Dark Black Stain for a Red Oak Floor

      Finishing suggestions for making an oak floor a deep black. March 29, 2008

I have a water-popped red oak floor which is to be stained ebony, but the client would like it darker. Almost painted, but still transparent. I've tried a few methods such as a Gilsonite additive, but no luck. Any suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor Z:
I have tried black dye on white oak. It didn't cover the grain completely, but it looked awesome. Maybe it would work on red oak. I would try a sample piece.

From contributor P:
If you dye the wood black and then use a black stain over the dye, you can make it as dark as you want depending on how much you dilute the dye. The sample below is on birch, but works just as well on oak or any other wood. On the far left is unstained wood, dye only in the middle, and dye combined with ebony pigmented wiping stain on the right. Without starting with the dye, the stain would come out a lot lighter.

From the original questioner:
Basically I'm trying to stain 2000 sqft of red oak, as well as 4 flights of tread and riser end caps with cove moulding. I'm not looking for the cheapest and fastest way, but an efficient way that would be compatible with a two component water-based urethane and cost efficient for the client. Would a dye be an efficient way of staining this amount of footage as well as the stair parts?

From contributor R:
The dye stain would be the most productive method to use as you can just spray it on. If you use Sherwin Williams S61 dye stain you can mix with acetone and add a little water and it will penetrate into the pores better. You could also use India ink as your pigment stain. I would wipe off the India ink or the pigment stain to ensure you push it into the pores and remove all excess from the surface. I would start with a proportion of 4 parts acetone to 1 part water with the S61. Add more water for more penetration or less water for faster dry time.

From the original questioner:
Is spraying the only method of application for the dye?

From contributor R:
It depends on the dye stain that you use, but it is the fastest way to apply. NGR stains are alcohol based and dry very fast, making them difficult to wipe, and are designed to be sprayed. There are also water based aniline dyes like Lockwood or Transtint which can be sprayed or wiped, or both.

From contributor T:
Aniline dyes are not very color fast. I would go half a step farther and recommend either Behlen's Solarlux or Mohawk's Ultra Penetrating Stain (actually a dye). They can be sprayed, brushed or wiped and are compatible with your finish. They also stink - acetone.

From contributor D:
I love the Behlen stains but every time I use them under water it softens the finish. It shouldn't according to Target, since the alcohol will evaporate, but it does - eats up sealcoat as well (that makes sense). I could never see doing an entire floor with Behlen. Sets way too fast (even with retarder). You would have to spray it... Boom in a house. You would get your color and grain.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2017 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article