Any finish is turning wood black?

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Forum topic by mmax posted 09-24-2018 08:04 PM 488 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mmax's profile


185 posts in 3910 days

09-24-2018 08:04 PM

A guy dropped off a slab cross section he picked up in Arizona. He indicated it is redwood and from all apperance I would agree. Whatever finish I apply it turns the wood black or very dark. Have tried clear lacquer, varnish, danish oil, and poly. Any ideas??

-- Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else

6 replies so far

View lumbering_on's profile


578 posts in 944 days

#1 posted 09-24-2018 10:33 PM

I saw something similar when I was taking a furniture making class. The instructor brought in a piece of oak, and it had a similar dark stain. From what I recall, this was due to minerals staining the wood where there was an injury to the tree. It was always there, but the stain just made it painfully visible. It could also be due to fungi, or mold. I don’t know if there is anything you can do to salvage it, although someone who is better at finishing may know.

View WoodenDreams's profile


679 posts in 365 days

#2 posted 09-24-2018 11:02 PM

I have also had red oak turn sort of blackish when using Minwax Natural stain. Looks neat on some of the boxes and chests I build. So, I now try to pick out the red oak boards that will give me the darker look, with still using a natural stain. I have had customers request the blackened look on red oak on their Hope Chests after seeing some of my work, but while still using natural stain. Everybody has their own tastes on the finished product.

View bilyo's profile


780 posts in 1557 days

#3 posted 09-25-2018 12:13 AM

I have no experience with the phenomenon. However, I have a suggestion of something you can try. I know that sanding end grain as smoothly as possible will minimize the amount of finish/stain it will absorb. Try sanding it at least through 220 and then seal it with spray shellac. Then, if you want some color, use gel stain or a glaze. Maybe that will work. Beyond that ???

View mmax's profile


185 posts in 3910 days

#4 posted 09-27-2018 03:33 PM

I kept trying different product and found Benwood Stay Clear, from Benjamin Moore. I think it came out looking pretty good.

-- Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else

View Andybb's profile


1954 posts in 1058 days

#5 posted 09-27-2018 03:49 PM

You think right! That looks excellent. Nice job.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View bilyo's profile


780 posts in 1557 days

#6 posted 09-27-2018 08:38 PM

That looks great. Never heard of that product. Thanks for reporting back.

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