Make sure your floor guy puts down both colors in a test patch for you though so you can be 100% sure about which one you like better. If not you may have to get a custom blend mixed. Hi there, we recently sanded and stained our oak floors. Are the floors quite old? How bad are the sanding marks in the existing floor? You can read about that process here: Apply stain one line at the time and start wiping after 5-7 minutes if using quick dry stain and 10-12 min if using regular dry stain. I have “colonial maple” color kitchen cabinets, but dont want to continue with the country type look, my style is modern. Please keep in mind that the colors and textures shown on this page will vary with the natural differences found in each wood type. So I went for a darker shade grey and tested Duraseal satin. That floor looks great. Excuses, excuses :). As my advice is always… test a few mixes on a scrap piece first. If you want to go with a hardwax oil, then you have the option to use a stain under the oil (for OSMO Polyx-Oil and Pallmann Magic Oil), or go with a pre-tinted colored finish. Now we’re seeing a bit of a swing back to lighter colored stained floors, while still having many clients choose a dark stain. They are pushing me for the stain color and want to start even before they finish sanding my closets. We have created samples on our scrap wood, but for some reason they keep turning out looking like we just painted the wood with whatever color sample we used – none of them look beautiful & natural like your photos of floors you’ve done in RM. That’s my favorite one and I’m VERY curious to know what the wood and stain is! thank you, Hi Tadas, these are the colors I’m looking for. To answer your question, I always pre-face these type of answers with… it’s tough to anwer without seeing your home in person. It is available free of heart centers, which means that the usual ‘bulls eye’ heart wood found in the center of most beams is absent. Our apt. These colors go with a lot of different styles of decorating so the new owner will be able to picture their furnishings in the space, which will be very important for selling. and now we have to sand and reapply. The picture up top is deceiving… it’s color in the photo looks different because of the suns reflection off the wood outside. Plain sawn red oak is the way it has been cut at the mill. I would do the treads the same color as the floor. in REFINISHING Red Oak with Jacobean Stain. Then mixed half Jacobean and half light grey but it’s still light. I want to go a little lighter for easier maintenance and to brighten the home. Hope you can find a shade you like. Do you have any experience with and recommendations of a Rubio color that might accomplish this, or are we asking for the impossible? Hi Tadas Love your advice. Our floor guy put samples on our floor and we originally wanted the ebony yet it didn’t have the rich color I was looking for. Yes you could definitely mix Dark Walnut and English Chestnut together to get a great red/brown look. Make sure you get hold of a large sample and keep it up against the cabinets for a few days so you get a good idea of whether you like the look or not. Free of heart timber also checks less and is more stable than timber which does have heart wood. We are deciding between ebony and Jacobean on an oak floor thanks. As far as color, it’s very tough for us to make a call without seeing your place in person and knowing what your “style” is. After it dried it looked horrible. Early American is our go-to dark wood stain color. Or, should we go ahead and make plugs and proceed accordingly? The third floor photo in the post (the one with the fireplace) is a red oak floor and you can still see the natural color variation with the wood there. A celebration of American innovation, Early American has been the cornerstone of many palettes and continues to inspire more colors today. Do you like the light, clean open look of a lighter colored modern grey shade…, Or do you fancy the deep, elegant and bold look of dark black floors…, Maybe your eye is drawn to the brown shades in between these two palates…. It is also one of the hardest domestic woods with janka rating of 1820. I am very committed to using healthy finishes in our home. Thanks Tadas. Early American goes onto wood really thickly and doesn’t take long to soak into wood whatsoever. 