Finishing Black Walnut.

Help Support

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Established Member
16 Jun 2008
Reaction score
People, I like to use American Black Walnut for most of the furniture I make. I usually use a Chestnut lacquer spray to finish.. After a few years all the pieces have turned a mid- brown colour. Looking at genuine old American furniture it has a lovely ' chocolate brown ' colour. ( I appreciate it has had a few hundred years to mature ! )
Has anybody found a way to do this. ? I have had some success spraying spirit dyes but it takes a very clean environment to do that. Anybody got good results with Ammonia fuming. ?
All advice welcomed.
I have some industrial grade ammonia just need to get the correct 3m filters for my mask before using it, you don't wanna breate that stuff in trust me, I got just a faint whiff of it and almost passed out lol
it's highly recommended you build a fuming tent outdoors, I'm going to use pallet wood for mine when I get around to it and some dust sheets, also definitely do some tests if possible before committing, depending on the strength of ammonia, the industrial stuff goes deeper into the wood pores, when I finally get around to doing it I may make a post about it or as part of a WIP, there isn't really much detail on the process online I've noticed.
I just use fine oil finishes which naturally darken grain. I rarely ever use spray applied plastic based finishes although they can be very durable because I have a preference for the grain popping properties of oil finishes which provide a more natural finish imho.