Help With Ebonizing Birch

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Forum topic by Jonicus posted 01-21-2013 11:07 AM 2619 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2512 days

01-21-2013 11:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: help ebonized birch birch refinishing finishing restoration project

Hi Everyone. This is my first time here. I have a restoration project ahead of me and it is a 1950’s Milo Baughmen dining table. I will be restoring it to its former beauty as a gift for my mother. The top is made of rose wood, oak and birch. The sides and legs are of ebonized birch and that’s where I am in trouble. I don’t know what will be the best way to do this. I am just starting the project and I have a little time before I will get to that part. I am grateful for any and all help/ advice with this project. I plan to update as I go along as well. The first two pictures are a before the restoration and the end goal. Thanks again.

6 replies so far

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4685 days

#1 posted 01-23-2013 11:25 PM

I’d be tempted to go with a commercial stain. Birch is kind of soft and doesn’t have the tannins necessary for the usual ebonizing processes, but I know I’ve used a couple of dark commercial stains that’d penetrate fairly well…

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View higtron's profile


253 posts in 3237 days

#2 posted 01-23-2013 11:49 PM

India ink paint it on until the wood won’t absorb anymore you can buy it at a art supply store.

-- A friend will help you move, a good friend will help you move a body

View killerb's profile


150 posts in 2958 days

#3 posted 01-24-2013 12:55 AM

general finishes makes a good black water base dye. bob

-- Bob

View ROB_IN_MN's profile


35 posts in 2706 days

#4 posted 01-24-2013 05:02 PM

I agree with higtron. I’ve used india and it gets totally black. I used it on oak and it still showed the grain nicely, if that’s what you’re after.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2921 days

#5 posted 01-25-2013 12:36 AM

Get a can of black Ronan Japan Color paste. Nothing will be blacker or more permanent. Thin with naptha and wipe it on. Top with any clear coat.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 3035 days

#6 posted 01-25-2013 12:41 AM

You can use cathecol and iron disolved in vinegar. It is what I use and it works great with any kind of wood, even pine.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

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