These are a few of my favorite…

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STAINS! Did I have you singing that song? Now I have it stuck in my head. 😉

Anyway! I wanted to document some of my favorite stains that I have used. I’m sure this blog will be repeated and/or updated as I try out new and different colors, but these are the ones I’m using currently! I took some scrap wood and did one side with a single coat of each stain, and the other side with two coats. After they dried (which took FOREVER) (Disclaimer: I may be a bit impatient), I took pics of both sides to compare!

I also tried my hand in layering stains, which I have not actually tried on any furniture yet. I’m not sure if I even did it right, but I’m going to include the pics I have of those, anyways.

In each picture, the left side has one coat, while the right side has two coats. You can drag the arrows left and right to compare.

The first stain is Dark Walnut by Minwax. This is a beautiful, darker stain color. It’s very reliable and a definite go-to.

The next stain is Ebony by Verathane. This one is a little tricky. If you shake it really well, you’ll get the colors below. If it’s not mixed together well, this will go on wood in a very light black/gray color. The stain appears blacker in more dense areas of the wood. (I did the student desk in this color, and it was a very pretty shade… it seemed more grayish brown than it looks here)

The next stain is called English Chestnut by Minwax. This is more of a medium brown color that pulls in darker areas in certain spots of the wood. It’s very pretty!

This one is called Jacobean by Minwax. This one is very pretty! I did our farmhouse side tables using this stain. I love how it enunciates the wood grain.

Next, we have Kona by Verathane. This stain comes out very thick! It is a very dark brown, even with just one coat. It’s very pretty, though, if you’re wanting a darker look.

The next stain is Mocha by Minwax. This is probably my favorite! It is such a pretty shade of a darker brown. One coat is beautiful and, depending on your wood type and your project, will be good enough.

The last stain I have to show you is called Provincial by Minwax. This is a beautiful color if you’re going for more of a light-middle shade of stain. I love how it pulls out the wood grain and makes it a little darker.

Here are a few of my experimentations with layering stain colors:

  1. Dark Walnut (Minwax) first, covered in Classic Gray (Minwax):

2. Classic Gray (Minwax) first, the Dark Walnut (Minwax): the opposite of the above picture. Not too much of a difference, except I think this one has more of a brown hue while the above shows more of the gray shade.

3. This is a two-for-one deal. 😉 The left side is Classic Gray followed by Jacobean (Minwax); the right side is the opposite- Jacobean then Classic Gray. These don’t look very different in the picture, but I would say in person the left side is darker and has more of a brown hue. The right side, in person, would be a beautiful shade for anything farmhouse.

4. Kona (Verathane) then two coats of Classic Gray. Kona, like I said above, is THICK! It comes out so dark. One coat of gray barely made a difference, so I did a second one. This is probably not the best piece of wood to have used, but I think you can see some of the gray coming through.

So there you have it… a few of my favorite stains! Hopefully you can reference this if you’re looking to stain something.


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