Wood stains have proven to be an effective wood coloring over the years with traditional wood colors, the most popular. On the other hand, black wood stains are some of the most overlooked wood stain tones.
Darker stains are advantageous, especially if you want to hide imperfections or bring out a classic look.
Even though a darker wood stain can hide imperfections, it does not cover the wood grain. Instead, it does the opposite, raising wood grains so you can enjoy the darker look without losing the woody feel. This way, you can stain furniture, hardwood, wooden cabinets, and decks.
Knowing the type of black stain is necessary if you’re looking for a black look to match the style of your building. Unfortunately, black stains are not popular, so even professional woodworkers would be forgiven if they didn’t know a few black stains to use. This guide will discuss the best black stains you can use for your wood.
Our Top Recommendation for Black Wood Stain!
If you’re looking for the best black wood stain with high-quality pigments that you can use indoors, this General Finishes water-based wood stain will be great for your project.
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Table of Contents
Best Black Wood Stain
Getting the right wood stain for your project is imperative to save time, produce a great look, and satisfy you. Here are some of the best black wood stains:
|General Finishes Water-Based Wood Stain||• Non-combustible|
• oil-based stains
• Low odor, low VOC, water cleanup
|Minwax PolyShades Wood Stain + Polyurethane Finish||• Easy to Use|
• Dark finish with a glossy sheen
• polyurethane finishes
|General Finishes Exterior 450 Water-Based Wood Stain||• premium quality|
• water-based wood stains
• Product can be brushed, rolled
|General Finishes Oil-Based Gel Stain||• Finishing feel|
• Lustrous finish
• Easy-to-use stains simply wipe
|Saman Interior Water-Based Wood Stain||• Easy to clean|
• Easy to use
• Value for money
|Minwax Wood Finish 227644444||• Use a clean cloth|
• Quick Drying
• This beautiful dark wood stain provides a deep
|Minwax 405140000 Wood Effects||• just brush on bare wood|
• Unique results every time
• Satisfaction Guaranteed
1. General Finishes Water-Based Wood Stain
This black stain is a product from General Finishes, a popular stain manufacturer. The water-based structure keeps volatile organic compounds low, so you do not have to protect yourself with respiratory masks when applying the stain. Generally, water-based stains have low toxicity levels reducing the risk of any respiratory health damage from chemicals in the stain.
The black stain consists of high-quality pigments you can apply by hand or spray. You can also create more customized tones by mixing other general Finishes water-based wood stains. The stain is for indoor use due to its structure to enjoy the durability it brings.
It is easy to clean with water and apply due to its versatility and can be blended seamlessly. This General Finishes stain comes black stain comes with a lot of advantages, and this is why it tops our list of best black wood stains. Even though it has low volatile organic compounds, ensure to use only in well-ventilated areas.
Pros & Cons
- Low volatility consisting of reduced odor and low VOC, so you can apply without respiratory masks.
- Easy to apply by hand or spray.
- Easy to clean with water.
- Its non-combustible structure allows you to use it without fear of combustion.
- Versatile to allow you to make custom tones.
- It is expensive.
2. Minwax PolyShades Wood Stain + Polyurethane Finish
Here is a two-in-one combination of wood stain and polyurethane for your project – this black stain from Minwax PolyShades, one of America’s most popular wood finish brands that have been in existence since 1904. The stain improves the look of the grain, while the polyurethane provides protection and ensures the stain lasts longer.
This oil-based stain is easy to use with sanding using fine-grit sandpaper, cleaning off dust, and applying Minwax PolyShades black wood stain, the only steps required. It dries without the need to wipe it after application, and it comes in gloss or satin sheens to give you more options. The classic black color gives your project that stylish and expensive look.
One of the most impressive features of this black stain is its short application time, especially if you’re dealing with wood already covered with a polyurethane finish. In addition, you do not need to sand the finish as you can apply it directly on a polyurethane finish or bare wood.
Pros & Cons
- Short application time since you can apply directly on polyurethane finishes or bare wood.
- Trusted brand.
- A combination of wood stain and polyurethane improves the longevity of the stain.
- Best value money option since you have both stain and polyurethane in one purchase.
- Its impressive color improves the grain look.
- Not recommended for floors or other high-traffic areas.
3. General Finishes Exterior 450 Water-Based Wood Stain
Another General Finishes black wood stain makes our list, but this time in the form of an Exterior 450 water-based stain. Again, it is perfect for exterior uses as its pigments are structured for outdoor use, including for vertical projects where many fail due to the risk of runoff. However, the stain is unsuitable for large horizontal projects and, as such, should be limited to mostly vertical wooden projects.
The UV absorbers in the stain protect the finishes and improve longevity; however, it doesn’t stop color-fading due to exposure to the sun’s rays. It is perfect for garage doors, wooden fences, and furniture. Its look on different types of wood remains captivating.
One of its most prominent features is the easy-to-clean use capability as you can brush, spray or roll it onto a wooden surface. In addition, you can clean this stain with soap or water. However, while it sports impressive vertical application ability and is easy to use, its longevity is decent at best.
Pros & Cons
- It comes with UV absorbers to protect the finish.
