Fir looks great with either an oil-based finish or natural stain and waterbased. Maybe try Jacobean or even an Ebony and Natural blend. We are having our red oak floors done Monday and I am torn between the two stains. A similar species is Western Larch, though we don’t use it much because Douglas Fir is prettier. That might work well. For your second question, yes you will need to apply a finish over the top of the stain to protect it. If we use these darker colors I am wondering if they will clash or if it wood be a nice contrast. The guys you hired should have no problem with this, it’s part of our service. I really like the look of the darker colors and don’t love anything “reddish”. Ask your local wood floor refinishing professional for their recommendations on what will work best for your floors under local conditions, they’ll be happy to help lead you in the right direction I’m sure. Any suggestions? But having a look, yes they are pretty much in the same range. Have you looked at Duraseal Coffee Brown color? thanks again, Lorena. 3) Be very daring and become a trend-setter with one of the newest and latest colors coming out for floors – greys and whites. If you go with white cabinets, you can pretty much have any color on the floor and it will look good. Unfortunately, yes, you need to wipe off the excess stain as you apply it. Wondering if 25% Sedona red mixed with the Early American would give the brown a hint of red. Great idea. Do you happen to know if that color is in the same range/tone as Provincial and or Spice brown? Our current house is a ranch, the main level is Red Chestnut throughout – bedrooms, living room, and dining room. Those are vey special indeed. Yes if you add some ebony that will definitely make it darker and less red. If it was after the floors were stained it could be that the excess stain wasn’t removed before applying the finish. As they aged over time, and with exposure to the sun, they slowly turned that amber color we all want to keep away from. thank you tadas! in REFINISHING Engineered Red Oak. I would get a few red colors and a few of the browns and maybe fruitwood and experiment with mixing them together (the same brand) at different percentages to see what you like. I ended up with uneven floors, grit marks all over the floors, lines in the poly from the roller, and a cloudy poly finish. Hopefully this time you will get them the perfect color :). I’m going to be refinishing floors on Friday (May 24) and still struggling to find a stain color. For example red and white oak with the same stain color will be a very different look. Come back and let us know how you go. Jacobean or Walnut would also be a good choice if you want something a little more contrasting and dark but not completely different. New water-based finishes have come a long way in stopping that effect. I am in the process of staining my red oak hardwood floors. Yes they were water popped. Those floors from the 1950’s and up to the 2000’s turned that way because oil-based polyurethane was used. Thought I’d post a question to you. I can’t recall what percentage of each to use in the mixture or whether it was dark walnut or just walnut. Sorry you have had to re-do them. We always do this hand have never had an issue with white lines. –Frank. I thought from the samples taken it would be darker. The last house had #1 red oak and we stained in with Jacobean and loved the color. I wish I had come across you earlier! Any advice would be appreciated. Not sure how long this look will last but it will be around for a while. Then take some scrap wood or a section of the floor that will be covered (like under the fridge) and test them out. You can see more pictures of this floor half-way down the page here: We are in the process of renovating and are starting our wood floors now. We have been unable to achieve this (hovers around 42-43%). Just a thought and another option. He is now recommending that we change route and go with a medium brown colour to hide this problem. 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. They already look great in their natural colors. You should be able to pretty quickly see what you like and even more importantly what shades you don’t like with the big samples they have on display. I think the 12′ – 16′ lengths would definitely be marketable. Stuck with Jacobean. These finishes accentuate the character of the wood, so if you have a lot of variation then it will be hard to mask that with a light color unfortunately. ~ thanks! I think you’re right on track with the colors you suggested. If we can be of any further assistance please let us know. Is this right? We have got a sample piece of wood and have stained it. Also, I wanted to ask your opinion and suggestion on what color I should paint the stairs or the rail? Thanks. Is this because we hand buffed the samples vs using a machine (as we will for the actual floors)? Several, even the Pure- seem to tint the walnut a bit reddish- which we don’t want. Speaking for myself, I like darker colored floors and I think the contrast between dark wood floors and a natural wood ceiling would look good. Early American is a premium