How can I make this dresser meet my vision?

I have a vision for this dresser - we got it free from a yard sale, but it needed work. I've sanded it all down, particularly the top. The vision is to stain the top very dark, and paint the drawers/sides a creamy white. The middle drawers will be stenciled with spackle to create a raised design, and that and the raised details will be in a slightly darker shade of "white." I was going to spray the dresser for the white, but reviews of the sprayer I have said the medium needs to be really thin. I've got a hybrid paint that cleans up with soap and water but hardens like epoxy, and don't want to play with the thickness to spray it, so I'm brushing it on. My problem is that the "ebony" stain I put on the top is not very dark except on the ends of the wood. If I add another coat of the stain will it darken it? Or, am I going to have to convince my daughter this is what she wants, when she has already said she wants black?
q dresser antique ideas mid ventury modern makeover, painted furniture, dresser prior to sanding solid wood but drawers don t slide well and there are some issues with the top
dresser prior to sanding - solid wood but drawers don't slide well and there are some issues with the top.
q dresser antique ideas mid ventury modern makeover, painted furniture, This is after sanding it down and staining the top with ebony is there a way to make this black or is this the darkest I can hope for
This is after sanding it down and staining the top with "ebony" - is there a way to make this black, or is this the darkest I can hope for?
  18 answers
  • Paula Hukill Paula Hukill on Aug 25, 2014
    I had the same problem on a dresser that was 50 year old. We had to strip it on the top to take stain dark

  • Shari Shari on Aug 25, 2014
    I haven't worked with stain very much but I do know that different types of woods take the same color stain differently. With that being said, the darkest stain I have ever worked with was Mahogany and I found that with each coat I applied, it did get darker. Is this last picture is just one coat? On my monitor it does look very light for Ebony. I would let it dry well and apply at least one more coat to see if it gets darker. If it does, you will then know you are going to need to keep applying stain to reach your desired level of darkness. Just be sure to let it dry adequately after each coat or you might find yourself with a big sticky mess. Also make sure you gently stir (NOT shake) the can well with a wooden stir stick before each coat so all the color pigment isn't sitting on the bottom of the can.

  • 117135 117135 on Aug 26, 2014
    General Finishes makes a product called Gel Stain. It comes it a lot of colors but you are mainly looking for the Java(dark brown) or black. You apply it like paint. I use a Chip brush and brush it on like paint. I throw away the brush when done so I don't have to use mineral spirits to clean up. It is thick, so takes a day or 2 to completely dry(based on humidity). Once it is dry you can apply a wipe on Poly from Minwax. Here is a link to a dresser I just completed with the stencils and embossing with the Java stain color. hope this helps!

  • Highstyle Restyle Highstyle Restyle on Aug 26, 2014
    Designed Decor is right! General Finishes gel stain in Java sounds like the color you're wanting to achieve. Easy to apply with fantastic results!

  • AvonelleRed AvonelleRed on Aug 26, 2014
    I also recommend using a gel stain.

  • Marge Marge on Aug 26, 2014
    My daughter did this. She painted it instead of staining it. She power sanded it.Top is black and rest is off white. She removed top row of drawers and made open shelves for her DVD player, cable box, etc. So entertainment center with TV on the wall above.

  • CK CK on Aug 26, 2014
    She wants a black top? Why not just paint it? You can slightly rough up the surface and then paint it. Of course all your hard work thus far done will be covered up. But there are some excellent other ideas posted here. I'm sure in time your dream will be realized for this lovely dresser.

  • Barbara Valenti Barbara Valenti on Sep 30, 2014
    Why have you chosen those colors? Sounds like you are leaning to a Chinese color. If that's the case, add some gold in the cracks. I am sure it will look great! What kind of knobs and if you rub soap on the bottom of the drawers, they should slide easier. Please post finished pic!

    • See 6 previous
    • AvonelleRed AvonelleRed on Dec 19, 2014
      @Helen I'd love to, but it isn't in the plans right now. Thank you for bringing back some memories!

  • Cindy D. Cindy D. on Sep 30, 2014
    I would not say this is a Chinese color scheme at all - I am also a little confused by that comment. I did finish the dresser, and we are quite happy with how it came out, thank you all for your thoughts!

  • Barbara Valenti Barbara Valenti on Sep 30, 2014
    Hold on people I thought you said somewhere that you where going to paint the drawer fronts red. Gosh are you women quick to get your panties in a wad! And, about that soap maybe you can save some to wash out your rude mouth! Sorry if I offended any one. How bought you post this sucker when you are done and lets see how many women get goo goo eyed over it then. I am done!!!

    • Barbara Valenti Barbara Valenti on Jan 18, 2015
      I am Barbara and I finally figured out why I said that, because the top looks red to me and I thought you were finished with it. My pic looks very red, sorry!

  • Shari Shari on Sep 30, 2014
    @Cindy D. Wow, what a transformation! The stained top came out great and I really like the raised details. I hope your daughter enjoys it!

  • Nancy Merrell Nancy Merrell on Oct 11, 2014
    Very different,looks great!

  • AvonelleRed AvonelleRed on Dec 17, 2014
    Did your daughter love it even though the top isn't black? It looks awesome!

  • 169756 169756 on Jan 01, 2015
    Turned out wonderful. Congrats!

  • Pamela John Pamela John on Mar 09, 2015
    Hi I just finished a dresser for my daughter like this and the top was veneer, that had previously been antique washed finish, when stripped and sanded it also took the stain darker in areas, I went over it 3 times with stain, finally gave up and called it good, I would also try the darkest gel stain or possibly get a custom tinted stain at Sherwin williams

  • Kelley MacKay Kelley MacKay on Mar 17, 2016
    what type of stain did you use? General Finishes makes a black gel stain. If you don't care about the grain showing, you can just paint on and not wipe it back to get a solid black color. Then you topcoat with an oil based product like their Arm R Seal

  • Ros5097720 Ros5097720 on Mar 18, 2016
    I have seen wood floors stained ebony. It can be done, but I do not know how. Google or @Youtube it.