- It is great for exterior uses.
- Its water-based nature makes it easy to clean with soap and water.
- Impressive sheerness.
- Easy to use as it can be rolled, sprayed, and brushed onto the surface.
- Not recommended for large horizontal surfaces.
4. General Finishes Oil-Based Gel Stain
Finally, we get to an oil-based stain from General Finishes in the form of this oil-based gel stain. The oil-based gel finish presents arguably the best finish you can get from a black General Finishes stain. You do not need an additional topcoat after application due to the lustrous feel the stain presents. You’ll save the cost of purchasing a topcoat when using this oil-based gel stain.
Perfect for furniture usage to get an impressive look without losing wood grain structure. It has impressive moisture resistance and general damage protection as it is heavily bodied and forms a solid film on the wood surface instead of penetrating deeply into the grain.
You can use this stain for difficult-to-stain wood types since it does not penetrate deeply into the pores but forms films. For example, wood with uneven surfaces or tight grain structures is generally hard to stain, but this gel oil-based stain from General Finishes will seamlessly stain these woods.
Pros & Cons
- Great for hard-to-stain woods.
- It sports great durability and water resistance since it forms solid films instead of penetrating deeply into the wood.
- It presents a lustrous look and so does not require a topcoat.
- It is easy to apply by brushing it onto the surface.
- It is thick to eliminate splashes and spills.
- It takes a long time to dry.
5. Saman Interior Water-Based Wood Stain
Saman stain comes in a unique bottle that is easy to hold and does not take up a lot of storage space. In addition, the saman black wood stain is water-based and only takes a short time to dry, and you can clean it up easily with water and soap. Generally, water-based stains are low volatility stains with a reduced odor so that you can apply them without the uncomfortable and heavy respiratory masks.
Even though this Saman black stain is water-based, it sports impressive color saturation and great consistency to allow for even application. It also raises the wood grain, improving the finished project’s overall appeal. You can use this black stain for all indoor projects, including vertical and horizontal surfaces.
You do not need a conditioner with this black wood stain, but you’ll need a topcoat to protect the stain and improve its longevity. One of the best features of this Saman black wood stain is its coverage, as only 12 ounces of stain can cover up to 75 square feet, depending on the type of wood. Following the application guideline on the bottle by applying to a sponge first before brushing on the surface will help.
Pros & Cons
- It raises the wood grain and improves the overall appeal.
- No need for conditioner.
- Great coverage.
- Perfect for all interior applications.
- Low volatility and odor.
- Easy to hold and store plastic bottle.
- Reduced longevity requires a topcoat for extra protection.
6. Minwax Wood Finish 227644444
Minwax is a leading wood finish brand with different products for your wood. Here, we’ll be seeing its black wood finish. It contains a rich black color with even saturation ensuring the finish has an even tone. In addition, the oil-based stain improves the natural wood grain and leaves a beautiful black color on the project.
The stain penetrates wood deeply and keeps the natural grain structure visible. It dries fast for an oil stain, with a 2-hour dry time for most wood types. Apply using a brush or clean cloth in the direction of the grain, wait 5 minutes for the stain to penetrate the grain, and wipe excess off the wood surface. You may require more than one coat for a deeper tone; however, waiting for longer before wiping excess off deepens the tone of the stain.
This Minwax wood finish produces a semi-transparent black tone to wooden surfaces and is regarded as a true black finish. Perfect for indoor use on cabinets, doors, and furniture. Minwax black wood finish is great for quick application and great coverage since a single coat is enough in most cases.
Pros & Cons
- Penetrates wood deeply, helping to improve natural wood grain.
- True black finish with a semi-transparent look.
- Fast drying for an oil stain.
- Requires only a single coat in most cases.
- Easy to apply with a clean cloth or brush.
- Not suitable for outdoor use.
7. Minwax 405140000 Wood Effects
This Minwax wood stain promises a charred black look in minutes. In addition, Minwax promises a quick change in the look of the wood to a naturally aged look. So if you’re looking for a charred look with that natural old look for your furniture, cabinets, and small surfaces, this Minwax wood effects stain is perfect for your project. It is perfect for horizontal and vertical surfaces but unsuitable for large surfaces.
Applying on bare wood will create a unique look depending on the type of wood grain structure. The water-based stain dries in an hour and is easy to clean with only soap and water.
The stain produces a semi-transparent look and is great for interior applications.
It is easy to apply by brushing onto the wooden surface to produce a unique result every time. The speed of its result and price are some of the strongest pulls to this Minwax charred stain, especially if you’re under a strict budget.
Pros & Cons
- Affordable stain great for people working under a strict budget.
- Produces a semi-transparent charred look.
- Produces a naturally aged look in minutes.
- Fast-drying water-based stain.
- Easy to apply and clean.
- Good for interior projects.
- Not suitable for large surfaces.
Black wood stains may not be as popular as brown or other natural wooden look stains. However, there is still a huge demand for them – especially from people looking for a unique look.
Choosing the right stain for your project, depending on your desired outcome, type of wood, location, and other factors will ensure you get the best look. Luckily, this piece contains some of the best black wood stains with their most suitable conditions.