3) Be very daring and become a trend-setter with one of the newest and latest colors coming out for floors – greys and whites. Maybe check out the colors Provincial, Special Walnut or Early American by MinWax and see if they suit your style. You say you used 50 percent rosewood stain. The sheen of the finish won’t effect the color. It was moved off a farm and into town in the 1940’s and a second floor was added on. Thank you for your time and replying back to me. Some of them looked a bit muddy, as far as obscuring the grain. You won’t be able to stain again anyway as it looks like there is already a finish coat on the floors. I applied 3 coats of waterborne polyurethane. I chose a mix of a gallon of dark walnut to half gallon of ebony. Do the test patches on all 3 woods as close to each other as possible so you can see how they look together. We are getting our red oak refinished & I don’t want shades of orange or red coming through so we picked half Duraseal Jacobean & half neutral what do you think as far as being a medium brown? And whoever is sanding that fir, make sure they go easy on it – they’re very soft and you don’t want to take too much wood and patina off. If they are there in the winter and you fill them, the floor won’t have any room for expansion when the humidity rises in the summer. thank you tadas! That’s a story we hear a lot unfortunately :(. Tada, Thank you so much for taking the time to help. 2) The other cause can be from using 2 component finishes in multiple coats over a floor vs using a sealer and the 2 component finish for top coats. Great site! I would also seriously look into hardwax oils as these can be touched up very easily if the dog gets out of hand. Color is very subjective, what one person loves another may not. My goal is to create a warm cozy feel. Seems like the good brands of stain do not carry it. Shop Minwax Wood Finish Oil-Based Stain Early American Interior Stain (Quart) in the Interior Stains department at Lowe' We have got a sample piece of wood and have stained it. Thanks for your advice. I’m sure you’ll find a great hardwood floor refinisher where you are in Georgia. If you want the matte look and keep the original color, then a low VOC water-based finish like Loba Invisible Protect would be best. And one more question… do you think two coats of poly is enough for a rental with dark stained wood floors? Great website, wish you worked in Mequon Wi! I like the floor a little darker; my husband likes it a little lighter with some red…so I’m looking for a happy medium. From the photos it looks like the floor guy did a great job as well. Looks pretty good, except in a few spots I have what appears to be bleed back in the joints between boards. You can also get rift sawn which is cut on a different angle from the log and it has a more tight, straight and consistant grain pattern. We are in the process of renovating and are starting our wood floors now. Good luck with your hardwood floor restoration Mickey! Ebony floors definitely have the Wow factor if that’s what you’re after. Maybe try Jacobean or even an Ebony and Natural blend. Then apply another top coat or two over the top and the faux touch up will be sandwiched between the layers protecting it. Since I decided, JUST to have the floors sanded and polyurethane, I thought any floor guy should be able to do that. And yes we would water pop the floor to make the floor take the stain darker still. Thanks. Yes they were water popped. Going for a “costal” look Hampton’s style / or southern costal – also have a wood front door that i need to stain the interior of.. do I go lighter darker or the same as the floors for the door? Then you’ll have 2 coats of finish to seal the ‘cover up’ in. What are your thoughts and how do I get that perfect very dark color again without the lines? A lot will depend on if the floor is water popped, the grain of the wood, it’s age and the brand used. Here is the Minwax stain basics on red oak: These are all one coat of the labeled color. Hi, I am refinishing my staircase which is red oak and want a warm brown color. 8. If the finish doesn’t adhere properly, I’m sorry to say, but your husband may be sanding all over again :(. Hopefully this time you will get them the perfect color :). I want them very dark but not a shoe polish black. Start with 50/50 and go from there. The oak is light in color and unfinished:[email protected]/17032866066/,[email protected]/17057383652/,[email protected]/17057383682/. make spanikopita for Him again too! 7. Sounds like you have quite the set-up there! Style of decorating will be contemporary/classic. Cabinets in kitchen are a darker tobacco stain. Finally, what is plain sawn red oak, and how is it different from common or select red oak? Jacobean sounds perfect for what you want :). Fortunately, I found another floor guy who’s been doing floors for 24 years and he will be able to repair the mistakes. They’re sanding today and we have to choose the color by tomorrow! what do you suggest. Thank you Mathen. To get the deeper darker color you will need to water pop your floor. To get the deeper darker color you’re after you will need to water pop your floor. I am in Hoffman Estates, planning to put my house for sale. Discover (and save!) Thanks! Also wondering if there is much difference between Bona Jacobean and DuraSeal? If it was a recoat it sounds like you have a contamination issue. It is greatly appreciated! Apply