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DIY Dark Chocolate Brown Wood Stain

February 23, 2016 by Scott - Saws on Skates

Hey there friends! Do you love dark, rich stained wood? Having trouble getting that deep, decadent color? Then you have come to the right place! Today I’m adding to my paint, stain and finish collection and sharing my recipe for how to make DIY Dark Brown Wood Stain!

Electric Fireplace Mantle Close Up of Bed Molding

For your convenience this post contains affiliate links to products or tools I used to complete this project. Click here to visit my site policies.

I have a confession. I LOVE IKEA’s Black-Brown wood stain. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve tried to duplicate that delicious dark color. None of my attempts have been quite right, but this approach comes close. I thought it was unfair to call it black-brown, it’s more of a brown-black… let’s call it Decadent Dark Chocolate!

Electric Fireplace Mantle Close up of Glass

I wanted dark brown wood stain for my DIY electric fireplace mantel and this recipe for DIY Dark Chocolate Brown wood stain was exactly what I wanted for this piece. It starts with oxidizing the wood and ends with a coat of my FAVORITE Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain colors.. “Kona”!

Electric Fireplace Mantle Three Quarter View

DIY Dark Chocolate Brown Wood Stain

Tea bags
White vinegar
Steel wool
Mason jar or container
Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain “Kona”
Paint Brushes
120 grit sandpaper

Step 1 – Apply a Tea Stain. Believe it or not, you can stain wood with tea! Boil a cup of water and add 4-5 tea bags (I used black tea). Steep for 30 minutes. Remove the tea bags and allow it to sit for 12 to 24 hours. Apply the tea with a paint brush.

black brown stain 1

The tea brings out the tannins in the wood. Tannins are what makes the wood dark. This step won’t really change the color of the wood, but prepares it for the second step. You can also try strongly brewed coffee instead of tea.

black brown stain 2

Step 2 – Oxide the Wood. Combine some steel wool and white vinegar in a mason jar and allow to sit for a few days. The vinegar and steel wool will have a chemical reaction. When applied to the tea treated wood, the vinegar will immediately start to oxidize the tannins in the wood and turn the wood dark.

black brown stain 3

If you want a redder color, you can use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar. You’ll need to lightly sand after 24 hours as these two steps raise the grain of the wood.

black brown stain 4

Step 3 – Apply the Kona stain. Follow the instructions on the container… this stain dries quickly, so only leave the stain on for the recommended 1-2 minutes.

black brown stain 5

Like I said, this is pretty close to the black-brown. I think the IKEA finish has a touch more black in it, so you could try a little ebony stain on top. I’m sooo pleased with the way it turned out. The only thing left to do is to apply a top coat like Bob’s Miracle Finish.

fireplace plan 1

How to make dark chocolate brown wood stain - www.sawsonskates.com


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2 thoughts on “DIY Dark Chocolate Brown Wood Stain

  1. Love your technique – that is a great idea! I love Rust-Oleum stains (I use them on a regular basis) and Kona is my favorite!

    • Scott - Saws on Skates says:

      Thank you! Rust-Oleum stains are the BEST! I was never satisfied with any of my stained projects until I tried the Rust-Oleum stains – now I’m pleased every time! And I’m with you… Kona is my 🙂

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