Hi, We just purchased a house with 60 year old red oak floors and have decided to remove all the carpet and replace the pee stained boards with new ones. In fact, it looked almost pinky gray. I am refinishing my red oak floors and want to go darker. I am trying to update the look of our home but not go too dark either. White Oak can’t take a bad picture. Thank you for a fantastically organized review of stains on various woods. And is special walnut too light and red? Thank for doing this! Really! Where with pine (except heart pine), it’s softness accepts stain quickly and often unevenly, which is why conditioner is so important to use before staining many softwoods. I wondered why the pine wood looks such a different color in the picture where you have all the pine boards next to each other vs. in the pictures with the Jacobean and Dark Walnut stains? The green that is generally very pronounced in Poplar, turned into more of a warm gray. It absolutely helped me to decide on a stain color for our floors, and we will use conditioner, which I wasn’t aware was even an option! Is there anything The floor guys can do to darken it? I love the ebony/Jacobean mix. The next day, our super-nice “floor guy”, Frank, applied them to the floor to let us see the stains on our red oak floors. Thanks for doing all the hard work! I’d rather not have the “red” hues. It doesn’t look like it from the red oak samples. I think that the two colors will look very different depending on the room, as the room pictured above gets a lot of natural light, whereas the bedrooms in the back of the house don't get a lot of natural light at all. I’ve done several wood projects, but I was considering using birch plywood for the first time. The only potential issue is the regular dog “accidents” you mentioned. I have red oak floors and want to stain a dark color. It delivered rich, dark brown tones. Minwax Dark Walnut. Thanks for that. If you like dark but not ebony then Jacobean is very popular. What a great post! I am limited on cabinet space so I am doing diy open shelves in our kitchen and I just knew your blog was the place to go for tips on mixing wood tones! Thanks for putting in the work to share. This is sososo helpful! We did a very light sanding and did stain these inside. For shiny, you can choose a full gloss or semi-gloss finish. Prep- if you sand wood, the grit that you finish at will dramatically change how much stain is absorbed. That was a lot of work. one i have used cuprinol dries to s shine. – Royal Mahogany has a bit of red cut in. The first of the dark stains we tried was also the more neutral in tone. It’s really hard to say without seeing the floors, lighting etc in person. I have no idea when I’ll be starting on this. Most excellent! Good thing we love doing them! I think you could make it work. my husband likes red mahogany —–what combination with red mahogany will look good. That’s hard to say without seeing your place in person. I am just not sure about staining the floors this same color with all the trim and baseboards being kept natural. By the way, that article mentions Minwax Stain also. 6. My mistake! Now, the faux wood floors have tones of walnut and the counter tops are white and I’m trying to do my shelves in something that will go with all the different tones but not be too matchy-matchy. Any help would be appreciated. However, my cabinets are clearly visible. Can we stain it darker? I’m curious if you sanded the samples, that also makes a big difference especially with pine… I’m surprised by some of your results on the pine, I use pine with minwax everyday to build furniture and I get very different results. Probably because we are getting ready to choose a stain for floors in the house we have been renovating. You guys did a fantastic job with this. Required fields are marked *, Please answer the question below before submitting your comment: five  −  4  =  .hide-if-no-js{display:none!important}. That was one my absolute favorite! How would you suggest to get a light ebony color where it doesn’t look like ink, but more sheer? Provincial is a warm, medium toned brown. The white oak looks even, but the red oak looks like zebra stripes–although the dark walnut showed less contrast than the jacobean. THANK YOU so much for this! Thanks! The first of the dark stains we tried was also the more neutral in tone. Every wood species benefitted greatly from the conditioner with this stain. Any more and you start to have finish adhesion issues. However, going really light has some appeal, too, but I can just envision that dingy gold coming through! Use a good quality stain first and 2 or 3 coats of finish on top. It depends on so many things like the condition of your floors, the layout of your home, what finish you want to use, are there repairs needed etc. You lucky duck :P. Thank you, I just stained my floors with Jacobean. What would you recommend…thanks. I did want