to wood for long-lasting, translucent stain. The fir has Minwax Early American. After reading your reply and realizing the challenge I was up against with trying to make three different types of woods match, I decided to play it safe and keep all the floors their natural color. DriFast Stain's advanced technology, quick-drying formula provides speed and high performance for … What do you think??? One reason for going with a dark colored stain may be to hide blemishes or imperfections. In between those 2 decades there has been a lot of different looks from very dark floors, to red floors up to the grey floors that are popular right now. I just got guy installed Red Oak hardwood floor, can you advice what color should I go with should I stain or leave it natural. Largely, on your very positive response I’ve decided to go for it. For that reason, oak is attractive with nearly any color of stain. I’m sure they’ll look great in the end. in REFINISHING Engineered Red Oak. They are your floors and you have to live with them. Do you know the history of them? Dark floors will absorb light and have the opposite effect. However, need some contrast. Thanks Chris. In the end it will all come down to your own tastes and preferences. Was told we will have to resend and start over but am not sure how to avoid the redness. We are thinking about duraseal cherry stain but may be too light. You want something that will ground your room/s styling and not clash with your décor. They look great! Compare. I really wish you were in the Boston area. Red oak and fir are very different woods as you know but they aren’t too far apart in the color spectrum thankfully. Great idea. You could try re-sanding the floors back again and making sure the contaminates are removed between each board. Just found your blog – great information. Hope that helps. The wood types we chose also are vastly different, ranging from extremely soft (birch) to hard (red oak) with undertones all over the map. Any suggestions on what would be a good stain to try and mix with it!? You won’t get an exact match but you’ll definitely get something you’ll be super happy with. About the type of finish used on dark floors to avoid seeing scratches- you mention using a higher end finish. They may be able to be fixed, or worse case, just replaced. We do this all the time. There are great high-end finishes though that are extremely durable – such as Bona Traffic, Pallman-X96 etc. 1958 red oak floors, stained with Minwax 'Early American', satin finish polyurethane Oak floors can look great left their natural color as you can see in this photo…. The floors are varying shades of orange, a typical aged Brazilian cherry floor. He says that doing a second coat of any stain won’t darken the appearance. Those floors from the 1950’s and up to the 2000’s turned that way because oil-based polyurethane was used. Best to test a sample of each first to see which one you like best. I would love a light chocolate hue but don’t know if it possible. Sorry this is a little late, you most likely have the floors done now. Our house is an old schoolhouse from 1888. You’ll eventually find the perfect color. If you are lucky enough to have an exotic, rare or special wood floor such as mahogany, cherry, rosewood, walnut, aged pine and even maple then we strongly recommend they don’t be stained. With these colour schemes the current floor colour seems out of place and I was wondering if you could suggest a stain colour so that the rooms feel warmer and also mix with the black/white colour-schemes for the furnishings. Try Jacobean and then 50% Jacobean and 50% Natural. You floor guy should have no problem getting you the color you want. Any suggestions on how to fill gaps? Does floor stain color need to match baseboards? Thanks so much:) Jenn, If you love the color your friend has I say go for it. Any suggestions getting a rich browm with a touch of red with Dura on a new pine floor. You could try Jacobean. If the joints were tight to begin with, could aggressive sanding get rid of the remaining stain or is it something that you just have to live with? Great post. We are having our red oak floors done Monday and I am torn between the two stains. It is also called flat sawn by some. To be honest I couldn’t tell you the color unless I had a look at it in person. Raw, Rough Sawn Douglas Fir More Wood Species Have a … I am also planning to get stager decorate the house but I am struggling to select the stain color. Sorry for the delay in replying… it’s been a very busy week here. Original owners had a medium-dark dull brown. That might explain the raised boards. It’s not always easy to get the perfect color is it. Not only a sample of the stain, but also with the finish applied as the color will change again. You helped to calm me down. It’s always nice to hear that the effort we put into these posts are appreciated :). I’m sure