Stain Wood Darker Without Sanding

The wood on this trunk was lighter than most of the wood in the room so I decided see if I could stain wood darker without sanding. 
Stain light wood dark without sanding

Not long before I moved into my first apartment, I was looking for something in the attic of my parents’ house when I stumbled across an old trunk.  It was my mother’s trunk from when she was a nursing student, but it had been stored attic for 30 years.  It was covered in dust and the wood had almost completely deteriorated.  Sorry, this was way before I started blogging so no before pictures are available.

It was not being used so I asked my mother if I could have it and she was glad to get rid of it.

My father and I worked on refurbishing the old trunk together.  We removed the old wood and painted the whole trunk black.  Then we cut replacement wood strips out of oak.  We cut slots into the back of the wood so that we could shape it, then used filler to get a smooth finish.  At the time we used a honey oak stain.

Stain light wood darker without sanding.Since most of my wood is now a medium-dark color, I decided to try to darken the wood, but I definitely wanted to keep the wood grain.  I had read some articles about getting a darker finish on wood without sanding, and I wanted to try it.  I picked up the Minwax Polyshades product in Tudor satin.  The label says it can be applied over polyurethane finishes, and that is what I did.

How to stain wood darker without sanding - minwax polyshades

I applied the product using a cloth, making sure to go back to pick up any drips, particularly around the corners and the screws.  After the first two coats, I was worried that I was wasting my time because the difference was very subtle, but I persevered and after 5 coats I got the look I was hoping for.   Many light coats reduces the risk of drips ; however, applying with a heavier hand might have achieved this depth of color with fewer coats, so I might try that next time.

Stain light wood dark without sanding

You might also like nightstand touch-up of worn wood and covering scratches in wood furniture.

Stain wood dark without sanding

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