Can you provide any insight as to which one I should choose (Minwax). In either case the dog’s accidents could still ruin the floor if not taken care of right away. I don’t seem to find any tests to lighten up the ebony taking away a bit of the red tinge of the red oak (my intent). 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. we are using Duraseal. I have an old 90s red oak dining table and I’d like to go for the PotteryBarn “Seadrift” color. What caused it and what can I do about it? Anyway, I think I just need to condition the boards… as you stated and provided evidence! In the process of building a house and the trim color really has me struggling. I really like this post and would love to see another post just like it, but with different woods and stains. Hope you can fins a shade you love Donna. 90% of my customers choose a slightly different color on other materials that isn’t flooring. Dark Walnut is a favorite among many when it comes to using a dark brown stain. Hi- we are struggling between jacobean, dark walnut and antique brown. It delivered rich, dark brown tones. 5. Our contractor thinks it is just from the window reflecting on the sample and does not seem to think it will be a problem. And is special walnut too light and red? I have a red oak floor I’d like to redo. It would make them easier to maintain and spot repair down the road if you choose a hardwax oil. Would you do the simply white in a house that might be your forever house? Yuck! Thanks, Michele. Or a sort of gray stain that would really cut the yellow could work! Great Post! Can we strip off the matte factory finish? Colors are very subjective and personal. Last, is the redder of the two dark stains we experimented with. The finish you put on the floor also can play a part in hiding dirt. We definitely don’t recommend using Polyshades for floors. I hope this helps somebody before the… Sorry for the delay. My only complaint is that you DID NOT WATERMARK YOUR PHOTOS!! Isn’t that going to make staining tricky – as shown with this post, different woods take on different looks? Hopefully I’ll be able to decide if this is something I want to tackle. Would the stain obscure more of the grain if left on more than 2 minutes? We use Duraseal. Do you agree with that? Make it 75/25 for example. Exactly what I needed to move forward with my project! Can I turn up the shine just a little more on a satin finish? Required fields are marked *. Jacobean by Minwax Minwax Jacobean is a rich, dark brown color. Poplar has green undertones. Question, do have any idea as to whether the sealer/shellac will change the stain colors at all (i.e. Dont think that would look very good though. I have also uploaded the video from my Youtube channel. Hope you find a blend you love! The first of the dark stains we tried was also the more neutral in tone. Should I mix black with white? Hi, need recommendation asap re floor stain for red oak floors. We are about to have our maple floors professionally refinished and stained. I’m interested in the simply white stain. Thanks for pulling this together! I am literally holding off on my cedar plank wall project until I can find a freaking can of it somewhere in the universe lol. Hi I just bought a new house and have to pick a stain for new red oak floors.What stains do not have red in them. The cherry does not ‘show’ where any of the doors are. 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). Thank You, Thank You Thank You for doing this. ), Red Oak (too dark) and Red Chestnut (too red). We have a 94lb Akita who has made some scratches and to correct it we need to sand it down so it would also be the time to change those orange tones to Jacobean or maybe dark walnut? The first is to use a very dark stain like you mentioned. Plywood if usually birch veneered for these reasons. this post has disappeared…. I’ve mixed about every Minwax color combo I can think of. When you do, if you live in Naperville or the surrounding area, we’ll be here to help transform those beautiful hardwood floors into the perfect shade of stain you’ve been dreaming about. The Jacobean & Dark Walnut were way too dark, bringing out an ebony color in the grain and Special Walnut had too much red. You can see clearly the wood’s color undertones (yellow, pink, green, neutral, red) but they aren’t nearly as pronounced. I am getting ready to refinish a dresser and the Simply White is the look I’m going for. Thanks for that. Many people always ask me what are my favorite floor stains and I wrote about my top 3 favorite dark floor stains here. It’s hard for me to say one way or another without seeing your apartment and the color of your furniture, walls etc. Awesome post. Minwax Dark Walnut. Thanks. View Product Page. Hi Tadas, You reference above ‘one of the darkest floor we have done,’ do you remember which stain was used? It is the matte-est sealer I have ever seen or used. I just wished you used cedar wood for this experiment (that’s what I’m using on my next project ;p), My only gripe is that I have been trying to find the Minwax Simply White stain, but it’s nowhere to be found both in stores or online. Appreciate your help :). That floor you asked about is my living room floor – it’s 25% Ebony/ 75% Natural on water popped red oak with an oil based polyurethane applied. I’m considering using a dark stain, which will work better with the stone counter top color. I think some people just don’t care about that sort of thing! Dark wood is in!! The photos are so nice. Not sure what is happening there sorry. Had I known that I would’ve picked red oak again for my kitchen although it’s not my preference. If you use a high-end professional grade finish system, either a quality hardwax oil or a commercial grade water-based finish system, like we do here at Tadas Wood Flooring, then you won’t have this issue to worry about. 