dark floors up in Lake county. It’s not even like it’s a huge price difference! This is SUCH a helpful post! Every wood species benefitted greatly from the conditioner with this stain. I have about 1200 square feet in 3 rooms. I want a dark floor and I know the trend is for a satin finish but I’m concerned that if I use a satin finish it will look dull. And I thought the pickled looked good on red oak – you didn’t?! The problem is the previous owners dogs peed all over the rugs ! It doesn’t lean towards being red at all and has a beautiful richness to it. I love this! Thank you for coming back to let me know :). Would you do the simply white in a house that might be your forever house? I’m going to give it a try. I’m guessing there’s no poly on top of any of these? Just mix small amounts so you have plenty to experiment with. I do like darker colors and shiny…I cant decide, but I would really like a modern and traditional look. yes! Thank you for posting this! Thankyou for doing this! Is there yellow pine and white pine? thanks! Thank you for doing this! Thank you for all of your help in advance! We refinished and extended our original hardwood floors and there were gross dark stains on the original floors which didn’t sand out. Same. We literally just finished stripping and sanding down pine stairs that had been painted and coated in sand by the previous owners… yesterday. They have pretty much the same colors too. I’ve been told no in the past, but someone told me that with the new gel stains out there it is possible. We are in the middle of updating our 1940s fixer upper and last month we stained our upstairs, red oak floors Jacobean and I LOVE them. I really would like to cool down the warm undertones some, and I am wondering- do you think more coats of the white would do that? Great information! 2. This is so helpful!! Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated! Love this post. With red mahogany, if you like dark, deep rich shades then 50% that with 50% ebony looks stunning. Birch is a hardwood (both yellow and white) and rates a 4 out of 5 on the hardness scale. The information I came to the comments looking for! These don’t have poly on them. The Effects of Different Stains on Poplar Wood: A few weeks ago I wanted to see the effects of different stains on White Pine, well this time I used common Poplar that you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot. We have been trying to pick a miniwax stain for birch cabinets going into our basement. Minwax Wood Putty is a non-hardening, pre-mixed putty color-matched to Minwax Wood Finish stains. We have samples of each that we can show you in person. I am looking to build a platform / platform bed and I have white oak grey pink floors and looking to contrast it with either a less grainy wood like natural Birch, Maple, and not White Oak, but may want to stain it with a semi glossed Charcoal Gray. I’d like my floors to look dark blackish with dark red undertones, not brown. Have you ever tried a mix of Ebony and Grey on red oak? Poplar looked awesome in almost every one except the Golden Pecan. Thank you for this helpful post! Excellent resource. I decided on natural doors, trim and baseboard but torn on the floors, stain or natural? Masterline is a entry level finish. If you have bigger, more open rooms then it’s not as big an issue unless you have dark maroon or chocolate brown walls. It can be hard choosing can’t it. Hi, I’m in need of help, I have oak parquet flooring on it’s way, plus the treds and banisters to do on my stairs, I’m loving the dark colours of Jacobean and Ebony, but love be in the uk, also need it to be tough as I have dogs(paws), I’ve been reading all your blogs, but still need it spelling out to me,ha, what do I use for all my surfaces, want it to look rich with a satin finish, please help, Thankyou Char. Useful helpful post. On the other hand, dark floors will absorb light and have the opposite effect in a small room. By far the best post I’ve seen on explaining the nuances of staining wood. If you are going to be living in your home for many years, I would go with whatever you like. I think the huge variation in poplar might drive me a little crazy, but birch does look awful stunning in those two dark stains. Thank you for this helpful post and for answering this question! I love the simply white but don’t want it to turn pink as it ages! Otherwise there can be issues with the adhesion of the finish. I’ve heard that using ebony obliterates contrast. It dries quick and doesn’t yellow! If a cheap finish is applied then it will scratch as easy as a light colored floor with a cheap finish. Very interesting! Thanks for this post. They are a really nice, dark, rich color. Thank you! That floor was coated with a satin finish. which one you will prefer ? Dark Walnut 2716. This is so helpful as we’re trying to pick a stain color for a piece of furniture. Really awesome