they would have no problem water popping the floor for you either (unless they are extremely under-qualified, but I’m sure they’re not or you wouldn’t have hired them.). Thanks. in COLOR Prefinished Red Oak. A similar species is Western Larch, though we don’t use it much because Douglas Fir is prettier. Would like to avoid a coating that’s paraffin based. The previous color on the floor was a deep ebony (I don’t know the actual color from the previous owners)that I would like to replicate but maybe a little lighter. Hi Tadas, were redoing our floors and walls we want to do the the walls edge come gray (light gray) and the floor we want to do darker but not very dark like ebony or jacobean a b;t lighter and not red or orange… what do u recommend that will compliment the walls and vica versa?thanks! Not sure about the fir. More Options Available. Our style is cozy and comfortable – not too contemporary and definitely not modern. Was considering an ebony, Jacobean or dark oak but would value your thoughts as to what would give a wow factor…. We’re installing new red oak select in 1 bedroom and hallway. Very helpful for our upcoming hardwood floor project, thanks. – you need to ask your refinishing guy about these. While dark shades like True Black and Ebony will make a grand statement in a home and show off furniture more. Unfortunately we don’t have heart pine floors here so I’m not experienced enough to give a professional opinion sorry. I want a warm color with no red. Do you think it will work well for me? Are you open to using a hardwax oil? Without looking at the issue in person it is hard for me to say exactly what happened, but I think you are heading the right way in thinking that there was too much stain added to the floor. One more question re. I am thinking chesnut or medium brown. Unfortunately that’s not how matching wood colors works. At that point the entire house will be wood flooring. Approximately 1000 sq feet. As far as the door I would stain or paint it a different color. And if so, do you have a recommendation for a floor stain that has a mostly brown/walnut feel, but with an added warmth of red/yellow hues? Can you tell me your opinion between the Dark Walnut and the Jacobean? Thanks!! So the first decision to make is whether you should even consider adding color to your floor, or if it should be kept in its natural state. We recently had our red oak floors sanded and asked our contractor to stain them dark prepared to see a color like in your above pic, unfortunately they tried a dark walnut and Jacobean and both looked to light even the ebony was pretty light with greenish tint. With Minwax® wood stains, there’s a color to suit every style. They use bona colors. Something like this:, Any advice you could give would be great! Many thanks!! Anyway, I’m not sure how good these guys are and they tell me that dark stain will cover them. You’ll get a much better idea that way and it’ll be fun to do together :). It is rich brown in color and has a lot of warm undertones. But if you really hate it, I would get your floor guy to do a few test spots with some different colors so you can see what the outcome will look like. My goal is it should make statement when buyer walks in the house. The finish system used on that floor had very high VOC’s and with good reason they are starting to be banned across the country. Varathane 1 qt. I’m pretty sure it was Duraseal. Kepeing them both the same would look too country themed to me. Good luck with your endeavor Jerry. What do you think? I like the stain color of the picture you have with the fire place. That may be close to what you’re looking for. Yes you’re right about the darker stains, especially if the floor has been water-popped. Several, even the Pure- seem to tint the walnut a bit reddish- which we don’t want. What, if any, is the difference between Bona stain colors and Minwax stains with the same names? I am currently having my floors sanded and there are some dark circles left that are probably old pet stains. He put one coat on and it wasn’t dark enough so he added another ( he may have tweaked the formula a bit not sure) and the color was perfect; however after a few hours – of course after he left, lines started forming in between the cracks of the wood, (lihter in color). I did a TON of research because I wanted just the right tone and I stumbled upon the Spanish Oak gel stain. Thanks, How do you apply stain without losing the natural color variation in the wood? Thanks. Red and yellow is hard to get on a floor at the same time. So we stuck with 100%. If you’re really worried about white lines then a hardwax oil finish like OSMO or Pallmann Magic Oil would be a good option. plan to do a satin finish unless you advise against this. Let us know how it goes. Congratulations on your hardwood flooring project – heart pine is a beautiful wood! It shows more “wavy wood grain