quick question *PIC*

GaryG in MD

We had Rudy Lopez just demo for us (outstanding, as always), so I wanted to be in the spirit and turn some air.
I turned a bark-edge winged bowl (wing only, so perhaps a "banana" bowl in some parlance, but I prefer the descriptor "wing") out of plain white oak -- no spalting and no unusual figure -- just the typical grain plus rays. I'm happy with the shape and finish off the tool, plus a little sanding (very little because I don't want grain waves).
I like oak, a lot, but this piece is surprisingly plain for oak. I made a mistake by putting a quick coat of Watco Danish on the top surface while it was on the lathe "to see what it would look like". This usually provides a pleasant experience. In this case, it was pure "ho hum". Nothing really popped. It's still plain.

SO, I think I'm screwed re the top surface, but the bottom surface is still raw wood, and I'd like to give it an accent, preferably a darker one.
I'm very familiar with the process of fuming with a powerful ammonia. I'd prefer to not have to do that.
I'm familiar with the fact that many have stated that the results are not so good trying to fume with household ammonia. Understandable. I won't try.
I'm also familiar with the vinegar and steel solution. I might eventually go there, but I'd like to try something else first...

Has anybody tried just wiping on liquid household ammonia? Does it darken the wood? Subtly? At all? Or does it just raise the grain?
I'd be interested to hear anyone's comment who has actually tried it and has some kind of experimental results to relate -- positive, neutral, or negative.

Thanks, GG

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