Choosing stain color

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To give wood a rustic or vintage look, layer different colors and sand away parts of the top layer.

To give wood a rustic or vintage look, layer different colors and sand away parts of the top layer.

WHEN it comes to giving your home natural warmth and beauty, few things compare to wood—and wood is surprisingly flexible when it comes to color. Whether you’re refinishing your floors or cabinets, restoring a fine piece of furniture or creating a new look distressing an existing piece, wood stain can enhance the beauty of the wood and add to your style.

From traditional colors such as walnut or oak, to trendy espresso or weathered gray, you can choose from a variety of wood stains or create your own custom colors by mixing stains. The experts at the Minwax Company have tips to help:

• Each species of wood accepts stain differently. A dark walnut stain will look different on pine than on cherry. Test the stain on an inconspicuous area of the wood first to see the true color.

• Use a pre-stain wood conditioner to prevent streaks and blotches and ensure the wood absorbs the stain evenly.


• For beautiful, even color, thoroughly stir—not shake—the can to distribute pigments that may have settled on the bottom.

• If you create a custom color, measure each shade carefully and write it down so you can re-create it.

• For an antique or distressed look, layer lighter and darker stain colors. Once the stain has dried, lightly sand away the top layer in different spots and then protect the piece with a clear finish. See the Minwax Pinterest board “Distressed Furniture Projects” for more information.

North American Precis Syndicate

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