Sign In to join the community | Help

Painting oak wood black

I want to paint my oak bedroom set black, but I was wondering if that's such a good idea. And how should I go about doing it. Should I sand my furniture first? And what kind of paint should I use?

Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question
Posted 2012-05-31T01:04:28+0000  by brendo90 brendo90

What about staining it a really deep color? 

Posted 2012-05-31T01:15:15+0000  by CheyS

Welcome to our community Brando90!


My name is Christine and I work at The Home Depot in Atlanta. Painting furniture is a great way to update your look! As CheyS mentioned, staining it a dark color is another option, but it does tend to be more time consuming. Let's discuss your options! 


Painting Furniture 


The first thing you are going to want to do is sand the piece with 120- grit sand paper or block to roughen it up. Doing this will roughen up the existing finish so it is able to accept paint. After that, sand it lightly with 220- grit sand paper or block to smooth it out so you have a nice, smooth finish. After you are done sanding, run a tack cloth over the entire piece so there so no dust that can get stuck under the paint. :smileysurprised:


The next thing you will do is prime the piece. Using oil- based primer will be the best for furniture, but using latex based will work too. After the primer dries, its time to paint! Many people prefer to use oil based paint for furniture because of durability, but, honestly, latex paints have come a long way in regards to the durability they provide. I would recommend applying two coats of paint (no matter if you use oil or latex based paint) to ensure maximum durability.:smileywink:


The choice is yours when it comes to which sheen to use. Typically, people use a semi-gloss finish for furniture because it is easy to clean and is more durable. I have seen pieces done in satin as well and they look quite nice. Just remember, the shinier the piece, the easier it will be to clean.


Staining Furniture 


Staining is a bit of a different process. :smileyhappy: The first thing you will want to do here is strip off the old finish with a heavy duty stripper. You may have to use it multiple times to get all the layers off. The goal is to get down to the bare wood.


Once you have stripped the existing finish off, you will want to use a pre- stain conditioner on the wood before staining. Using a conditioner will help make the stain penetrate the wood evenly, therefore the stain will not be splotchy. :smileyhappy:


You have a few options as far as types of stain to use. Minwax 'Ebony' or Minwax PolyShades 'Classic Black' would both work well for you. Minwax PolyShades is neat because it has a polyurethane mixed in already, which means you only have to do two coats and your done! The regular Minwax requires two coats of stain and then an additional 2 coats of polyurethane.


Furniture Refinishing Kit        


I wanted to talk to you about one more thing before I let you go. At The Home Depot we have recently started carrying a furniture refinishing kit. This kit is made by Rust-Oleum and has everything you need to refinish your piece. ThePaintAvenger recently did a post on this product. Click here to check out his post. 


As you can see, you have many options when it comes to updating your piece!


Please let us know how everything turns out and if we can help with anything else! 

Christine :smileyhappy:      

Posted 2012-05-31T12:54:47+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL




There is a fourth possible way to accomplish your desired goal:


You could use Minwax Poly-Shades Black pigmented urethane varnish. The black Poly-Shades is highly pigmented. Two coats right over the existing finish would give that almost opaque look which is popular right now on much furniture I see in the stores.


As always, clean the surface of dirt and oily residue from fingers. Scuff sand the surface with 180/220 grit sandpaper. Avoid actually sanding through the old finish. Finally,  apply at least two coats of the black Poly-Shades with a good natural bristle brush of synthetic bristle rated for "all paints. Spraying will work also if you have the equipment.


What I would never consider is the use of acrylic/latex based paints on furniture, especially if objects will be placed on the horizontal surfaces. Acrylics retain a gummy feeling which never goes away and is worse when it is humid . Also, any areas which make contact with one another will stick or resist sliding, such as

drawer glides. If you want to paint the piece, GO WITH OIL based paints!


What I have had very good results with is the use of spray cans to obtain a very fine, brush stroke free,  professional looking surface. Preparation is as always, clean and scuff sand the surface.. Then spray on a gray primer. Primer will increase adhesion, help prevent running or sagging, and help in the transition to the black finish color.


I find it helpful to heat the cans by putting them in hot water run straight from the tap for several minutes. This increases the pressure in the can, making them spray better. Warm oil paint also flows out better. When spraying, makle long, straight, overlapping strokes with the can.If the spray looks streaky when wet, it will look more so when dry! Overlap enough so that the paint flows together. If you worry about runs or sags, you can do the piece one side at a time, lying it flat. Obviously, if cannot run if the surface is horizontal. Spray paints dry quite quickly, so you can still get you piece done within several hours.


Stripping a piece of furniture enough to accept an ebony stain is VERY labor intensive with doubtful results.A piece which has had a finish on it will not be able to accept a penetrating stain in a very dark color unless sufficient wood has been sanded off to really open the virgin grain. This is nearly impossible on a piece of furniture, especially where groves or relief detail is present in the wood. Corners are nearly imposssible to totally clean up to accept new stain evenly with the rest of the surface.


Hope this is helpful.

Posted 2012-05-31T16:33:48+0000  by ordjen

I am in the process of refinishing a dining room set. I decided to start with table first and so far, I have finished stripping off the original finish from the top of the table with an orbital sander. I am about one third of the way through sanding the finish off of the lip around the table, the sides and the intricate edges. Feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point, but I will get over that. I eventually want to stain the table in a rich black matte finish. Preferably with the wood grain showing though the top but with a very saturated rich color in the end. 


After reading the last post, I'm concerned that I will have gone through all of this trouble to remove the existing finish, only to end up with an unattainable goal. I would appreciate any feedback as to whether or not I should stick with my plan to stain the table or if I should paint it instead.


Once the table is finished, I still have 6 chairs to do, so I am definitely open to suggestions to make this process easier (if that's possible).



Posted 2012-12-04T22:42:29+0000  by EmilySN22




Painting would have resulted in a lot less work, but might not have resulted in the appearance you desire. You apparently would like to see some of the actual wood grain. To this end, I would recommend the use of Minwax PolyShades in "Classic Black". This highly pigmented urethane varnish will give a very dark black finish in one or two coats. If the first coat has given the desired darkness, you can switch to the regular clear Minwax urethane varnish for the finish coat.


PolyShades is not a penetrating wiping stain. It can be placed directly over an existing finish. It can also be used over over bare wood, where it acts as stain and finish coat in one.


The ability to go directly over old finish could save you much tedious sanding over your remaining chairs. Only a cleaning and scuff sanding is neccessary in preparation for PolyShades. I am personally presently contemplating doing this on my bathroom vanities to get rid of the generic honey oak color presently on them.


Hope this has helped.

Posted 2012-12-05T05:52:12+0000  by ordjen
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question