Many shops use oil stains to get the color they want on projects. Oil stains space widely obtainable at paint stores, residence centers and distributors and also they are really easy to use since they provide a long working time.

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The trouble is the they often don’t include a lot of of shade to the wood, especially thick woods such together maple and birch. When you wipe off the overabundance stain, i m sorry is the best practice for gaining an even coloring, you can not achieve the soot of color that you’re after.

How carry out you acquire darker colour on thick wood? Or any wood for the matter? here are seven suggestions:

1. Sand the timber to a coarser grit: The coarser the grit, the bigger the sanding scratches and the an ext room for pigment come lodge. Girlfriend just need to sand fine sufficient so the scratches don’t show. You might be able to get away through 150 grit, or also 120 grit, as lengthy as the sanding scratches space running in the direction the the grain.

For example, you can do the initial sanding v a random-orbit sander and also finish up by hand-sanding with the grain.

2. Increase the ratio of colours to vehicle in the stain: The vehicle is the mix of binder and thinner — the is, all the liquid. The greater the ratio, the darker the color on the wood. There are several means to carry out this:

• Add much more pigment come the stain. It’s finest to use oil-based pigment v oil-based stains, yet there space pigments easily accessible for all varieties of stains. Keep an excellent records therefore you can duplicate what you have actually done if you require to.

• leaving the stain top top the lumber longer before wiping the off. This permits some the the diluent to evaporate and that boosts the proportion of pigment to vehicle. (It’s a myth the the stain penetrates deeper.) This trick works finest with fast-drying stains such together lacquer stains due to the fact that you don’t need to wait as long to acquire a remarkable result.

• use a second coat the stain after ~ the very first has dried fully. This will usually produce a darker coloring, but it add to a action to the process and slows production.

• instead of a glaze or gelatin stain because that the liquid stain. Glazes and also gel stains usually contain a higher ratio that pigment.

3. Do a “dirty wipe”: the is, don’t wipe off all the overfill stain. Leaving a wet of stain on the hardwood that dries to a darker coloring. This will certainly take practice to acquire the color even, specifically on big and multiple surfaces. Just just like leaving the stain top top longer, this method is simplest to perform with a fast-drying stain such together lacquer stain.


There are two downsides to doing a dirty wipe. One is the it will certainly muddy the wood much more than if you wipe off every the excess. The various other is that it could cause a negative bond come the lumber if left also thick. The end up needs to have the ability to penetrate the stain and also establish a bond to the wood. If the can’t do this, the finish could separate at the stain class if it gets knocked or scratched.

Nevertheless, a dirty wipe is such an effective and also often-used an approach that it has actually its very own name.

4. Wet the wood through water before using the stain to raise the grain and leave a rougher surface for much more pigment to lodge. This to add an extra step because you need to let the wood dry for this trick to work.

You can shorten the procedure to one step by making use of a water-based stain. It will raise the grain and also the coloring will be darker as soon as you wipe turn off the excess.

Don’t try to sand the stain smooth or you will most most likely sand through in places. Instead, “bury” the raised grain with the very first coat that finish. Then sand it smooth after this coat has dried.

5. Use dye rather of one oil stain: dyes are available in fluid form, usually called non-grain-raising and also in powders the you dissolve in a liquid. You can get thick woods together dark as you desire either by using a greater concentration the dye to liquid or by applying multiple coats. There’s no risk of separation in ~ the stain level because there’s no build.

If girlfriend spray the dye and also leave it there is no wiping, you won’t get an excellent grain definition. To boost the serial definition, apply an oil stain after ~ the dye has actually dried — or over the sealer coat — and wipe off the excess.

6. After applying a stain using any type of of the above methods, spray a toner between coats that finish, usually after the sealer coat. A toner is colours or dye included to your finish and also it is constantly sprayed top top the wood. Pigment will certainly muddy the coloring. Dye will certainly darken the color without muddying. So most toning is done with dye.


In addition to darkening the coloring, friend can likewise tweak that if girlfriend haven’t obtained it precisely right v the stain. For example, add some red or orange dye come the finish to warm the color or “kill” too much red by adding a tiny green dye. Toning is very useful for corresponding colors once doing refinishing.

Non-grain-raising dyes space the most advantageous for toning. They deserve to be added to all generally sprayed finishes, so much as ns know.

7. After using a stain and also sealer, apply a glaze: This is a thickened oil- or water-based stain. It’s thickened so it’s much easier to control and also doesn’t operation on upright surfaces. Leaving a little of the glaze on the surface to darken it.

The easiest an approach of applying glaze same is to brush or spray that on the wood and also thin that out through a brush. It will take practice to perform this successfully without leaving noticeable brush marks. Glazes are always pigmented, for this reason they can’t assist but muddy the timber a little.

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Because the the an obstacle of getting a glaze brushed out evenly, toning is normally the much better method that darkening or tweaking a color. But glazing is useful if friend don’t spray.