wood stain by Varathane (a sub-brand of Rust oleum). In the third image/chart there is a color called Monsoon Grey that has some cool looking variations of the color. I have a foyer and dinning room that is heart pine floors that we pulled out of an old house and redone. Thanks for the great information. Those plain sawn red oak floors were stained with 50% Rosewood/Natural and then finished with 3 coats of oil based finish to give it a nice deep, rich look. You’ll have to have some painting and graining skills though to blend them in so they’re invisible. I am very committed to using healthy finishes in our home. General Finishes Water Based Stains are formulated to provide workability similar to oil-based stains. It’s never fun when things go wrong :(. There’s no way you can have professional results without well trained employees, spending the proper amount of time on each job and using high-end equipment and products – all which cost more money unfortunately. If you want to stay with the traditional stain colors then you could use Ebony or Jacobean and mix it with natural to the lighter shade you’re after. He resanded and started over saying in 20 years he had never seen this – was thinking it had something to do with my subfloor and the air underneath. Then apply another top coat or two over the top and the faux touch up will be sandwiched between the layers protecting it. About the type of finish used on dark floors to avoid seeing scratches- you mention using a higher end finish. Style of decorating will be contemporary/classic. Very disappointed in that. They were distressed and then stained before being coated. I’m buying new cabinets and granite and want to go with dark cherry and a traditional look. Javascript must be enabled for the correct page display, (Comments are moderated and may take a couple of days to be approved.). As far as brand of stain, we use a few different ones depending on what look we are trying to achieve. Great article, very informative! The picture was taken with lots of shadows and it will always look different on your computer depending on your screens color settings. Give it a go anyways in a small out of the way area and see for yourself. Don’t just use waterbased finish though as it will look very washed out. Gunstock 231 ... Minwax ® Gel Stain Aged Oak. I have 9 year old Brazilian cherry floors that were originally left untainted and sealed with a polyurethane satin finish. Anyway, I’m not sure how good these guys are and they tell me that dark stain will cover them. Golden Pecan has orange undertones in it. – you need to ask your refinishing guy about these. That would look great with light gray walls if you want something different and trendy. If you do need to re-sand, I suggest you waterpop the floors so you can get that darker look you want. P.S. It is important to realize that wood changes colors when exposed to … In the move, there were renovations done to the main structure as well. 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. I want to go a little lighter for easier maintenance and to brighten the home. 7. I just wrote another blog post about it here: We are currently planning to stain our oak hardwood floors. How do you apply stain without losing the natural color variation in the wood? The color is a mix of Rosewood and Natural – 50% of each. It will also be impossible to live on if there is still excess oil on the floor. What kind of wood. Try to find a color that will set the tone for the theme you’re going with. Not 100% sure as there are a lot of colors. Or you could do 50% Provincial and 50% Natural for a nice “shade darker and warmer”. Having floors stained 75% dark walnut and 25% english chestnut. It definitely has nothing to do with subfloor and air. 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. Sorry this is a little late, you most likely have the floors done now. Thanks for your quick reply, Tadas. I like the stain color of the picture you have with the fire place. Surprising, I haven’t come up with any reference to this problem online. Huge thumbs up for this site post! You also mention that the materials you used cannot be used anymore. or 50/50. Afraid to be too dark as of nightmare stories of maintenance. I will be renting the house and really hoping I don’t have to redo the floors down the road when I sell. Oak flooring. We always recommend for clients with dogs to keep their nails properly clipped to reduce damage too. I have yet to see a hardwood floor that features our color of cabinets with the darker wood stain. There is another possible option that is a bit out there but could work if done well. Yes there might be some stain that has soaked down between the butt joints if it was applied quite liberally. Remember… test patches are your friend :). So need your advise. The terms “common” and “select” refer to the grade of wood. If not you may have to get a custom blend mixed. In the end, I highly recommend you have your wood flooring professional make you some samples. oh, which is the best stain you would use..ZAR, etc. SCARED, they are beginning to stain Friday. Minwax Stain For Red Oak Floors This week we had to choose the floor stain which I thought would be my favorite since I already had an idea of what I liked. Both are very nice colors. Personally, I would suggest sanding them back, water popping and staining again. 