How To Stain Furniture Darker

How To Make The Existing Wood Stain Darker

If you are doing a wood finishing project and want to make the stain on the existing finish look darker, one of the options you can try is to refinish it completely.

However, you can also turn the existing stain darker. In this article, you will learn how to turn wood furniture darker.

You will also learn different methods to make wood furniture stains turn darker in color, so keep reading to find out how to do it.

First, Prepare Your Wooden Furniture For Staining

The first important step before darkening any wood furniture is preparing it properly. You shouldn’t skip these important steps because you need to prepare the woods so that they are capable of accepting dark stain liquid.

Here are the steps to prepare your wood furniture:

  1. Sand Your Wood Surface

For your information, the stain is not a protective layer. Thus, it is often added with other protections, such as a glossy top coat, to protect against moisture and other impacts.

Wood stain usually has a matte finish. Thus, if your surface has a sheen, you can give it a light sanding job.

You can use sandpaper with a fine grain level (between 100 to 120 grit) to scrape the wood surface without scuffing up existing stains or other materials.

When sanding, do it with even pressure and sand it according to the wood grain’s direction. You can stop sanding after the sheen has gone.

If you use gel stain to make the wood darker, you can skip this step.

  1. Remove The Remaining Dust From Sanding

You can use a tack cloth or a rag dampened in water to clean up any leftover dust from the previous sanding job.

Make sure you clean the surface properly and don’t leave any dust on it since all the staining products require the surface to be totally dust free, so the stain can adhere to the surface properly to create a darkened stain.

  1. Clean Your Wood Surface

Use a wood cleaner or mild detergent with water to clean the wood surface. Cleaning is important, so the surface can accept additional stain products.

Grime and oils can accumulate on your furniture over the years, and most people don’t clean the table legs frequently.

Take a brush and a cloth rag to clean all the nooks and crannies. Ensure the dirty and oily spots in the wood are cleaned since they can make the darkening stains unable to work properly.

Methods You Can Use To Turn Wood Stain On Your Furniture Darker

The methods explained below are the easy ways to make the stained wood turn darker in color. The methods are Gel stain, boiled linseed oil, and traditional stain.

Using Linseed Oil

To gradually darken your wood, you can try using boiled linseed oil. This product will gradually make the wood surface dark as your furniture ages. Here are the steps to apply linseed oil:

  • The First Step Is Preparing The Workspace

When your furniture is dry and clean, place it in an area with a proper ventilation system. Wear protective gloves and prepare a few lint-free rags as preparation.

  • Use Boiled Linseed Oil

Take a rag and wet it with boiled linseed oil. After that, start wiping the rag onto your wood. Start rubbing the oil on the surface according to the grain’s direction.

Boiled linseed oil will moisturize your wood. Thus, the oil may disappear quickly.

Moreover, the wood will also look dry after the application. Use adequate boiled linseed oil to make the surface look wet and soft. You can change rags as necessary.

  • Wait For The Oil To Dry

Once you have covered the entire furniture surface with boiled linseed oil and made the surface uniform, leave your projects for around 30 minutes so that the furniture’s oil has time to dry.

  • Remove The Extra Oil From The Furniture

Depending on the extra oil amount on the surface, you may need to prepare several rags to clean it up. After using the rags to clean up the oil, allow the rags to dry before you throw them into the trashcan.

This is because rags soaked with linseed oil can set fire easily, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

  • Give Your Furniture Adequate Time To Cure Properly

You must wait at least 24 hours for the finish to cure before using the furniture or placing items on top of the surface. If possible, leave the furniture for one full week to cure completely.

Curing is different from drying since curing requires more time. Curing will make the finish harden, so it can resist any damage or impact.

How To Stain Furniture Darker Using Traditional Wood Stain

You can utilize traditional wood stains to darken your wooden furniture. Before this technique, ensure the existing stain underneath has completely cured.

The curing time for water-based stain is around 20 days; for oil-based stain, it may take up to 30 days.

If you don’t want to wait a long time, you can apply the traditional wood stain without waiting as long as you apply the same stain base as the original wood finish.

How To Stain Furniture Darker With Gel Stain

It is easy to apply gel stain and doesn’t require removing the previous finish. You can use this method if you are fine with hiding some of the finer wood grain’s features.

Here are the instructions to use gel stain to make the furniture darker:

  • Prepare The Materials

After placing your furniture in a bright area with an adequate ventilation system, it is time to grab a can of gel stain with your chosen shade. You also need to get a brush. Wear gloves to prevent the stain from spilling on your skin.

  • Use The Brush To Distribute The Gel Stain

Use the brush to apply gel stain, and apply it evenly on the surface. You don’t need to clean up the excess gel as this product doesn’t seep into your surface.

It only sits on the top surface instead. If the gel has accumulated in corners, wipe or brush those excess gel away so you can prevent color variance.

  • Give The Gel Stain Enough Time To Dry

It takes around a day (24 hours) for the gel stain to dry. The gel will cover the lighter stain on the surface with a darker stain color in only one coating.

However, it can’t give protection to your wood. That’s why you need to cover the gel stain using a clear coat of polyurethane to give an additional layer of protection.

Ensure you give adequate time for the gel to cure before applying the polyurethane coat.

Scroll to Top