How to Stain Oak Veneer Dark

Updated February 21, 2017

Oak is a light coloured, coarse or open grained hardwood. It is an excellent wood for a beginner to stain, because the open grain is an ideal characteristic for pigmented oil stains. Oak veneer is a thin top layer of oak that is applied over a cheaper building material and is commonly used in furniture. The oak veneer on your unfinished furniture piece can be coloured with a pigmented stain to achieve the dark finish you desire.

Wipe the surface of the unfinished furniture piece with a clean tack cloth to remove any dust or other debris.

Apply an even coat of the pigmented oil stain to the surface of the oak veneer on the furniture piece using a lint-free cloth.

Wipe the surface of the furniture piece to remove any excess stain with a lint-free cloth before the stain starts to dry.

Allow the stain to dry for at least 24 hours before handling the furniture piece or applying an additional top coat such as varnish or shellac.


Test the colour of the stain on an unseen area of the veneer on the furniture piece, prior to applying the stain to the whole piece.


Apply the stain in a well-ventilated area.

Things You'll Need

  • Unfinished oak veneer furniture piece
  • Tack cloth
  • Pigmented oil stain, dark colour
  • Lint-free cloth
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About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.