How To Darken Wood For The Better Result

You must carefully select a dark stain to darken the wood. It means you consider the wood’s original color before selecting or adding a stain.

Darkening wood is the process of staining or darkening wood’s natural grain and color, which usually results in darker, richer tones.

Two methods work to darken the wood through stains, and the other without stains.

Stains darken wood by changing the color of the wood. Of course, applying a light stain on an already dark wood is useless.

To darken your wood correctly, you must know how to darken the wood.

How to darken cherry wood

While other woods require to be treated with chemicals to enhance the color, cherry wood is different. It contains a natural stain that you put outside under the sun.

The sunlight will handle the rest. You need to wait at least a year to obtain a deep coloration. Such a result happens if the exposure is indirect or the light is low. However, dark brown will appear after years of exposure.

If you do not want to wait for the light to shine, try darkening a cherry wood with a stain instead. Choose a stain that is specifically for this type of wood.

Unfortunately, using a stain has the major disadvantage of naturally preventing the cherry wood from darkening over time.

How to darken wood furniture

Firstly, wipe an inconspicuous area of the furniture with a towel. You dampened it with spirits to eliminate dirt and impurities like grease and wax.

To reduce the shine and keep the new lacquer to the old, lightly sand the area with sandpaper. Remove the sanding dust with a damp and clean cloth.

Apply the colored polish to the area after it has dried and let it cure for a few days. Check with your fingernail once the varnish has dried to see if it clings to the old surface. If it works, go ahead and do the rest of the cabinets.

If you want to make wood on furniture darker, the rules are a little different from when you stain raw wood.

The clear coat that is already on the product is the biggest difference.

If you want a quick fix, you can buy products that coat over things like kitchen cabinets and other things that are often refinished.

These products have everything you need to use them, and they work.

Linseed oil to darken furniture

Linseed oil makes the table and beds look like they are made of gold. Moreover, linseed oil feeds the lignin and keeps furniture from getting scratched.

Because heat makes them harsh and causes them to dry more quickly, use boiled linseed oil.

You can use a piece of cloth or a brush to put it on. Before you put it on, clean the wood surface to eliminate any dust. If you don’t, it might stick to the table.

Once a year, put linseed oil on it to keep it from drying and make it shine.

Gel stains to darken wooden furniture

Gel stain darkens the color of the wood; stir it constantly, and then you may easily dye the table.

Before applying gel stains, clean the furniture; if the dirt is not removed, the table will have an unsightly finish.

Gel stain on wood furniture provides a smooth appearance and takes less time to dry. The gel stain takes 30 to 36 hours to dry; then, apply another coat of the gel stain.

Using a lint-free cloth, apply the gel stain and then wipe away the excess with a clean cloth.

Gel stains come in many colors; find the right one for your project.

Glazing to darken wooden furniture

Glazing is the same as staining, but the colors are thicker, and Glazes are not made from a solvent but are water-based.

Because it has good pigmentation, it doesn’t need an extra coat like the other stains.

It brings out the wood grain, making them look pretty and shiny.

Tips to Maintain Your Darkened Wood Furniture

  • Use a soft, dry cloth to dust often.
  • Wipe it down occasionally with a slightly damp cloth and dry it immediately.
  • Use placemats or trivets for hot dishes and coasters for drinks.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight and sources of heat.
  • Chemicals, solvents, and cleaners can damage the finish, so don’t use them.
  • Don’t slide things across the surface because this can damage the finish.
  • Instead of dragging furniture, lift it.
  • To keep the finish looking nice, polish it often with good furniture wax or oil.

How to darken wood without stain

Vinegar is a substance that should not be underestimated because when combined with iron, it causes a chemical reaction that quickly darkens the wood.

Most tea drinkers have noticed that tea leaves a dark stain on the cup. This is due to the tannic acid used in the production of dyes.

For this reason, tea can be applied as a wood stain, as wood can absorbs the color quickly.

As a rule, start with a cleaning spot on the surface of furniture or wood. After that, check that it is completely dry and free of dust.

Prepare a mixture of vinegar and brush it directly on the surface. Examine all sides, including the place where you cannot see directly. Tea leaves can also be used in this way.

There are some advantages to learning how to darken wood without stains: creating a non-toxic dark and environmentally safe stain and Saving money on buying commercial stains.

How to darken wood naturally

A natural shade has a certain beauty that promotes calmness and serenity. You may see a bench or several seats when going to a park. Few of them are made of wood. The shade is meant to blend in with nature as outdoor furniture.

For the natural darkening of wood, you must let nature take its course. In this case, you do not intervene.

After some time, the wood will turn dark, even black. The sun’s rays hit the surface of the wood directly. This is comparable to the tanning process.

However, you must be patient because this process takes a long time. Moreover, the wood will be ruined if you do not use an additional protection.

