How to darken the wood of your furniture

darken wood

Wood is a material that changes color from natural wood, so it is possible that that piece of furniture you bought years ago no longer looks like it used to. In order for it to gain color again without giving up its natural grain, however, you will only have to follow the following tips for darkening wood

Changing the color of the wood is a task that can be carried out in different ways. Thinking of those of you who are used to working with furniture, we have chosen the simplest. Discover them and go ahead and give life to your furniture!

Before starting…

You should know that it will not be as easy to darken the wood of an untreated piece of furniture as that of a varnished or lacquered furniture.  These are meant to protect the wood from stains, moisture, and other damage, which will prevent any stain you're trying to apply from penetrating the wood without stripping first.


Not all woods will respond in the same way to products that we mention today. Pine, for example, is quite difficult to stain as the stains cause a reversal of the grain by only coloring the porous early wood. In addition, they stain irregularly, so it is usually advisable to apply a conditioner before dyeing. These are things that you do not have to know, that is why it is important to trust the professionals who run our hardware stores so that they provide us with the most suitable products for each wood.

how to darken wood

As we have already mentioned, there are numerous ways to darken the wood of your furniture, but these are some of the simplest. The four will respect the natural grain of the wood; They won't cover it like paint unless you want them to.


Stains are the most popular materials for changing the color of wood. in DIY stores you will find both water-based dyes and alcohol-based dyes and although both are useful for darkening wood, for beginners the former are much more appropriate. They are easier to apply both with a cotton cloth and with a brush, and the marks of the passes are less noticeable than with alcohol dyes.

wood stains

I'm sure you've been talking about the nogalina, the dye that gives surfaces the tone of walnut wood. It is one of the most popular dyes, but not the only one. In fact, unless you are very clear about the result you want to achieve and a reference, you will run the risk of going crazy trying to choose between the many options.

Although the video shows quite clearly how to proceed with these dyes, we do not want you to skip any steps. Therefore, we share with you the sequence of steps to follow to achieve an optimal result:

  1. Sanding wood: It is important to sand the wood well so that it absorbs the product. It is recommended to start with a medium-coarse grit sandpaper and finish with a medium or fine grit sandpaper so that the surface is smooth.
  2. Clean the surface. Once the surface is sanded, it is important to clean it so that the dust does not ruin the tint.
  3. Prepare the dye. Some stains are prepared to be applied directly, others must be diluted in water for application. Read the manufacturer's instructions carefully and proceed by following their advice.
  4. Apply the dye. Stains can be applied with a roller, brush or damp cloth. On large surfaces, the ideal is to apply the stains with a roller so that the marks of the different passes are not noticeable. The brush and cloth, on the other hand, will help you achieve a more natural finish. However you apply the stain, respect the drying times between coats.
  5. Protects stained wood: To protect the wood, it will be necessary to apply a varnish or wax after staining, the latter being our favorite because it gives the furniture a natural matte finish.


Lasur is a protective material that we can also use to darken the wood of our furniture. East impregnating action coating It is considered one of the most appropriate treatments for outdoor wood. Provides an “open pore” finish to the wood that allows it to breathe and regulates humidity, facilitating its exit.


These qualities that lasur presents make it a great alternative to dye, since it in addition to darkening the wood they protect it, making the application of a wax unnecessary as was the case with dyes. The way to proceed, however, will be very similar:

  1. Sand the wood and clean the surface: As was the case with the stains, it will be necessary to sand the wood well and clean it to ensure that the lasur penetrates correctly into it.
  2. Prepare the lasur: Did you know that you can mix various colors of lasur to create a custom color?
  3. Apply the lasur. You can apply more or less layers depending on the opacity you want to achieve with the help of a brush, a roller and even a spray gun.

judean bitumen

Judea bitumen is a product popularly used to darken and age wood. This petroleum-derived dye that is diluted in white spirit or turpentine is generally applied with a brush on those areas that you want to be darkened and then spread with a cloth to achieve a more natural effect.

judean bitumen

When using this dye you must take into account that the drying time will be long, even several days. You will have to wait until it is completely dry to wax it in order to protect it. The bitumen of Judea admits to be waxed, which will allow you, in addition to protecting the surface, to give it a very subtle shine. What you can never apply on the product will be a varnish that dissolves in white spirit, turpentine, thinner or another similar solvent.

dyed wax

The last alternative that we propose today to darken the wood of your furniture is wax. This product used in its colorless version to finish furniture can be stained and applied directly on the furniture to darken it.

you can dye the wax using natural pigments or earths. To do so, you will only have to put it in a water bath and stir the wax with the pigments until you achieve a homogeneous mixture. Although if you are not willing to do this work, there are also commercial formulas that you could use.

Now that you know how to darken the wood of your furniture, will you dare to do it?

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