Success with Black Stain

Pros provide tips for staining wood a deep, dark black without purple overtones. July 12, 2005

I am trying to replicate a cabinet finish I did about ten years ago, but I can't find the solution. I stained ash black and the grain read through beautifully. So far I've tried several stains and aniline dyes, but I'm still getting a purple hue. Any tips?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor T:
Mohawk 15" stain should work. It's an oil-based pigment wiping stain. Something else to look at is Dick Blick India ink. It's true black and water-based as well.

From Paul Snyder, forum technical advisor:
Black dyes often have a blue or purple hue to them, but there are some that are more true black. To get a deep ebony color, I dye the wood, and then use a black wiping stain over it. I also use a black dye toner for added depth of color. The combination allows for a very dark black with the grain clearly visible.

The sample below shows the dye in the middle and added stain/toner on the bottom.

Click here for full size image

From contributor G:
You can try a wipe stain made with 844 CB, which is carbon black, or bone black. It is warmer than LB, (lamp black), which has the blue tone.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor M:
I use black pigmented colorants for making my black stain, and use the same black pigmented colorant for making up my black shading stain.
Once I acheive the color I want, I go to my clear coats to complete the black finish.