The first step you take is sealing before placing the furniture outside.

How to Darken Pine Using vinegar and metal

Pine is popular because it looks rough and full of knots. Even more important, it is usually light in color. For example, the eastern white pine can be white or yellow, and its dark knots stand out.

Most of the time, people choose darker colors because they need to match the rest of the room’s decor.

Even so, there are different ways to make pine wood darker without stain.

Vinegar has acetic acid, which can combine with iron to make a homemade stain for wood.

To use these two things, you must get the acid and the metal to react with each other by dissolving an iron object, like a ball or a steel wool pad, in vinegar.

The solution will be iron acetate, which reacts with organic molecules and other natural things in wood to change the color of the wood.

Prepare the wood surface

Sand the surface with medium-grit sandpaper to eliminate any uneven spots, and then finish by sanding with fine-grit sandpaper.

You can sand off an old finish or use white vinegar to remove it. Once the paint has softened, you can wipe it off with a spatula or soft wire brush.

Before proceeding to the following step, lightly sand the wood to smooth it out.

Prepare your stain

While the wood is drying, you can make your iron acetate solution by putting a steel wood pad or rusty nails in vinegar and letting them dissolve.

Place the steel wool pad or rusty nails in a glass or plastic container with a lid, and let it there for 24 hours.

Iron acetate will be made when the iron reacts with the acid in the vinegar. The longer you leave the iron in the vinegar, the darker the solution will get.

Vinegar and Steel wool combinations

  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar and a steel wool
  • 1 1/2 cup of white vinegar and rusty nails
  • 1 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar and a steel wool
  • 1 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and a steel wool

Pigment the wood surface

Use a mesh strainer to remove any pieces of metal from the solution.

Put the iron acetate on the wood with a paintbrush dipped in the solution.

After you put the pigment on your project, give it at least a full day to dry and then look at the result. If you like the color, your job is finished.

If you think the color is too light, add another coat the same way you did the first. Let it dry out all the way.

Make sure you spread the solution evenly so that it coats the whole surface of the wood.

How to darken wood with coffee or tea

Pour a cup of ground black coffee into a bowl. Make sure it has heat resistant label. Pour boiling water into the bow.

This step must be done carefully to avoid spilling water and the coffee.

If the combination is not quite cool after 30 minutes, wait longer. Put a filter in a sieve. Make sure it is open and placed in the middle of the sieve.

  • Pour the coffee mixture through the sieve into a container.
  • Use a jar with a large enough opening to fit a brush through.
  • If you don’t have a chance to work outdoors, lay out a tarp indoors to work on.
  • Sand the furniture or wood with fine sandpaper. Sand lightly and smoothly alongside the grain.
  • Brush the coffee mixture onto the surface of the wood.
  • Let it dry once you have coated the entire surface.
  • You can add more coats several times until the result is what you like.

How to darken furniture using wood stain

To avoid scratches, sand the furniture or wood in the direction of the surface grain. Stop sanding when the entire surface of the wood has been gently sanded. Check again to make sure the wood is completely smooth.

Add a coat of conditioner to the wood using a brush. Open and stir a wood stain thoroughly before applying. Some stains are settled at the bottom. You need to scrape and collect them with a stirrer.

Remove excess stain from the wood with a rag. Remove the stain from the wood by wiping it in the same direction as the wood’s grain.

Dry the wood according to the instructions on the label. You will know how long you should wait before applying a new coat.

What product is not suitable for making stained wood darker?

Not every product you buy is designed to darken the piece of wood to which it is applied.


Polyurethane is a clear sealant, so it doesn’t usually change the color of the wood.

It will make the wood stain brighter or lighter because polyurethane is clear and will let light reflect on the existing stain, making it lighter.

It takes a few months for oil-based polyurethane to turn yellow, so this is not a quick way to make your wood stain darker.

Clear Stain

Because the finish is clear, clear stains don’t make wood darker. Instead, clear stains make wood stains lighter because the finish is clear and lets light reflect off the stain.


Lacquer is a clear coat like polyurethane, so it can’t make a wood stain darker.

Even though lacquer can turn orange or yellow, making the wood look darker, it takes a few weeks for these yellow tints to show up.

Most of the time, the difference between the old color and the new tone isn’t very big.

How to darken wood with Lasur

Lasur is a material that protects the wood and can also be used to make the wood darker.

One of the best ways to treat wood that will be outside is with an impregnating action coating.

It gives the wood an “open-pore” finish that lets it breathe and controls the humidity, making it easier for the moisture to escape.

Because of these things, lasur is a great alternative to dye. In addition to making the wood darker, they protect it, so you don’t have to use wax on it as you do with dyes.

