorb more into the softer new wood, so he will only sand off the dye where the wood is harder and this creates the white-black effect. At least thats how I think this was archieved. Where the wood is the most white is where the wood is hardest and the nlack dye was easily sanded off, the more greyish areas i think still got some black dye left under the white stain

Last edited by Tom Lilletveit; 06-24-2018 at 01:03 AM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-24-2018, 01:05 AM
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yes, he propably should use a dye for the black layer as it will sand off easier and not obscure the grain. I guess he can make a white stain by dilluting white paint with white spirit, or if water based - water


I still think he needs to sand after the black layer thought, or the white stain wont look like white. The black stain will absorb more into the softer new wood, so he will only sand off the dye where the wood is harder and this creates the white-black effect. At least thats how I think this was archieved.
If paint is used I would recommend using an oil based paint. A water based paint sets up so fast you have difficulty wiping it before it dries.

The finish looks to me like the white has stuck to the open grain of the oak wood and wiped clean where the wood is solid. This is why I thought white paint would do it.
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-24-2018, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for their answers! This was really helpful. It makes me realize this color may be too difficult for me to achieve on my first project. Will just go with Minwax Classic Grey stain and hope for the best. Won't be as interesting as my original picture, but more likely to be a decent result vs a total disaster.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-25-2018, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SEMGK View Post
Thanks to everyone for their answers! This was really helpful. It makes me realize this color may be too difficult for me to achieve on my first project. Will just go with Minwax Classic Grey stain and hope for the best. Won't be as interesting as my original picture, but more likely to be a decent result vs a total disaster.
Don't give up. Do some experimenting with some scrap wood first.
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-25-2018, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SEMGK View Post
Thanks to everyone for their answers! This was really helpful. It makes me realize this color may be too difficult for me to achieve on my first project. Will just go with Minwax Classic Grey stain and hope for the best. Won't be as interesting as my original picture, but more likely to be a decent result vs a total disaster.

Its not difficult. As already said, try out on a scrap piece. You wont get anwhere near that finnish with just a grey stain. Try my method with black stain/dye (dye = best), sand, and then white stain. Or try the other method mentioned here.

Getting a nice finnish with just gray might be even more difficult cause you run the risk of the natural wood color showing through in the grains of the old harder wood and it will look nasty like in the picture bellow since the colors dont match very well. There is no simple way of staining wood, you gotta try out on scrap pieces beforehand and not be afraid of experimenting anyways.


If i were to stain it gray i would experiment with a wood conditioner to get a even color.
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Last edited by Tom Lilletveit; 06-25-2018 at 01:38 AM.
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