Oak Ebonized

Oak Ebonized

My medicine cabinet design includes an ebonized shelf.  Ebony itself is far too expensive for this (and nearly any other project), and I did not want to use something like marble or a synthetic substance.  I chose to continue to use white oak, but looked for a way to change the color of the wood.

I looked around for a few suggestions, and considered an ebony wood stain and a Tandy Leather black dye.  Then I watched a segment of The Woodsmith Shop where they used an india ink to ebonize the feet of a small box.  Sounded like a winner to me so I went looking for it here in Omaha.

There are huge price differences in what this product is sold for in local stores.  I ended up taking back the 2 oz bottle that I bought at one place and bought 8 oz for slightly more from Dick Blick art supplies.  I questioned whether 2 oz might be enough for both projects, so I am happy to have the larger bottle at a much better price.

I will say one thing about using india ink.  It got on things that I did not intend.  I noticed days later little spots were on other pieces of wood that happened to by lying around when I created samples.  Fortunately for me, I noticed that before I started on the real stuff, and cleared everything else away.  Make sure you wear a glove, and protect your clothing.  This stuff does not come out.

Because the product is water based, I was able to apply two coats in a short amount of time and it was nice and dry later in the day.  I sprayed it with lacquer the next day to seal it, and I will apply a couple more coats before I glue this piece into the cabinet.

You can see from the picture that the wood still shows its oak grain, which I like.

If you are looking for a way to ebonize a portion of your project, I would suggest looking at india ink.  This particular brand is called Black Cat.


Leave a Reply