I feel like Graphite is gaining in popularity. There is something very classy & high-end about a black piece of furniture. One of my very first pieces in my home was a black, rubbed buffet with bright red interior and it was the nicest piece in the house at the time!


I used Annie Sloan’s Graphite on a bedroom set recently for a client and I think they turned out wonderfully. Here is the before:


Originally she wanted “Uffizi” which is why you see the Old White, a measuring cup & a red bucket. But, that is a story for another day. We went with Graphite in the end.


If you’ve used Graphite in the past, you know that it is not a true black. In fact, when you apply your first layer you will notice that it is more of a chalkboard-black color.


It will get deeper and darker with more coats & with your clear wax, but it will never be true black. I must say, however, that I like this smokey-black a bit better because it doesn’t look like you just applied it with a spray can.

Here is the finished color. Be aware that the sun was shining so the color does not quite show how dark it turned out. IMG_2084




A few things you need to know about a dark color.

1. Stir, stir, stir. You will want to make sure your can of paint is shaken & stired so that the color is complete when applied. You will notice if you do not stir a darker color that the water seems to sit at the top.

2. Darker colors will most likely need more layers for complete coverage.

3. If you decide you want to sand your darker piece, you will notice that the dust will collect on your piece. Be sure to wipe it down with your dry brush & clear wax. If it is still white-ish in places due to your sanding you will want to touch up with your paint.

To be honest, a darker color is a bit more finicky so if you want the piece to look right take your time, let dry, layer and be detailed when you age the piece.



  1. My first ASCP project was with graphite. I used dark wax over it and love it. The dark wax definitely brings it more to a charcoal color that is just shy of black.

  2. i still love black painted furniture. a few years ago when i had a booth at a local antique mall, my best sellers were black and distressed furniture! i only have one piece at home that’s painted black but i’m going to strip the top and stain it for a “newer” look.

    i love the graphite painted piece but not sure if it would be dark enough for me!

  3. I have yet to try Graphite but I definitely want to try especially after seeing your pieces. Thank you for the tips!

    BTW … My oldest started Kindergarten two weeks ago and I still get a little weepy. It does get better.:)

  4. I found the graphite looked too blue for me and ended up repainting my piece black. Perhaps if I had used the dark wax instead of the clear, I would have been happier with the outcome.

  5. I had a stockist tell me she used black ink to darken her ASCP graphite as well as the dark wax. She used this method for her kitchen cabinets.

    I’ve yet to try my can on my old piece. I believe I’ll try this method & see how I like.

  6. The dresser is lovely. I really love the color Graphite becomes with the dark wax… it adds great depth. I have heard of darkening it with ink but I’d be afraid you have then lost the “washable” aspect of AS paints. I’ve added black acrylic craft paint (to the desired color) with great results!

  7. I’ve done an old Ikea dresser in Old White (body) and Graphite (top) I just used the dark wax directly on the Graphite. No clear wax first. It came out great. I’ll try to dig out a picture.

  8. Any suggestions out there for me? i LOVE Graphite and have painted many pieces with it-but it is a particular/finicky color-I’d love advice on how to get a perfect waxed finish- I have seen streaks (when I’ve done the sludge: Mineral Spirits and Dark wax Combo)- it is hard to get that perfect finish on tops of large pieces (ie: buffet or dresser top) Any suggestions out there? with this said–i LOVE the look and refinement-the color is great for mid-century mod to vintage to chic and traditional. Thanks for the post! -cd

  9. This is a suggestion for Courtney. I use steal wool (000) while waxing to remove extra wax and to make sure the wax is being absorbed by the paint not just “sitting” on top. I learned that from this blogger, Christen’s wax video, it is a very good tutorial! Thanks again Christen, I just finished a very large buffet for my daughter in Old Violet with clear and dark wax. It is beautiful and it wouldn’t be as nice if I hadn’t used your tips! 🙂

  10. June, thank you! I’ll try that tip (I’ll have to re-watch Christen’s video)
    thank you!

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