pattern” for lack of a better description. Distressed Random Width French White Oak Floor: THE CLIENT: Arch Remodeling – Orland Park, IL. I like … I currently have my kitchen and dining in this wood in a honey colour and want it to be more Jacobean 2750 in colour, but I have concerns it’s not suitable to stain and the current floor’s sanding marks may stand out from the new wood. Even with one coat of stain and two coats of poly? Knots of various sizes are also to be expected, even though some of the samples show below appear to be clear. Sorry it didn’t turn out as you wanted them to. 4. weathered oak + early American allowed to sit for a couple of minutes before wiping off. If you go with white cabinets, you can pretty much have any color on the floor and it will look good. I’m buying new cabinets and granite and want to go with dark cherry and a traditional look. Furniture will be neutrals with grey or blue accent pieces and chocolate brown dining room set. Also, I wanted to ask your opinion and suggestion on what color I should paint the stairs or the rail? I have been told that the darker the stain, the less variance between the boards. Wish we lived up in the Chicagoland area so we could have you guys do our floors! How wide are the cracks? I greatly appreciate your help. Many times however, staining will allow the pet stains to blend right in and become unnoticable if you go dark enough like you’re thinking. To ensure that any stain penetrates and fills oak’s deep pores, apply a liberal amount of stain to the wood, then work it into the pores using a cloth in a swirling motion. Hello Tadas, I have new 7″ plank Select White Oak that was stained with water based Duraseal Coffee Brown. Hi Tadas, Have you ever worked with Australian Blackbutt hardwood flooring? Both of those floors are quite different in color on my computer and because colors show up differently in photos I can’t be sure of the actual mix unfortunately. We would like the hard wood floors to brighten our living area and help make the room feel larger. The trim matches the rest of the trim in the house and a black rail is a very clean classic look. I’ve had kitchen cabinets refaced with a Dark Italian Walnut finish, white/grey backsplash/countertop. Just what I was searching for! Enjoy your beautiful new floors Pedro and thank you for sharing them with us. 2) My floors are red oak and I would like a nice medium to dark brown with no red/orange. I would recommend finish sanding to 80-100 grid and slowly buff with 80 or 100 grit screen, not finer. Red Oak Door Stained With English Chestnut Stain; The stain colors on your finished door may vary from the samples shown below due to variances in the lighting while taking the photographs or the color settings on your monitor or printer. Onsite sanding and finishing leads to a much nicer finished product without the bevels pre-finished flooring is known for. Sorry for the delay, we’re crazy busy at the moment and at times I’m finding myself without enough time at the end of the day to reply to these messages. You can read up about Rubio Monocoat and see the huge range of colors here:, Hi Tadas, Awesome blog! The first coat was so pretty. Hickory is easily one of our most favorite woods. Yes we’ve seen this quite a bit. I’m having a hard time finding it. Looking for a mid-brown stain without orange or red tones. Yes there might be some stain that has soaked down between the butt joints if it was applied quite liberally. Your “cozy warm feel” idea sounds nice. Good luck and let us know what you decide. Maybe he can apply a stain on a small patch of the floor, let us look, and re-sand if we don’t like it. Plus what’s in now could be “out of style” soon according to the design gurus. Or should we go with someone who can? I think two colors should be fine. On that note, red/brown shaded stains like Walnut and Chestnut have a very warming, homey effect in a home and are a very safe bet. Without fail, this shade evokes timeless beauty and years of hardworking design. The issue will be with the fir and cypress, the oak takes a stain well but the other two are more challenging to get even coverage. Here are the links:, Just so you’re realistic and don’t get your hopes up too high… it’s pretty much impossible to make oak look like exotic wood because of grain patterns and different colorations in the same piece of wood. Fir looks great with either an oil-based finish or natural stain and waterbased. But if you really want to make a statement and still have it blend in with your existing colors, I would start with 3 colors – Dark Walnut, Provincial and Jacobean. I am making some 8″ red oak plank floors for our office and have had others show interest in buying some. My kitchen cabinets are a yellowish/orange maple. It was thought to add gray to the color? We have a home that is full of golden oak and don’t want to paint or replace at this time. Thinking of Staining Your Hardwood Floors a Dark Color? This was the old type of finish before the new VOC laws. I am one of those people who only want to do that if I can make a super product. It’s never a good ideas to fix a stain problem by adding even more stain. Without actually seeing the stains and floor it’s hard to say if they’ll be covered up by staining or not unfortunately. Thank you. The actual color can be seen closer to the door in the strip of light. I like the idea of the same coloured border in the living room to tie in the stairs, especially if it has a built in border already. To be clear, I did not apply stain. Thank you in advance, Nope, no need to match. 