‘Blacken’ Orange-Tone Wood

A shortcut to refinishing furniture that has turned orange…
Most woods turn a little “orange” over time.
I, personally, prefer a  brown or black tone.

A few years ago I bought this bench for $7. I meant to redo it a lot sooner than now. I used my pressure washer to clean it

 You can ruin a nice piece of furniture with a pressure washer so be careful of the nozzle setting. I took some of the shiney finish off of my inexpensive bench during the spray – fine with me.
To {blacken} the wood I gave the whole thing a little sand down with my orbital hand sander with 120 grit sand paper. I dipped my sponge brush in water – then in black chalkboard paint – applied the watered down chalkboard paint over the bench a little at a time – working with the natural grain of the wood. Then wiped each stroke of paint off with a paper towel. That paint dries quickly – especially when it is so thin and in the bright sun.
Once I got the amount of black on my bench that I liked – I covered it with a thin coat of black walnut stain.
Don’t forget to wipe the stain into the wood and remove any excess. The wood will only ‘drink’ so much.
My $7  bench was perfect for this paint technique because the top is a  rough & chunky log piece. The blackening accentuated the grain in the wood and makes it look more rustic.
Once the stain dried I covered it in clear wax.
A quick morning project that was dry by evening.
Blackening leaves a variation in the wood colors because the under coat is not completely removed as would be done fore a full refinish. Can you see the difference?
Much Better!

Now if I can just find a way to keep Mazi looking fresh.
Her hair is more ‘high maintenance’ than mine.

Sharing with: The Brambleberry Cottage, Common Ground, Funky Junk Interiors, Stone Gable


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Who but you would think to use chalkboard paint… love the variations of color in the wood, what a creative and easy technique! And I swear Mazi is smiling in her photo shoot…little dolly with teeth!Hugs,Pendra

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Laura Gonzalez

This is an awesome transformation!! Thanks so much for the tutorial!! I work in sets for a theater and transforming things to reuse is so common, yet I'm fairly new and still learning. This will come in handy soon, I think!! 🙂

Angela Santaniello

This is so awesome! Definitely pinning this because I know it will be useful. I honestly never would have thought to use chalkboard paint (even though it is a favorite supply of mine). Thanks for sharing (and how cute is that puppy of yours?!)Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

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Down to Earth Style

Thanks Cher! I will drop by to see you too!

Down to Earth Style

Thanks Laura!

Down to Earth Style

Hey Tina…Mazi looks sweet but she bites. =/ I'm glad you stopped by!

Down to Earth Style

Thank you Shannon! Love your blogs!

Down to Earth Style

Thanks Angela – you have a fun weekend also.

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Me too!

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Hi Gail…thanks for stopping in.

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You too Cynthia! Thank you!

Down to Earth Style


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Yup! Good to see you here!

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Thanks Lynn…

Down to Earth Style

I put it at the foot of my bed for now. I like it with my white bedding. 🙂

Down to Earth Style

Oh…you are the one with all the fun paint tricks. Love your techniques.

Down to Earth Style

It was fast and easy!

Down to Earth Style

Hmmmm…. wax?

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Thanks Laurie!

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So much better…Thank you!

Down to Earth Style

Huge improvement! Mazi doesn't like her bow so much. =/

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Sure…. 🙂

Cher-Ann Texter

Wow, great technique! Love the furry friend, too! Found you through Funky Junk Interiors Party Junk 183…Cher @ Designs by Studio Chttp://designsbystudioc.com


Love this idea and that face is too adorable. xo Laura


I like it much better dark, Holly.And I'll take that little sweetie if you ever tire of her! 🙂


GREAT makeover! Love the addition of the darker stain to tone down the orange. And Mazi is adorable!xo,Shannon(AKA Design, Blogger Homes & Blogger Resources)

Angela Ryder

Love the new look! Have a great weekend!~~Angela


One of my fav things to do is wash painted pieces with a dark stain, I love the look it gets.Bliss


What an amazing make-over Holly! I love that bench!! Enjoy your weekend, Gail


I love this bench, it turned out wonderfully. Mazi is adorable, so tiny. Have a great weekend!Cynthia


love it!

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door

Hi, Holly! I've never tried this technique. Walnut is my favorite stain color but I'd never thought to use the chalk board paint. Thanks so much for the tip!

Lynn Fern

It looks so much better. I like darker brown/black tones as well. Cute bench!!

Christine Vandormolen

Looks so much better now…wow…where are you gonna put it?

Deb Hrabik

That treatment is so nice. It gives it such a nice clean look but with the charming rustic quality I love.I'll try that!Deb


Love the way it turned out! I just picked up a bench that I think would benefit from the same treatment. Thanks for sharing. Your pup is looking cute!


Looks perfect, I need to do something to our walls in our log home to tone down the orange, but I need a technique that is very easy and not messy. Not even sure it's possible:)


I love the look! It turned out so pretty. And Mazi! She's such a little sweetheart!

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage

What a change! It looks great now!


That looks really, really great, Holly. It really updates it and brings it to a whole different level. Great job. Love the \”do\” with the bow on Mazi! xo Diana

Shelly Hardage-Wilkerson

What a great re-do….never thought to use chalkboard paint for blackening wood. Thanks for the tip!

Down to Earth Style

Worked great for me. Thanks Lynn!


not crazy about orange, and this is an awesome fix! tfs!