Refinishing furniture to dark brown-black or “espresso”?

How do they achieve that brown-black or “espresso” finish in wood furniture? You often see this at expensive furniture stores like Restoration Hardware, and in imported designer or restored pieces. Do they use wood dyes? Stain mixed with lacquer or polyurethane? Gel stain left on too long? Or just a bazillion coats of regular oil stain? I am trying to do this on an oak cabinet.



From time to time we are asked to come up with a custom stain color. Find a good base color close to what you are looking for and then add wood dye a little at a time until you have the color you want.

Like all stains it needs to be applies allowed to penetrate and then the wiped off.

Try this on scrap wood until the desired look id achieved and then write down the formula including the manufacturer in case you ever have to try to duplicate it for repairs.

I have found dark colors are best finished with a mat lacquer finish, but that is just my opinion.

G. Borders

Home Repair, Improvement,

& Handyman Services

North Dallas, TX

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