it is just about time to sand and stain the hardwood floors!
we have always used minwax stains in the past, and plan on using them in our new house as well. in the last few houses that we have built and remodeled, we have used "provincial" and been VERY happy. since we almost always use red oak, we know exactly how it will look...provincial is a very neutral, medium brown stain color. (when i say "neutral" i mean a color that doesn't read red or yellow or grey.)
here are my favorite "neutral" minwax stains, in order from dark to light:
of course, when i picked out the stain colors that i wanted to test, i grabbed "provincial".
but i also wanted to test two colors that i thought would be nice, but still neutral, so i also chose "special walnut" and "dark walnut".
here they are:
(and YES, i just realized that i spelled provincial wrong here. but lets just pretend that it is spelled right. i need the time it will take to correct it to pack a few boxes.)
i was pretty surprised at how light the "special walnut" looked compared to the others! after seeing the samples, i definitely liked "provincial" and "dark walnut" the best.
**TIP for testing stain colors:
when testing stain colors, you need to sample the colors on at least two boards, since there can be so much variation from board to board. it is also a good idea to test the colors on the SAME board so you can really see the difference in each color.
here are the colors again:
at first, i thought i might also test out "jacobean", but i actually want the floors to be a slightly softer brown, and i felt that jacobean was just a tad darker than what i wanted. so, the race is between what i know works and looks great and i have used many times before:
the slightly darker, never used before
which is YOUR pick?