Saturday, July 21, 2012

Matching Ikea's Black-Brown Stain on Billy Bookcase

I wanted to add crown moulding to my Ikea Billy bookcase, so I hunted around on the internet looking for an answer to what color stain matches the black-brown color, but then I decided I would try my own formula and see if it worked. We keep our crystal in the Billy bookcase in our dining room. This is the best closeup before pic I could find:

Here you can see it on the left in the dining room. It's very plain. This pic was before we got the second door for it. We are bad Ikea shoppers, people! We accidentally got a white door and a black-brown door for it. We actually went back to Ikea TWICE for this because we bought the wrong color one time and the wrong style another time.

So I bought some inexpensive 2 3/4" crown moulding at ACE Hardware. I wanted to spruce it up a little.

Once that was installed, I needed to stain it. I tried Minwax in the color Jacobean, a dark brown stain. I did two coats of that, but it wasn't dark enough. It also was browner than the bookcase color.

So I did something possibly stupid, not sure since I don't if you're supposed to mix stain and paint, but I rubbed on a coat of Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations bond coat in the color Tudor (a dark brown with a purply undertone). This stuff is paint but feels like a gel stain. I used a small foam brush.

Then it wasn't dark enough, so I used the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations bond coat in black and rubbed that in with a foam brush.

VOILA! Perfect. Then I added a coat of polyurethane to protect it:

I am so proud of it! It just looks like a dark stain, not at all like a paint. It turned out like this (some pics are with flash, some aren't):

It should be noted that the type of wood you use will take stain differently. It may absorb more or less. We think the type of wood the crown moulding is made out of is pine.

I added some acrylic knobs bought at Home Depot to add more pizzazz.

Here's a view of the whole dining room now:


  1. Funny . i love the brown black effect of I kea as well. i am using Transfortaions Kona as it is black with a slight brown under tone . with your experimenting is the Mini wax stain still nessecary ?

  2. I haven't used the Rustoleum Transformations in Kona yet, but it does look like the black-brown color of Ikea's furniture. I know my color Tudor is slighter lighter than Kona. Tudor definitely has a slight tinge of purple, so Kona may also have this undertone. I know I needed that to match the Billy black-brown. The problem with using just the Kona may be that it does look like a paint, not a stain, when you're done. It is worth a try, but you may not achieve the stained look you want. Just my two cents' worth.

  3. I want to paint the wine shelf to match the brown-black of cabinets. Thinking I'll have to spray it. How did the Kona turn out? Pictures??

  4. I don't have the color Kona, but it may match. However, it may end up looking like a paint, instead of a stain. The Ikea black-brown looks like a stain, not a paint.

  5. Great job! To clarify, is it a combination of all those products that gave you the final result, or just the last rustoleum product?

  6. Gina, right, it's a combination of all the things I used above that gave me the final result.

  7. Once upon a time, Ikea actually sold Brown/Black stain that matched their furniture.

  8. There is a section of my kitchen where I would like to add more cabinets. I was thinking of using the Tudor on my exhausting cabinets & was wondering if Ikea's black cabinets will match the color?

  9. Hi Angela, thanks for your comment. No, the Tudor color will not match the Ikea black-brown. As seen in the above-post, it took a bunch of mixing different things (like the Min-Wax stains in two different colors and the Tudor) to match the Ikea black-brown.