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!
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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!
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 wood stain color!
DIY Dark Chocolate Brown Wood Stain
- Tea Bags
- White Vinegar
- Steel Wool
- Mason Jar or Container
- Wood Stain (I used this one)
- 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.
Related: How to Stain Wood with Coffee
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.
Step 2 – Oxidize 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.
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.
Step 3 – Apply the Stain
I used this stain called “Kona” for this project. Be sure to follow the instructions on the container to apply the stain. This stain dries quickly, so only leave the stain on for the recommended 1-2 minutes.
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 so pleased with the way it turned out. The only thing left to do is to apply a top coat like Bob’s Miracle Finish.