Finishing Advice

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by hazbro posted 03-27-2010 02:55 AM 1037 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View hazbro's profile


109 posts in 2958 days

03-27-2010 02:55 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut finishing question

I’m building a headboard and baseboard to attach to a bed frame. I’m making panels out of Goncala Alves and framing them in walnut. the goncala is reddish brown with black streaks/rings in it and I want to stain/finish the walnut damn near black to match & contrast the goncala.

Any tips would be helpful, as I’ve primarily worked with maple & birch, never gone black before. but i will come back.

-- measure once, keep cuttin' til it fits

7 replies so far

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3167 days

#1 posted 03-27-2010 03:18 AM

Walnut has tannin, if you want it black, you can use the rust stain ( its like magic) Take some rusty stuff and encourage more rust, soak in white vinegar for 4-5 days, rust is dissolved, rinse ex rusty stuff in water, dry coat with wd40 to prevent future rust, wipe rust and vinegar solution on tannic wood ( notably oak and walnut) watch nothing happen, turn around thinking you screwed up the recipe, look back in wonderment as the stain has turned black, give a light sand ( knock down raised grain)and repeat. This is a chemical reaction and it will not fade. If you don’t have rusty stuff ( not everyone does) use 2 pads of steel wool, rinse off the oil and wax the manufactures use to prevent rust. Just a not, a drop of dish washing soap in the solution will change the surface tension, allowing the stain to penetrate into the pores, grain will be still visible but the result is less dramatic, and more black. Place steel wool in a shallow pan ( pie plate, that the wife never uses(darn it)) with some water, and turn it over daily until water has evaporated, and rust is formed. then add vinegar. I don’t know anything about goncala, or if it has tannin, so test it first, but there should not be any bleeding once the stain is dry.
Good luck, let us know how it turns out.
You can check out this project I just posted a few weeks ago.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View hazbro's profile


109 posts in 2958 days

#2 posted 03-27-2010 03:49 AM

when you say rusty stuff, do you mean metal sitting around? I have a bunch of chain rigging that is rusty beyond belief.

-- measure once, keep cuttin' til it fits

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4068 days

#3 posted 03-27-2010 03:49 AM

I use black dye.

One of my big issues is compatibility. I can use dye in solvent and I know that I am not treating the wood with a solution that is incompatible with the finish over the long term.

Many issues with finish do not reveal themselves right away. I want security knowing that 1 or 2 years later, the chemicals I used on the wood do not create a reaction with the finish only to cause it to release, crack, or deteriorate in some manner.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Les Casteel's profile

Les Casteel

160 posts in 3027 days

#4 posted 03-29-2010 02:21 AM

Yep, like the man said, don’t stain the walnut, use dye. I use alcohol based then cover it with a topcover of poly.

Look at my website for an example if you like:

-- Les, Missouri,

View Ger21's profile


1074 posts in 3099 days

#5 posted 03-29-2010 04:03 AM

I dye walnut black with water soluble aniline dye. It’s really easy, and looks great.

-- Gerry,

View hazbro's profile


109 posts in 2958 days

#6 posted 03-29-2010 05:21 PM

Yes Les, that is what I’m after. Two tone. that’s a sweet rocker and finish.

thanks everyone.

and I forgot to add, I’m gonna need one of those chairs in about 35 years, what kind of lay a way plan you got for that?

-- measure once, keep cuttin' til it fits

View Les Casteel's profile

Les Casteel

160 posts in 3027 days

#7 posted 03-30-2010 02:46 AM

you pay, I lay it your way….

glad I could give you a little bit of help.

-- Les, Missouri,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics