You are here:

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/A question about staining


Im going to make my own dresser drawer.Although I really like the dark black color of Ebony wood,I find it easiest to work with American Walnut.So,Im thinking of trying to get the best of both worlds.Im thinking of making the piece with Black American Walnut,and then staining it until it has the color of Ebony.Will this work?If so,what would be the best way of doing it?

Hi David,

Yes, you can stain walnut to look like ebony, but I would experiment first. I use a couple of different Minwax stains - I think one is called Espresso, and one is called Ebony. One is much darker than the other, but I forget which one. I would definitely get a few scraps of walnut and try out the various dark stains, to see which gives you the best effect.Believe it or not, there is a huge difference between different stains from different companies. EXPERIMENT!

Another option would be to use a black aniline dye. Here's an interesting article:

You might want to try a dye to see if that gives you the effect you want.

Finally - another option is to use black milk paint. This is easy and pretty cheap, and you can get a wide variety of black tones, depending on how you apply it. Check this out:

I use a lot of milkpaint in my work - you can mix it thin and use it as a wash/stain, or make it thicker and use it as paint. When you get the right color you want, just apply a coat of danish oil over the top and it will lock in the color you've achieved.

Good luck, I hope this helps,

Jamie in Vegas

Jamie Yocono
Wood It Is! Custom Cabinetry
Las Vegas, NV  

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jamie Yocono


Woodworker, Furniture designer/builder, industrial arts educator. Bachelor degree in Furniture Design, and journeyman carpenter, with a 4 year apprenticeship. Currently owner of custom furniture/cabinet shop in Las Vegas, NV. Can answer most woodworking questions EXCEPT those regarding repairs, refinishing, and antiques.


Bachelor in Furniture Design - Ohio University (1980) Journeyman Carpenter, Local 639 Adult educator - Developed adult education woodworking program for the University of Akron, and taught classes there for 9 years. Opened a private woodworking school in Las Vegas, NV and teach private and semi-private lessons. In 2011, I will begin teaching UNLV woodworking classes at my school. Sweet!

Furniture Society

Tile Design and Installation Magazine (Article on inlaying tile into wood)

Journeyman Union Carpenter Bachelors degree in Furniture Design (Ohio University) College of Hard Knocks!

©2016 All rights reserved.