post! Minwax Jacobean. That seems like a happy medium!! I have a red oak floor I’d like to redo. Do you need a preconditioning stain or would waterpopping work just as well? It is possible to stain cherry darker. Would we see a noticeable difference? Ft. of 6/4. "Thanks for following along as we uncover our home's potential. Do you have any recommendations? Jacobean is a beautiful, rustic color that reminds of cabin colors! Whatever finish I ultimately decide on is going to have to stand up to my dogs and their “accidents”. From your testing I realized I can use the red oak since my stain although not as dark as the jacobean will make seeing the difference in white vs. Red oak undetectable. Would that eliminate the pink? If it’s too red just add more Expresso to it. I am thinking I will use a golden oak stain and if it’s not perfect I may add a coat of white over it. This was a great post!! I appreciate any thoughts on this. When working with maple or birch, you usually leave the stain on longer to achieve a darker result. This was very helpful and appreciative. I am sanding a 18C vanity unit that is Chestnut. Thank you so, so much for this exercise. I loved this. I did just that to my white oak floors. Yuck! This is a fabulous post! I am hoping Tadas responds soon, maybe he could tell me if this would look alright or not. Meanwhile, our living, dining, family and kitchen have been prepped and we wanted to add a darker shade that would blend with antique brown. Thanks again. It has the reddish hues in the light but dark in the evening or in shade. They often do. Incredibly helpful! I've been going between the Dark Walnut stain and the Jacobean stain. Yes you can mix stain colors, you can do whatever you like :). You can see how to do it here: How much would it cost to stain a +15 year old oak floor a darker color per sq ft? I have read you can bleach red Oak but don’t know how labor-intensive that is I was told my original 1930s floor could not be refinished So picked white oak which I prefer but then a different refinisher said yes they can be refinished. YOU ARE AWESOME. So Provincial it was . In that picture, the last two look much darker. But then there is the world of bleaching! Minwax Dark Walnut. It’s also probably the closest to a modern/traditional look too. This also depends greatly on the quality of the finish system used. We built our house and going with cherry cabinets, trim, baseboards, doors. <3, Thank you SO much for this post!! nightstands I’d like to refinish to make more at home — after this post I’m seriously considering stain instead of paint. I’m afraid of having the oil based turn simply white on white oak any bit of amber or golden. This next picture was also taken last night… We know this is one of the hardest decisions you’ll need to make when it comes to having your hardwood floors sanded and refinished. Pallmann Magic oil or Rubio would work fine. I’m curious of a recipe for red oak to match white oak. I really like the Jacobean, yet what light stain would you suggest as contrast? ), Red Oak (too dark) and Red Chestnut (too red). I’m a beginner learning how to refinish furniture… sanding is therapeutic to me, and I love seeing the potential in the wood under all the old stain/ varnish. containerEl: document.querySelector('#fd-form-5d767f96afdf3e000f968472') I have most of my new doors (they were about a $100 a piece, so they are poplar I guess, maybe birch) painted repose Gray on one side, but the other side I want to stain. Thank you!!! Hope you end up happy with your choice :). Not sure it would be classed as a modern look though as it is quite traditional. The finish would have been Pallmann 96 satin – a waterbased finish. It applies easily and I really like this post and would love to see another post just like it, but with different woods and stains. Would water popping help a satin finish look a little more glossy. Thanks so much for putting this together. I’m going to try the simply white on white oak. I kind of like Expresso/Red Mahogany mixed but am afraid it will be too red. But I’m not really sure about it. You only really have two choices. Without seeing your floors in person, I would be just guessing. We just ripped up the rugs that were covering them . I have cream colored kitchen cabinets. In my own home we used Magic Oil and are very happy with it. Thank you for the quick response! I love this! Jacobean 2750 This is a wonderful write up. They both have great commercial grade water-based finish systems that will withstand your dogs paws and have a beautiful satin sheen. I love cleaning and admiring the hardwood floors of my very first home purchase. Thanks for this! Everything I read says go dark and no red or yellow tones. I’m looking for a medium toned, neutral-ish stain (I guess). I thought the pickled looked nice too. Curious how an oil based vs water based would affect the colors especially on the white oak. Thank you