Staining over paint

I have an entertainment unit which is black. I want to change the color to a medium brown. Will I have to completely sand the old color off before staining. I’d rather stain it then paint it but not sure if a medium brown stain will work over something that has been black.

  9 answers
  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Feb 06, 2018
    Hi Bev,
    Do you know if the entertainment center is made from real wood or if it's MDF/pressed wood. That will make a difference in whether you can stain it at all. If it's real wood, you'll have to sand anyplace that you want to the stain to show. Click below to read an article about how to do this project. Wishing you the best.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Feb 06, 2018
    it will depend on what the cabinet is made of?
  • Sharon Sharon on Feb 06, 2018
    Well I've done black paint over brown stain, distressing to let the brown show through. I applied the paint with a rag over the stained piece, and then when almost dried used tulle netting to distress it.
    You could try gel stain which is opaque over the paint and see if it shows enough for you. If not try using sand paper to distress down to the wood, then stain the visible wood.
  • Chubby58 Chubby58 on Feb 06, 2018
    I would use gel stain, it is self leveling at least the General Finishes brand is. First clean your piece well, lightly sand so the stain will have something to adhere to, then put the gel on.
  • Bijous Bijous on Feb 06, 2018
    I've put oil stain over paint to add another layer of tone to the original paint. If you put a brown stain over black paint it will tone down the black and give it a brown hue, but the black will still be dominate. Below is a picture of brown gel stain over black paint. Always seal gel stain. Good luck.
  • 2dogal 2dogal on Feb 07, 2018
    Stains are different than paint. Practice on a throw-away board first to make sure you end up with what you want. There is probably a sealer over the stain like a poly or varnish or wax that would have to be removed first.
  • Bevie Bevie on Feb 07, 2018
    It is made of wood.
  • 34140519 34140519 on Sep 23, 2018

    I want to refinish ceiling fan blades that were light oak finish. I painted with a brown spray primer. If I brush or wipe on a brown stain can I get a “wood grain” finish or will it just smear the primer ??

  • Clareb Clareb on Feb 01, 2020

    Used gel stain over white paint

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