Staining wood furniture requires some preparation, knowledge and time. If the wood is bare and smooth, it may only need a light sanding before staining. Depending on the number of layers of paint or topcoats previously applied, the wood may need to be stripped before it is prepared for staining. Stains come in solid and semitransparent coverage, and in several colors that are in the black family, including slate, charcoal and black.
Place the table on a dropcloth. Put on chemical resistant gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask. Open windows or place a fan in the area where the work will be done.
Choose your stain type. Stains come in semitransparent or solid coverage. Semitransparent tints the wood, but allows the grain to show through. Solid stain is more like paint, tinting and covering the wood grain. Stain colors include true black, charcoal, pewter, and dark gray, all appearing to be shades of black.