There can be a little bit of a trick to painting wood black and achieving a super smooth durable finish with no streaking. I’ll show you how!
A friend of a client reached out to me to paint this beautifully-made oak dining set. I hesitate a little with dining sets because they are a ton of work, but since there were only 4 chairs and not too many spindles, I took the job.
Kim’s preferred décor style is farmhouse and most of her house is white. She wanted this set painted black for contrast, so I chose Dixie Belle’s deepest black, Caviar.
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- Bar height dining set (client-owned)
- White Lightning
- Best Dang wax in black
- Applicator Pad
- Clear Coat in Satin
If you want tons of information on Dixie Belle paint and products, you can check out this Comprehensive Guide post, and you can download it free here by clicking the picture:
Painting Wood Black with Caviar
After cleaning the set really well with White Lightning, I gave it all 2 coats of Caviar. I did a light sanding in between coats with a very fine sandpaper. Using my mister bottle and paper towels, I wiped it all down before starting my second coat.
One tip I have for painting spindles is to paint them the short way around instead of the long way with long strokes. You get fewer drips, and it also seems to get the job done faster for me.
I painted the stools assembled, but toward the end I had my husband take the tops of the stools off the bottoms so I could paint in between there. When you are eye level with them, you can see right in that gap, and I wanted to make sure everything was covered.
Sealing Black Paint
Painting wood black is easy, but sealing black paint is tricky! I have tried liquid topcoats and hemp oil, but it’s still a struggle. For this set, I decided to try black wax. It still requires a bit of elbow grease, but the end result is worth it.
I applied the wax with a natural bristle brush, and immediately spread it out and buffed it in with an applicator pad. I chose the applicator pad for its lack of lint.
Then once I had wax applied to a whole chair, I went back and buffed the heck out of it with a dark t-shirt. It is very important to use a dark t-shirt and not a white one. Again, avoid lint at all costs!
After letting the chairs sit for a few days, I buffed them once more with a finishing pad (or very high grit sand paper). And then I finally had that beautiful wax sheen that you just can’t get any other way.
I sealed the table legs and apron with wax as well.
Sealing the Tabletop
While I could have just waxed the top, I really prefer liquid topcoats for durability on tabletops. Again streaks can be an issue, but I have some tips for you.
Mix a dollop of Caviar into the satin clear coat. Stir it well. Apply it thinly with the blue sponge or applicator pad. Don’t overwork it! You can use a synthetic brush, but the pad is extra insurance against brush strokes.
I decided to add black wax on top of the clear coat to give the top the same look as everything else. That’s the beauty of Dixie Belle products! They are water-based, so you can use them all together in any order.
Lastly, I distressed a bit around the edges.
Look at how gorgeous this set turned out! Very farmhouse and modern, and Kim was able to re-use her well-made pieces.
If you liked learning how to paint wood black, you may enjoy these tutorials as well:
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