Next I needed to match the aged color of walnut. Walnut offers a special challenge, in that it ages to a color that has a hint of green. Trust me, it is tough to match the color of aged walnut. Over the years I have found an interesting little trick. But first, I need to tell you how to make a good walnut stain. Hopefully you live in an area with black walnut trees. Black walnut nuts have a touch outer skin that is green typically when it falls from the tree, then dries/decays to a solid black husk. This husk makes a great, natural stain. You need to gather up and husk enough dried black walnuts to get about a half quart of husks (powdered). Place these husks in some cheese-cloth so you can make a ball of them and slide the ball down into a quart jar. Needless to say, old “T” shirt material also works well.
Fill the jar with household-strength ammonia, and let set for a couple of weeks with the cover loosely on the jar. Pull out the ball of husks, squeeze it to get out as much liquid as you can (do wear rubber gloves both to keep the ammonia from drying your hands and to keep from staining your hands). Oh, did I mention, don’t take a deep breath of the ammonia – it will clear your head right quickly. Best to do the ammonia parts outside.
OK! Now you have some great walnut stain. Yes, it is water based stain, so it will raise the grain, but it is a very strong, dark stain.