Ebonizing the chair. There were some surface checks in the back and flaws in the materials I used for the legs. I filled the grain and checks with water putty mixed with black dye. After sanding that dried filler back, I dye it several times with the same black. The grain fill job isn’t perfect, so it won’t look like a piano (they wouldn’t ebonize an open grained wood for a piano anyway), but if I keep laying on the black dye eventually I’ll win and get something close to the real color of ebony. After that a film finish brings up the gloss. I’ve been “french polishing” using oil-modified water soluble polyurethane instead of shellac with good results.
I use t-shirt material held in a hemostat. I have a bunch of those I’ve acquired over the years. The dye does get on my fingers but being dissolved in water it washes off skin far more easily than alcohol dyes.