How to darken wood furniture

No matter how expensive furniture you own, it will never be that attractive unless it has a darker tone. Why? It is because light wooden furniture always looks slightly off the mark and unattractive. Whereas warm and dark wooden furniture very elegant and attractive. 

In this article, we will be going to teach you how to make the stain darker on wood, and with these tips and tricks, you will be easily able to make your wooden furniture darker and give it an elegant outlook. So let’s start the article.

How to stain wood darker

Staining is the most popular method used to darken wooden furniture and the most common stains used for this purpose are oil stains. Oil stains are available in the majority of the paint shops all across Malaysia and you can easily get them from there. The reason people prefer oil stains over water stains is that oil stains are more durable whereas water stains dry very quickly. 

However, one of the major drawbacks of using oil stains is that they do not add a lot of color to the furniture. The color intensity of oil stains significantly reduces when it comes to wiping off the excess stain to get an even dark coloring on the whole furniture. Therefore, a lot of people meet with disappointment when they fail to get the desired color intensity. 

Our experts have dropped some of the easy ways to change the color of the furniture. You can follow these tips and tricks to darken your wooden furniture for a long time.

1. Ensure a More Coarser Grit

The secret to durable staining is to create enough space for the stain to lodge. The more coarse grit you will have the more place it will be for the stain to lodge and stabilize itself. Sand your furniture to a coarser and finer grit so the scratches do not appear. According to our experts, 120 – 150 grit might be the best suitable option.

2. Increase the Concentration of Pigments in the Stain

Always keep in mind that the results you will get after staining your furniture will depend upon the concentration of pigments in the stain. The more pigments you use, the darker furniture you will have. Think of it as baking a pancake, the more sugar you will add, the sweeter the cake will be. So choose the stains that are enriched with pigments because it is directly proportional to the darkness of your furniture.

3. Let the Furniture Dry for a While after Staining

A lot of people do not get the desired results because they rush to wipe off the excess stain without letting it dry properly. Never do that while staining. Instead, wait for a few hours and let the stain deeply penetrate the wood and lodge itself, moreover, letting the stain dry for a while increases the proportion of pigments in it because the thinner layer evaporates in meanwhile and leave behind a huge concentration of pigments. 

4. Apply Multiple Coatings of Stain

Some stains give out low-intensity colors upon application therefore a single coating of stain might not be enough. Normally when you apply a coating of stain on the wood and let it dry for a while, then you have to wipe off the excess amount of stain for even distribution of stain on the furniture. Due to this, the intensity of color decreases significantly. So you are advised to apply multiple layers of stain on the furniture one by one after drying. This will give a more dark color to your furniture.

5. Use Gel Stain Instead of Liquid Stain

As we have mentioned above that the results and intensity of color you will get after staining will solely depend upon the concentration of the pigments present in the stain. Experts have found that gel stains usually have more concentration of pigments than liquid stains. Using gel stains will give a more dark color to your wooden furniture. 

6. Use Dirty Wipe Method

The most common practice after staining is to wipe off the excess stains to evenly distribute the stains throughout the furniture. This process, however, will have a significant impact on the results as it decreases the color intensity of the stain. Dirty wiping is one of the most effective and proven methods to darken your furniture. In this method, you do not wipe off all the excess stain instead you leave a damp proportion of stain on the surface that will enhance the darkness of your furniture. However, you must keep in mind that the wood will look muddy if you don’t wipe off the excess stain. Moreover, if you leave a too thick layer of stain on the surface then the stain will fail to form a bond with the surface and eventually fell apart when scratched or applied a force. 

7. Rinse the Wood with Water

The darkness of the furniture is associated with how well the stain lodges with the surface of the wood. You can allow smooth lodging of stain on the wood by wetting the wood with water before applying the stain. Doing this will raise the grains on the surface of the wood and provide excellent lodging and support for stain. If you think that this process is too hectic then you can purchase a water-based stain from the market and it will do the job for you.

8. Use Dyes

Dyes are available in liquid and powder-like form and you can apply them to your wooden furniture to increase its darkness. You can get the desired result by using a custom quantity of dyes. For example, you can increase the darkness of your furniture by using more quantities of dyes or by applying multiple layers of dyes over the surface. 


You can use all the methods mentioned above to darken your furniture. Make sure to carefully perform all the process so you won’t end up ruining your furniture. If you are facing any difficulties, then you can consult a professional.

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