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. Is oil based poly better on darker floors? We built our house and going with cherry cabinets, trim, baseboards, doors. Definitely referencing this any time we have a staining project. If you’re wanting to go even darker than this, I recommend trying Jacobean. I just sent them an example photo of something I like, but didn’t specify a stain. The pine turned more gray than anything. Really awesome post! So Provincial it was . Hmmm… I would look at Driftwood, Grey, Birch and Twig to start with. But I hope this is helpful. Thank you, thank you, thank you! nightstands I’d like to refinish to make more at home — after this post I’m seriously considering stain instead of paint. Shop Minwax Wood Finish Oil-Based Stain Dark Walnut Interior Stain (Quart) in the Interior Stains department at Lowe' Also think about your wall color. Thanks! Good thing we love doing them! This post was super interesting! Are you going to have a more traditional design, if so think about the colors Early American, Special Walnut and Gun-stock- these are all really great looking and timeless. How many coats of stain did you do on the samples? Did you sand the woods before staining them? If you’re wanting to go even darker than this, I recommend trying Jacobean. How do I fix this blotchy area? You lucky duck :P. Thank you, I just stained my floors with Jacobean. You said that birch is a very soft wood (extremely) which is incorrect. Thank you for doing this! If your kitchen is covered in tiles then there’s a pretty big separation between the two. But then there is the world of bleaching! Yes, unfortunately this is true. I sealed off the area and put on my safety gear. Free shipping on many items | Browse your favorite brands | affordable prices. On Brazilian cherry this combo looks like dark brown. The pine looks SO MUCH better with the conditioner. Is there any other way to go around this ? I’m currently working on a dining table for our British Colonial interior using Red Oak and was concerned with color matching the existing dark woods. There are also a lot of clients are choosing 50% Ebony and 50% Natural like on the staircase below. my husband likes red mahogany —–what combination with red mahogany will look good. My mistake! It’s much better than Minwax because it acts like a sealer as well as a stain. Hello, I have just installed brazillian cherry wood. 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. Ft. of 6/4. I have three questions if you can help. It’s almost a combo of Red Mahogany and Ebony. I also tried with and without conditioner, which didn’t seem to make much difference with the darker samples. what do u suggest. 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. Our advice… don’t bother. The finish would have been Pallmann 96 satin – a waterbased finish. Simply gorgeous. 7 out of 10 of our new hardwood floors are dark and people love the look it offers. The Dangers of Hardwood Floor Refinishing, A Blast from the Past: Wood Floors in the 1800’s, A Blast from the Past: Wood Floors in the 1920’s. Think of all trim and stair parts as furniture. I want a rich brown without red undertones but as the light changes throughout the day I go from loving to hating a color. I assumed it was the quality of wood. But… if you have a naturally dark exotic wood floor, like Ipe or Jatoba, then we will strongly suggest that they should not be stained for two reasons: 1) they already look nice and dark naturally – these are the woods people try to emulate when they stain oak – so why mess with mother nature, and. Red oak definitely is more tricky, but so beautiful, too. Minwax Simply White. This is another mid-range stain color, but with a more neutral base undertone. Then you can use any color stain you like. Would it take that stain well? It has the reddish hues in the light but dark in the evening or in shade. In our last house, we had honey-colored floors and could not wait until we refinished floors in the new house and finally got to try out some dark stain. No I wouldn’t add more stain. So Provincial it was . Neal…just curious….what stain are you going with for an A&C piece? The wood is extremely dry. I would test it in a discreet area. Can you suggest a color for me? Yours Truly, A very satisfied and intrigued reader :). We hope you feel welcome and maybe find inspiration, because we should all love where we live.". They are a really nice, dark, rich color. Hello, Your site is very informative! I love this! Love this! 1) The grain and cut of the old wood vs the new wood. I don’t have the same wood as the doors, to do samples on, but I’ve used the conditioner and sampled Red Mahagony (way too purple and dark), Dark Walnut (too dark), Special Walnut (a contender), Gunstock (way too orange), English Chesnut (not too bad), Cherry (very light) Honey (very dark!? This was perfectly timed! I’m so sad I was using this for reference. Jacobean and dark walnut show the dirt a bit less than ebony. Hi, I have sanded an old pine dresser that was coated years ago in an orangy shellac. Otherwise there can be issues with the adhesion of the finish. Yes! Using on pallet wood, probably pine as yellow seems prominent. It will really help me to choose the right product for the wood floor of my future house. Your email address will not be published. Never saw this before. 