How can I darken the color of painted furniture using varnish?


Hi, I just paint my outdoor dining set, but the color is a little lighter than what I want. I am planning to apply varnish on them and I was thinking to take advantage of the varnish to darker the color a little bit. The color right now is light gray.

  6 answers
  • William William on Jan 29, 2020

    Varnish has a yellow cast to it and yellows over time. It would not darken the color. it's just a protective finish.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jan 30, 2020

    Maybe dry brush a darker gray over it?

  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Jan 30, 2020

    I would recommend using antiquing wax. That will darken and add dimension to your finish

  • Lindsay Aratari Lindsay Aratari on Jan 30, 2020

    You could use a dark antique wax or paint it a darker color before varnishing

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Jan 30, 2020

    If its a painted set then a dry brush of a slightly darker color would definitely work. If its stained you could consider going over it with a gel stain - make sure and wipe it down thoroughly and then apply your varnish.

  • If you've only just painted it, you can paint it darker. There are also ways to use an antiquing faux finish or glaze effect. Varnish is not going to darken, it's a sealer coat. Once something has been sealed, it's more complicated to darken it.