Minwax Ebony Wood Stain Color Guide

Minwax Ebony is a grayish-black wood stain that instantly intensifies the vibe of a room. The natural wood grain shows through beautifully on furniture, hardwood floors, and home decor items. If you are considering a deep-colored wood stain, this guide is for you!

The Moody and Sophisticated Vibes of Ebony Stain

Ebony isn’t a common stain color in home decor, but it adds a total moody and sophisticated atmosphere to a room. While it’s still comfortable enough for a family home, it reminds me of an upscale furniture store.

Gone are the days when wood stain was only for hardwood floors and furniture! Stains can now be used for various projects, including rehabbing thrift store finds. Just about any type of wood stain can be applied to furniture, doors, trim, molding, cabinetry, decor items, and more.

can of ebony wood finish

This Ebony wood stain review contains affiliate links, but I wholeheartedly recommend the products mentioned.

Today, I’m sharing Minwax Ebony, an amazing and versatile wood stain that I love. This shade is a beautiful, rich, intense color that can elevate any project with just a single coat.

stain wood in ebony

Minwax Ebony Stain Overview

Minwax Ebony is an oil-based stain that is ideal for staining unfinished wood furniture, cabinets, doors, trim, molding, and even hardwood floors.

We’ve used this stain on a variety of projects, including our popular Banquette Booth Seating. What I love about Minwax Ebony is how well it goes with different wood grains, paint colors, and even other shades of stain.

Additionally, applying oil-based polyurethane can further darken the wood and stain over time. Water-based polyurethane, on the other hand, remains clear and doesn’t cause yellowing.

The Cool Undertones of Ebony Stain

Minwax Ebony has intense black and gray undertones, placing it within the cool color group. It’s always important to test the stain color on various types of wood to see how the undertones and tints will translate through each piece.

testing ebony wood stain on two different types of wood

How Different Woods Look with Ebony Stain

It’s recommended to test stains and paint colors on different types of wood before starting a project. We tested Minwax Ebony on oak plywood, poplar, pine, fir, oak, and yellow birch.

Oak Plywood

The lighter stained wood trend is growing in popularity, and I must admit it’s beginning to grow on me. With oak plywood, the stain appears light and neutral, allowing the natural wood grain to shine through beautifully. Oak plywood is made from hardwood and is great for staining due to its pretty wood grain and durability.

banquette bench stained with ebony wood stain


Poplar isn’t known for its natural beauty, and it usually doesn’t take stain very well, resulting in a blotchy finish. Due to the lack of wood grain and slight green undertones, combining poplar with the dark Ebony stain isn’t particularly exciting. The combination gives a worn-off and dull appearance, so it’s not recommended for a high-end look.


Ebony completely transforms the look of pine wood, giving it a gray-washed appearance. Pine absorbs stains unevenly, so it’s important to keep that in mind during the application process. Pine tends to dry lighter than other woods, and using a pre-stain conditioner can help combat blotchiness.


If you prefer deep and richly stained pieces, fir and Ebony stain are a perfect combination. The natural wood grains of fir pop through the blackish stain, resulting in a stunning look. Although fir has a reddish-brown tint that can make staining tricky, the final result is worth it.


Oak is a solid and commonly used wood in furniture making. The combination of wood grain and Ebony stain produces varying depths across the wood surface. The natural wood grain, enhanced by the rich stain color, creates a beautiful finish for DIY desks or sturdy shelving.

Yellow Birch

Birch wood is popular among woodworkers for its ease of workability, affordability, and smooth finish. When stained or finished, birch produces a subtle wood grain pattern and nice coloring.

Coordinating Colors for Ebony Stain

Minwax Ebony stain pairs well with a variety of colors. Lighter colors like seafoam greens, whites, creams, and other neutrals can make the stain pop in a room. On the other hand, rich mustards, earth tones, and darker colors can intensify the mood. It’s important to ensure there is plenty of natural light in the room if using darker shades alongside Ebony stain, so it doesn’t feel too closed in.

Closest Stain Colors to Ebony

If you’re looking for alternatives to Ebony stain, Minwax Jacobean, Espresso, Dark Walnut, and Mocha (not pictured) are the closest options. Each has its own unique characteristics in terms of color and undertones.

  • Ebony vs. Jacobean: Jacobean has a slightly more brown tone than Ebony.
  • Ebony vs. Espresso: Espresso has a deeper and richer color with warmer brown hues and a slightly more red tone.
  • Ebony vs. Dark Walnut: Dark Walnut is darker than Ebony and has more brown tones.

Wherever you use Minwax Ebony wood stain, be prepared for a totally different look! With just one coat, this rich stain will enhance the wood’s natural grain for a stunning result.

If you have any other questions about this stain color, let me know in the comments below!

Related Articles

Back to top button