But the way to move forward will be pretty much the same:

Sand the wood and clean the surface

As with the stains, the wood will need to be well sanded and cleaned to ensure the lasur gets into it well.

Prepare the lasur

You may make any color you want using lasur by mixing different hues.

Apply the lasur

Depending on how opaque you want the final product to be, you can add more or fewer layers by using a roller or a brush.

How to darken wood with dye

Wood dye is usually called tint liquid. The product consists of liquid and powder that are ready to buy. You just mix well properly. Powdered dyes can be used with either water or alcohol.

Check the description to see if the paint needs to be dissolved in alcohol or water. Whichever you decide, dye stains are a great option to darken the wood furniture.

You do not rely solely on the pores of the wood for coloring. Even thick woods can be darkened to your liking.

 Consider applying several coats of stain or a higher dye concentration in the solvent to achieve a deeper shade.

Steps to follow to darken wood with dye:

Sanding wood

It is important to sand the wood well to absorb the product. To get a smooth surface, you should start with medium-coarse grit sandpaper and end with medium or fine grit sandpaper.

Clean the surface

After sanding, the surface should be cleaned to prevent dust from ruining the color.

Prepare the dye

Some stains are ready to use right away, while others must be mixed with water before they can be used. Please read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and do what they say.

Apply the dye

You can put stains on with a roller, a brush, or a damp cloth. The best way to apply stains to large areas is with a roller so that the different passes don’t show.

On the other hand, the brush and cloth will help you get a more natural finish. But you must put on the stain and wait for it to dry between coats.

Protects stained wood

After staining, you’ll need to use varnish or wax to protect the wood. Wax is our favorite because it gives the furniture a natural matte look.

How to darken teak furniture

Teak is a strong and high durable material, but it requires special care when staining. The wood surface must have a coat to prevent absorbing water. Wet conditions can make a dent or crack in the teak wood.

Most owners choose the stained finish rather than just applying a sealant. Stains give the wood two benefits. A color looks rich, and the surface is sealed simultaneously.

Applying many coats ensures the layer penetrates thoroughly without gaps between stain and sealant.

The sealant can last longer, and your furniture has a stunning cover to enjoy longer. You may apply approximately three coats of sealer.

Tips on how to darken teak wood

Teak is the most unusual wood that is used to make furniture. It is very valuable because of how beautiful and strong it is. Teak is one of the most popular types of wood for furniture and flooring because it has a unique smell.

Teak is known for its strength and resilience but needs to be treated with care regarding stains.

Always use waterproof teak oil

If you waterproof your teak furniture with teak oil, the wood won’t soak up water when it rains or gets wet in other ways. This will keep the wood from cracking.

If you want to use a stain, use one that is oil-based.

Most homeowners would rather use a stain than just oil as a sealant. Stains also give wood a rich color while sealing it simultaneously.

Instead of one heavy coat, use several thin coatings

Using many thin layers, You can ensure that each layer penetrates deeply into the wood and that no gaps exist between the sealer and stain layers.

This will help your sealant last longer and keep your furniture looking nice. You can put up to three layers of sealant on most furniture, which is enough.

Darken teak furniture without stain

Teak is a hardwood that does not need to be treated with chemicals to keep it in good condition.

Teak wood can be stained or finished using a wide variety of techniques. Below are simple ways to slightly darken your teak furniture.

Polish the teak with a soft cloth

When polishing the wood, you must take a circular motion over the wood. You will be amazed at how the wood looks after being polished.

It will also help you to clean the wood so it will not attract stains. You can even wipe off any marks and dust with a dry cloth.

A slightly darker brown color will appear on the fabric as the teak becomes polished and shines again.

To restore the natural teak color, using a scrub brush and water

lightly scrubbing the wood will eliminate dirt, grime, mold, and other things that build up on it over time.

Scrubbing the wood gently with a soft cloth is an easy way to keep the wood looking good.

The wood should be dried with a clean rag after being scrubbed. If you notice deep scratches in the wood, you can use sandpaper or fine steel wool to remove them and gently rub the area until the wood is smooth again.

This method might not always get the results you want, though.

Some might not like how dark the teak gets if it has been cleaned for a long time or if it has been treated in the past.

Final Thoughts

You should know that it won’t be as easy to darken the wood on a piece of furniture that hasn’t been treated as on a piece that has been varnished or lacquered.

These protect the wood from stains, moisture, and other damage. If you try to stain the wood without first stripping it, the stain won’t be able to get into the wood.

Not every type of wood will react the same way to the things we talk about today. You need to know what kind of wood you’ll be painting.

What kind of wood is it? Is it hard or soft? If you know the type of wood, you can choose the right stain.

Make sure to try out the product in a small area and carefully follow the directions.

Any of the above methods can be used to make wood darker. Choose the one that works best for you and follow the steps.

How to Darken wood FAQs