2) they have natural oils in them that can make them extremely hard to get a consistent, even look. Thoughts? The ever popular and inexpensive Pine has yellow undertones. Very helpful post! I should add, I did solid cherry butcher block countertops, kitchen cabinets painted Repose Gray (as are all walls and trim). Thanks for sharing! Experiment with a few colors to see what you like. Thanks so much! Thank you so much! What ratio of royal mahogany and ebony would achieve a very dark wood look with a slight tinge of red in it? Hello, I have read many of your articles and have learned so much from you! Thank you! If the old wood is plain sawn and the new wood quarter sawn, there will be a difference. Jacobean by Minwax Minwax Jacobean is a rich, dark brown color. Yes!! Thank you! I’d love more in-depth stain experiments. Also, since I will not be able to sand the floors again, I am thinking of either using rubio monocoat or pallmans magic oil instead of poly. I love this! Minwax Wood Putty is a non-hardening, pre-mixed putty color-matched to Minwax Wood Finish stains. I’ve done several wood projects, but I was considering using birch plywood for the first time. I say live with the samples for a week or so, take your time, look at them at all times of the day and then you’ll have a better idea. (It’s a master bedroom, about 400 sq feet). I love seeing all these options! Dark wood is in!! This is a wonderful write up. I must have read that wrong somewhere. To take away the red tinge and add grey I would suggest using this product first: Colors like ebony, jacobean, espresso (a blend of ebony and a lighter jacobean), and dark walnut are becoming more and more popular. Of course I don’t want them to look dull, but I also want little to no shine to go with my industrial glam decor. THANK YOU. Thank you so much for doing this! White scares me with upkeep/kids but afraid stain won’t go with design I’m going for. Ex: contractors squatting in my back room at night, appliances stolen (we were in a motel for 9 months) problems with pouring concrete flooring, broken pipes under the foundation and last but not least, the City of Houston. That may help with the blotchiness. The problem is the previous owners dogs peed all over the rugs ! I want a rich brown without red undertones but as the light changes throughout the day I go from loving to hating a color. I am refinishing my red oak floors and want to go darker. haha. Thanks so much for putting this together. I do need help though. I want a matt black stain with no shine at all. My White Oak with Golden Oak Stain is going to look great this weekend :). totally perfect sponsored post. I’m hoping you can help me to figure out if I should try to change the color of my Acacia floors. We are building a house and trying to choose stains for maple cabinets and pine beams and French doors. I thought the pickled looked nice too. Also, which wood would be most like maple? I can’t thank you enough. I also have Jacobean, and Ebony and combinations of those plus a water popped version too. This video shows you the final look when refinishing old hardwood flooring. The photo below shows the result of a three-layered Rubio Monocoat system for very dark floors…, In order to get a more even color and depth, plus a few shades darker, we go also go through a process called water popping when staining floors darker colors. Only one on each. I loved pine with the lights and darks, but not the medium stains. I’m building a Arts & Crafts hall cabinet. It helped me tremendously! Our contractor has explained that it is best to only put 1 coat of stain. I’m guessing there’s no poly on top of any of these? Hello. The stain is on (Drying) my red oak and I feel I’ve made a mistake and let them get too dark. A lot of this comes down to the finish system you put on top of the stain not so much the color of the stain itself. We want something with no red in it and is pretty dark but not as dark as ebony. Maybe the commercial Jacobean stain is not the same as min wax brand? This is a really cool post. Is this norma? Pallmann Magic oil or Rubio would work fine. This is one of my favorite posts I have ever read – ! Minwax Dark Walnut. I’ve been struggling with finding the right color for so long now! I’ve always read that you should use the pre-stain conditioner, but never really believed the hype. Dark Walnut is a favorite among many when it comes to using a dark brown stain. Is there any way to dial back the color without re-sanding the entire floor and starting over? And floors in three large rooms. Last, is the redder of the two dark stains we experimented with. I’d rather not have the “red” hues. But the Dark Walnut goes with our new wood floors and the vibe of our house better. We want something with no red in it and is pretty dark but not as dark as ebony. Could you tell me the name of the floors and exact stain in the 3rd picture? Doing an oil based poly over them vs a water based. I am just not sure about staining the floors this same color with all the trim and baseboards being kept natural. Thanks! The first one is ‘Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Wood Stain’ that you mention in your article. This is a really amazing comparison, greats job!! Great Special Walnut/ Jacobean blend on a 4″ White Oak. Dang- wish I had seen/used your wood stain tips! So happy with my choice! Did you wipe off right away? Minwax makes a a few really great topcoats. This is an update from my original post on 11-6-2013. It turned out a very neutral, medium brown colour. Minwax Dark Walnut. All of the wood types accepted the stain well, except the non-conditioned Birch side. I am restoring a significantly damaged Gunn barrister bookcase….in oak….and your comparison has helped me finalize my choice! You could also do a blend of both if you like so it matches a bit better. No we haven’t done that combination. and loving the color but they are not very easy to maintain in family homes. Hi Lisa! By far the best post I’ve seen on explaining the nuances of staining wood. So, always test. 