3. weathered oak + early American wiped off right away. I had a hard time deciding on a colour, we wanted to go with Gris beige from Monocoat. The kitchen floor is spruce. In the third image/chart there is a color called Monsoon Grey that has some cool looking variations of the color. The floor plan is exactly the same with the rooms ranging from 10×12 to 14×16 – same small windows. thank you Colleen. Hope you find what you’re looking for. For example, if you want a country, farmhouse theme in your home, then you won’t want to stain your floors Dark Ebony or Jacobean, you would go for something like Early American or Colonial Maple. At this very moment we’re salvaging a floor that a “professional” company messed up big time. Most people keep them their natural color. You’re welcome, glad to be of help. Is this because we hand buffed the samples vs using a machine (as we will for the actual floors)? Thank You for the information! we just installed red oak flooring want a medium brown no red or orange. HELP! I’m thinking of refinishing my 32 year old oak floors (kitchen, great room-open floor plan). I would suggest a high quality 2 component water based finish in a matte sheen. the current stain is ebony, almost black (my flooring guy said this is not even a stain and the floor has been painted black) on red oak had wood. Walnut is so lovely on its own, we wanted something that stays true to it, maybe deepening it just a bit, while minimizing the sharp contrast of the white/yellow sapwood so the floor color is a little more consistent. Hi Tadas! Project by The Flooring Artists in Aurora, CO. And they look great when done properly as you can see with this stain mix of Sedona Red + Ebony…. Yes I would recommend a matte finish with a dog as it won’t show scratches in the finish as much. It will also be impossible to live on if there is still excess oil on the floor. But I don’t have a clue about finishing or staining. Aged Oak The guys you hired should have no problem with this, it’s part of our service. As far as dust, yes the darker floors will show it more, but that’s a small price to pay for having awesome looking floors we think. Do you think this might work or do you think the two should not be mixed together? Hope you can get it sorted. As far as brand of stain, we use a few different ones depending on what look we are trying to achieve. and the last one was half antique brown and half classic grey, still the same tone. He therefore experimented in a small bedroom. Enjoyed reading your blog. The way I see it from my very limited view, you have a couple of choices…. Then grey floors came in strong. Congratulations on the new home. It can be a bit intimidating. Your email address will not be published. More important though is the quality of the finish. The floors are currently stained with a neutral color which has turned to a yellowish color. thanks. How frustrating! Thanks again for helping out from so far away. Sorry for the bad news. Unfortunately you have no other choice but to sand the floors to bare wood again and start from scratch if you want to change the stain color. As far as the staining/finishing aspect, I would just start out offering the product raw and un-finished. I won’t be starting for a little while unfortunately. Let’s go through a few steps to see what your decision should be. Staining pine can be tricky compared to other woods. It was 50% rosewood and 50% natural, I should change that to be more clear… sometimes when you do things so often you forget it doesn’t make sense to others :). If Jacobean is too dark you can mix it with another lighter color to come up with a blend. If it’s soaked in deeper than a few aggressive sanding passes will take out then it might be something you’ll have to live with… you really don’t want to take all the life out if your floors this soon so you have nothing to sand years down the road when they need refreshing. Hope you find a color you love Amy. Glad to be of help. View all Stains Can you help? I went to see a neighbor’s floor that our current contractor recently finished. At this point, I just don’t want it to come back so open to any tips!

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