How To Achieve A Black Or Ebonized Finish On Oak & Maple

Achieving a jet black or ebonized finish on Oak or Maple is a common request. Some contractors still start creating a white floor by bleaching it, although this method isn’t as common as it used to be. Because bleaching the floor actually damages the structure of the wood cells, thereby prematurely aging the wood, many people are firmly against it. However, those who do bleach advise using a species such as red oak or maple—never white oak,as it can turn green when bleached, and its tannic acid may chemically react with the bleach, actually creating foam on the floor.

Hi Angie – If you want to paint the piece, not use black stain on it, you do not have to remove all the poly, but you do need to sand the surface to provide some tooth” so the paint has something to adhere to. You mentioned the piece has a lot of poly on it. If this is so, when painted over…you may see all the imperfections in the level of the poly.

It does not tend to turn blotchy, but like all woods it will stain more evenly after an application of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner or Minwax®Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner To insure that any stain penetrates and fills oak’s deep pores, apply a liberal amount of stain to the wood, then work it into the pores using a cloth in a swirling motion.


While the little color samples supplied by stain manufacturers allow a general guide as to which colors a customer may like,that color on an actual wood floor can be affected by numerous factors: the wood species, the abrasive sequence, the lighting in the room, the color of the paint on the walls, whether the floor was waterpopped or not, and more.

While there is one specific wood species ( Quercus alba ) that is commonly considered the White Oak,” and there is one specific species ( Quercus rubra ) that is considered the Red Oak;” the truth of the matter is, when you buy oak lumber, oftentimes you will not actually be buying these two exact species, but most likely instead you’ll be buying one of the oaks contained within the two broad red and white groupings found in the table above.

Right now I’m looking at some raised grain after staining, and some uneveness..wondering if I can combine some steel wool work to remove just some uneveness and more stain around the edge…also, that deep glow from lacquer coating….most guys aren’t set up at home for spraying, but tung oil layers aftere a single linseed coating have a great look, but don’t expect the magic till after the 6th or 7th coating….

The secret to staining floors is not to use a stain right out of the can, says Leroy Cousins, a 20-year veteran floor refinisher who heightened the natural hue of the oak floors at Martha’s home in Maine by combining stains to get the desired effect. But being they are like a gel base, there is no where for the stain to go once i use the base as a pretreatment so i am having a waxy residue that has no where to go so i end up having to buff and buff and buff, and the maple looks washed out.

But one HUGE issue that arose when I tried to stain a dresser is using 220 grit sandpaper made it impossible for the wood to take the stain in any significant amount. To clean the furniture you can use mineral spirits linked by editor to product info at Amazon BUT BE CAREFUL IT IS HIGHLY FLAMMABLE. These oil-based cleaners can effectively remove built-up oil, dirt, and wax, but they don’t oil the wood. I have seen Bona Traffic on white oak flooring and it kept the floor nice and light and natural looking.