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! I am hoping Tadas responds soon, maybe he could tell me if this would look alright or not. Nov 13, 2016 - Early Saturday morning, I set out to refinish the stairs. Very helpful. After reading so much about poplar being “homely”, I thought it would behave closer to pine. Cabot makes a good one, and you can get it from Lowe’s. Sometimes the stain samples you get have been water popped first so the color is deeper. This was incredibly helpful. Jacobean is a beautiful, rustic color that reminds of cabin colors! I’m getting ready to sand & stain my floors . Maybe it was lighting. Some people know that black cars are harder to keep clean but they love the look of them so much that they buy one anyways. As far as finish recommendations, have a look at the last post in the series in the link above. So, my questions are….Is this a good product to use on really dark floors? The same goes with the finish I am guessing if you use water base stain you have to use a water base finish any recommendations which brand finish you prefer? On a side note, am I the only one that reads these blog posts in Julia’s voiceover since they started the podcast? Although, no red came through with the pine at all. (Ebony mixed with Red Mahogany 2:3). Last Spring we began the updating process of a clients new home and the floors were the first thing that got updated. This was so helpful for me, and my most amateur endeavors. In the picture with only pine boards, they look a lot darker and much less gray. We’re in the process of refinishing our red oak floors and have searched what feels like the entirety of the internet for a post like this! I just had white oak floors installed. You’d think MinWax would have this on their website. We see a lot on the web about jacobean and dark walnut but not as much about antique brown. Satin finishes are very nice and it’s the most common sheen we apply. Sometimes mixing stain colors can help, but I don’t know what the right formula would be off the top of my head. What was the percentage mix of the Expresso/Red Mahogany mix? They were applied and excess removed within about 3 minutes. thanks for your advice! The only difference is the scratch in the dark colored floor will show through more noticeably as the color of the natural wood underneath is lighter. What colors would you recommend for a medium floor color and a dark color? What color stain would you use to achieve a blonde look with Douglas fir? This helps a lot!! It will lighten the color but not change the shade as much. This is one of the most helpful blog posts I’ve seen on stain colors. Should I layer a bit of white and with a gray that I wipe off quickly? It doesn’t look like it from the red oak samples. These don’t have poly on them. Thank you for posting this! I guess I’ll have to look up prices of birch next time I want to forego paint on my project. It will look fine. Not only did this help me decide on stains, it really helped me to better understand how different wood grains vary. I hate dog pee and carpets. Some of my cabinet uppers have fluted glass, and the thought of staining everything inside the cabinet, too, has my head spinning! I have a can of Dura seal ebony, royal mahogany, and Sedona red. The pine turned more gray than anything. The colors in the top row, from left to right (from what I can recall) are: 1) Natural, 2) Custom blend I think, maybe Spice Brown and Jacobean??? Or may be it was a red oak and not a white oak ?? The first of the dark stains we tried was also the more neutral in tone. I did just that to my white oak floors. 2. How would you suggest to get a light ebony color where it doesn’t look like ink, but more sheer? Help! Useful helpful post. What a great post! Dark Walnut 2716. Look great and are dark.. I wanted to get a look at the colors in different lighting, so the picture above was taken last night. 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? Is there yellow pine and white pine? I just re did my hardwood floors in special walnut and the color came out way too light. – Royal Mahogany has a bit of red cut in. :D I hated every single stain on both oaks! Need some advice. Thanks in advance. So, for example, dark walnut is better than jacobean (which has some red … That will give you a darker shade: Why do the grains in the timber show unevenness in floor levels on a dark stained (Walnut) timber floor? My red oak banister, spindles, stairs and floors are currently stained Provincial. We only ever apply a single coat. Poplar looked a little bit like watermelon. Do you have thoughts on these 3 and why antique brown doesn’t seem to be as popular? White Oak has the most neutral undertones. I loved coffee brown yesterday but now I’m worried about it pulling too much red. It will have to be buffed back and a new coat of finish applied. Would you please share the technique you used on the simply white? Try Dark Walnut, Ebony or Heritage Brown. In the end, staining hardwood floors is going to come down to personal choice just like a car color. Use a good quality stain first and 2 or 3 coats of finish on top. It’s pretty obvious that lighter floors will brighten up small dark rooms and make them look bigger because they reflect light. My goggles, my respirator mask and crappy old clothes. I do not want the floor to have any red in it. Anyway, it is so informative and so incredibly helpful. That’s hard to say without seeing your place in person. Did they water pop the floors before staining? I’ve sanded, stained, resanded, conditioned and still blotchy. yes! 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