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. Tada, Thank you so much for taking the time to help. We took on a 94lb Akita who has made some scratches so we need to sand it down. The floors now appear wet! It has natural oak flooring with that typical yellowish hue. It’s very hard to tell with the lighting and shadows but the color looks a lot like Provincial to me. Tadas, I loved your article and your comments! The original post and everyone’s comments were super helpful. If Jacobean is too dark you can mix it with another lighter color to come up with a blend. system should you choose for your floors? They were water popped, too. Experiment with a few colors to see what you like. A 50/50 mix of dark walnut and english chestnut was recommended to me. The first coat was so pretty. Any suggestions getting a rich browm with a touch of red with Dura on a new pine floor. Fast drying formula dries in 1 hour and uses nano pigments to offer superior color and coverage. I applied 3 coats of waterborne polyurethane. Surprisingly, the wood floor is in great shape! We have dark blue curtains in the room and the staircase wall is painted with a plum hue. I say go for it. Yes you’re going to have a hard time getting a color that “doesn’t hide all the grain & interesting burls… but that also brings a little uniformity to the sometimes wild tonal variation between all the planks – without looking like we just painted the floors.”. Way too much red tone for me. As far as the door I would stain or paint it a different color. The kitchen is cheap natural colored pergo, which looks fine against the Red Chestnut. Unfortunately we are a long way from Naperville but I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and tips. How can this be fixed? We tend to blend most of our stain colors as well so most of our floors are custom colors. 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. 2) Keep the floors natural or use a light colored stain (Golden Oak perhaps if your taste is country) and enjoy the difference in the woods. I can see how you would want to change the hardwood floor color from natural. in COLOR Jacobean Stain. Start with Natural to make it lighter and then experiment from there. Fortunately, I found another floor guy who’s been doing floors for 24 years and he will be able to repair the mistakes. Sorry to hear of your troubles. Still running the dehumidifier (December 2019 in WI). There are new finish systems available now, like Pallmann Pall-X Gold or Loba Invisible (used on the floor above), that don’t turn oak flooring that old orangy-yellow color that people associate with their grandparent’s floors. Is there anything that can be done about some of the dark stain remaining between butt joints of the wood? Common is more rustic and has more “defects” (if that’s how you view them) compared to higher grades like “select”. Thanks!! You can always paint your walls a lighter color down the road if you need to :). How wide are the cracks? i say start doing it this way and down the road, if you really don’t like it, you can paint it then :). I think all the sanding needs to be completed before going to the staining phase don’t you agree? I’m pretty sure it was Duraseal. Great site! Especially on the two different types of oak you’re thinking of choosing between. I love your blog and have found it really informative. To start out, I would use Special Walnut as the base color like you suggested and then start experimenting with percentages of Jacobean or a similar shade. Yes Acacia can be stained. I’m sure they’ll look great in the end. Is it ok to mix dark cherry with natural oak floors? If they aren’t seasonal then the best product we have used is a filler called Timbermate. He claims it is not possible to change, or tint, the existing stains in any way. My floor guy didnt do any samples for me. Just had our red oak floors refinished and stained with dura seal coffee brown. Just a thought but worth considering along with the other options. My husband doesn’t want red and my kitchen cabinets are also white oak. And does the dark floor show dust alot ?? Many thanks!! The floors that we have currently made are pretty much all 8’long stock and we make the blanks oversize through the rip so we can keep them extra straight out of the moulder. Since we don’t, we ended up going the DIY route. I really like your first picture at the top of this blog, but you said it’s ebony and that looked really black to us. It is also one of the hardest domestic woods with janka rating of 1820. One last resort thing you could do if you decided to go with a 3 coat surface finish instead of Rubio is to carefully paint the joints out between the first coat and second coat. While dark shades like True Black and Ebony will make a grand statement in a home and show off furniture more. Hi Tadas, Have you ever worked with Australian Blackbutt hardwood flooring? 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