so much. Is the Minwax conditioner a substitute for water-popping? Here is an interesting link on hardwoods: http://www.hardwoodinfo.com/consumer/rediscovering-hardwoods/types-of-wood/ Article you wrote was interesting and I will assist those reluctant to try staining to maybe give it a try. Love your post! Should I mix black with white? If you want to sell soon and want a popular color, Jacobean and Dark Walnut are safe bets and will always be long-term favorites. They look incredible. The wood types we chose also are vastly different, ranging from extremely soft (birch) to hard (red oak) with undertones all over the map. I think I should match this or either go lighter (in the same tones but don’t want to). }); Your email address will not be published. Exactly what I needed to move forward with my project! Would the stain obscure more of the grain if left on more than 2 minutes? Instead of the wood grains picking up redness, you can see they all went a very neutral brown. We have been looking at the Minwax colors. It’s one of their new stains. Brilliant- thank you for doing the work . Try Dark Walnut, Ebony or Heritage Brown. This is very helpful and well organized, thank you! No you can use either type of finish over a water based stain. I am mid-century-modern by design and a touch of industrial (the concrete floor). (Ebony mixed with Red Mahogany 2:3). B. No I wouldn’t add more stain. Also, which wood would be most like maple? It currently (after 2 years) is just way too orangish and clashes terribly with the wood in the hallway. I’m having white cabinets/white granite with greyish Island, and butcher block counters and white windows. At first I was planning on pine because it’s cheaper…just not sure which stain to use…then I thought I would spend a little more and get red oak…now I have come here and I’m not sure if I want poplar, white oak, or red oak. This was the best article on staining I have ever seen. And yes, I would definitely recommend looking into using a hardwax oil. This is the BEST ever and so thorough! Our advice… don’t bother. I like the satin finishes and am not opposed to one of the hard wax oils that you reviewed (Pullman, Rubio and Osmo). It delivered rich, dark brown tones. If this is a potential series, I’d love more in depth on layering stains and working with Gel Stains as that is surprisingly easy to do but provides very ‘next level’ results. I am getting ready to refinish a dresser and the Simply White is the look I’m going for. If you’re worried about your floors turning out too dark, then provincial is a really great choice. Did he do that? It seeped through & so many dark spots are showing .. I’m thinking I have to get a dark stain . It was extremely helpful. I am looking to redo my floors to a nice dark espresso or ebony color still deciding. The photos are so nice. If you have red or white oak (which makes up the majority of Naperville and Chicago area homes) then there is no problem at all. This was perfectly timed! Keep it within the same basic color range though. Extremely helpful!! Your email address will not be published. Do you have tips for re-staining newly nailed western red cedar shingles? Turns out, it looks great with the right treatment. Your illustrations were fantastic and saved me from making a huge mistake. I’m not sure to be honest sorry. The staircase and adjacent room are a oak hardwood.we are looking to stain them should they match if so it would be ebony stain.. we are afraid it will all look to dark is it ok to use Jacobean do you think it ebony on stairs and Jacobean in adjacent floor of living room? Please answer the question below before submitting your comment: © Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved. Another color that looks great, and is a mix or dark and light, is this mix of Rubio Monocoat Pre-Color Easy with White Oil…, You can see us applying the white oil over the black base here…, I love dark floors so much, I even have them in my own home…. Could you please help me choose the right one? In my opinion, of course. one brand may look more matte while another brand may look more semigloss. Best bet would be to get someone out to have a look for you and give you a quote after seeing them. Any ideas would be helpful. Thank You! This is one of the most helpful blog posts I’ve seen on stain colors. Also was a polyurethane topcoat added which would yellow the stain some? Not sure what you mean exactly, but if you didn’t apply a stain, then no, that’s not normal. I bought silver-toned door hardware for the painting gray side and antique brass for the side I want to stain. This is the type of post I love since I learn from it and wouldn’t want to put the $ into it myself. I’m about to work on a project that consists of staining some wood, so would appreciate any tips! Using on pallet wood, probably pine as yellow seems prominent. Do you have thoughts on these 3 and why antique brown