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Thread: Ebonizing White Oak

  1. #1

    Ebonizing White Oak

    I had a conversation with a local lady who has a white oak staircase that she would like to ebonize. Do you have any suggestions for me to pass on to her? Process/materials? Much obliged for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Lewisville, NC
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    Jack,
    I have used the vinegar/steel method(link below) and gotten good results.
    I've also used black gel stain and black liquid shoe polish.
    Test on similar wood until you find the one that gives the look you prefer.
    Be patient....it may take more than one application of any method to get it black.

    Jim

    http://lumberjocks.com/Allison/blog/5831

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    I would do basically what Jim says. On furniture pieces I've painted on a solution of tannin dissolved in water first, and then the solution of steel wool in vinegar. This was on woods other than white oak - WO may have enough tannin already, though there may be variations over the entire stairs.

    I also have found it may take more than one application.

  4. #4
    This is a neat method, but a) it smells, and b) it's not entirely predictable in depth of black.

    I have found the best and cheapest and most predictable way is to spray on a black dye like Transtint.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    My go to jet black method is Speedball India Ink. Never fails and the grain shows through beautifully. You can topcoat with anything.

    John

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    My go to jet black method is Speedball India Ink. Never fails and the grain shows through beautifully. You can topcoat with anything.

    John
    +1. This is what I do and it works great!
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    North Virginia
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    I have used Transtint to get a jet black on several species of hardwood. It goes on easy and dries quickly (I use ethanol as the solvent). Two or three applications give you a deep, dark black without any blue/purple tint. Good stuff.

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