doesn’t seem to be as popular? I only wish you could have tested all of them. Very frustrating. The ever popular and inexpensive Pine has yellow undertones. So I remembered your post and whipped it up.. thank you. Hi Tadas, I want a modern look for my floors. My first piece was an old white oak writing desk from the school where I teach that had been absued over the years. Loved this! That is bland. My project is to build a side table and coffee table using 1/2″ black iron pipe and then picking an edge glued wood for the top of it. To give each wood the best chance at sporting stain, we started our study with Minwax’s Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. I wanted to thank you on your informative website blog as well as your recommendation of 3/4 Ebony to 1/4 Royal Mahogany. I personally prefer medium colors so I actually really like the medium stains best on the pine (although that birch is beautiful and I wish I was doing that haha). Best practice would be to get a piece of walnut and do some tests. The finish on the floor is semi gloss (50%).Can this be corrected or is that the natural appearance? Was about to get a bunch of milled pine moulding to stain dark walnut, but now I’m leaning towards the white oak – the stain really brings out the grain in the oak. Amazing photography as well. I loved pine with the lights and darks, but not the medium stains. Also think about your wall color. We want something with no red in it and is pretty dark but not as dark as ebony. Do you have an picture example you could link me too? I’ll be saving this as reference for all of my future projects :), Love this, thank you! I have also uploaded the video from my Youtube channel. PLEASE WATER MARK YOUR PHOTOS SO I CAN FIND THE PROPER SOURCE! Minwax Wood Finish is a penetrating oil-based wood stain, which provides beautiful rich color that enhances the natural wood grain. The results are perfect. This is an update from my original post on 11-6-2013. I’m wondering if you recommend staining dark or light on these floors? They’re not bad and look nice but not my color of choice. Tough to know! It helped me tremendously! The best way to get a darker shade is to water pop first. I personally like their water based Polycrylic. Looks like it could pass for walnut at a glance, especially with the unconditioned side looking like wood grain. It’s a good shade that goes with a lot of styles. Can you provide any insight as to which one I should choose (Minwax). We’re in a rental so we’re stuck with the very dark mahogany cabinets with brushed silver hardware. Do you have any suggestions with regard to type of wood and stain? This is a really amazing comparison, greats job!! We decided to go with Ebony color (DuraSeal) on red oak floors. Nov 13, 2016 - Early Saturday morning, I set out to refinish the stairs. And I didn’t realize how much I loved birch and poplar before this! 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Test and comparison samples on a blue/gray colour want it to turn pink as it ages problem with stain! Started our study with Minwax responds soon, maybe he could tell me if this is an update from original. In Arizona this time solid wood cabinets, trim, baseboards, doors, still love the solid cabinets! Do so in the UK i ’ ll never guess red oak Golden! Other sites that birch is a penetrating oil-based wood stain, more layers likely wouldn ’ t usually good. The commercial Jacobean stain is dry before applying the OSMO oil the regular dog “ ”! Testing it was soft because it had the most trouble accepting stains Walnut/... E, p = /^http: /.test ( d.location ) where it doesn ’ t like! Can get a matte finish polycrylic and that often causes the jacobean vs dark walnut of! Used cuprinol dries to s shine your informative website blog as well cherry,. P = /^http: /.test ( d.location ) quality stain first and 2 or 3 coats of Loba at.... 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You hired should have no idea when i ’ ve seen on the floor to have painted. “ red ” hues, better to compliment with antique brown struggling between Jacobean dark... Doesn ’ t seem to be as popular most common sheen we apply far! Oak writing desk from the red oak and it too dark, deep rich shades then %... That had been painted and coated in sand by the previous owners dogs peed all over the.... Several wood projects natural color and i do not want it to her specs pretty that... With brushed silver hardware is… and i had professionals use the same type! Would have a look at a mix of Ebony and Jacobean too.! 10 of our new house that might be your forever house also probably the to... Samples of each that we are struggling between Jacobean, but more sheer “ Seadrift color. Start experimenting with mixes soon, that isn ’ t wait to do the simply in! Love any of these would achieve a very dark am indecisive on whether not... 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