Stain Choices

If you are looking to add a touch of character and color to your hardwood furniture or interior décor, wood stains are an excellent option. The perfect wood stain color can enhance the natural beauty of the wood grain, complement your existing color scheme, and in some cases hide or highlight certain aspects of the wood.

At Solid Custom Heirlooms our goal is to provide a wide variety of wood furniture stain choices in all the wood species we offer (except for Walnut) so that our customers have options for their customization needs. Each of these wood and stain combinations are available to order as samples on our Wood Samples page.

Cherry Stain Options

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How to achieve the perfect shade with wood stain colors

If you are looking to add character and color to your hardwood furniture or home, the addition of wood stains are an excellent option. But with so many different wood stain colors available and so many different types of woods to work with, many of our customers ask for help with choosing the right wood and the furniture wood stain colors in combination.

Taste in wood color and texture is highly personal and while there is just no substitute for having actual Wood Samples to see in person, over the years we have learned some key factors to consider when thinking about stain to your furniture or any woodwork in your home.

Factors to consider when choosing wood stain colors

Before you chose a stain color for your custom furniture, it’s essential to consider the various factors that can affect the outcome. One of the most critical factors is the type of wood you’re staining. Different wood types absorb stains differently, which can affect the final color. For example, softwoods like Pine and Fir tend to absorb more stain than harder woods like Oak or Maple, which can result in a darker color. Therefore, its essential to test your stain on the actual wood species that you choose for your furniture.

For example, if you were to test a wood stain by dipping a wood paint stir-stick from your local home improvement store, it would absorb the stain much differently that a piece of hardwood. This method would give you a general idea of the color of the stain on the wood – but would tell you very little about what the final product will look like.

Another factor to consider is the color of the existing wood or any surrounding elements that will be in the same space as the stained wood furniture. You want to choose a wood stain color that complements the existing colors and creates a cohesive look. For example, if you have warm-toned walls and furniture, you may want to choose a wood stain color with warm undertones as well.

Finally, consider the level of transparency, sometimes also called opacity, you want your wood stain color to have. Transparent stains allow the wood’s natural beauty and wood grain to show through, while opaque stains cover the wood’s natural color and grain. The level of transparency or opacity you choose will depend on the look you’re trying to achieve. A highly transparent stain can emphasize the wood’s natural character, while a darker, solid stain will hide, but not completely conceal the wood grain.

Types of wood stain colors

At Solid Custom Heirloom, we only offer oil-based stains. Oil-based stains penetrate into the pores of the wood and provide a deeper, richer color, and last for the life of the furniture with minimal fading. Oil based stains take longer to dry and produce more “offgassing” that water based stains, but because we apply the stain in our factory where we have the proper tools and ventilation equipment, we can save our customers from this long process and deliver a fully cured and finished final product.

We do not offer water based stains because in our experience they produce a less desirable color and fade quickly over time, especially when exposed to sunlight. However we do offer all of our furniture in an unfinished state, which comes pre-sanded and ready to take stain if you choose to apply it at home.


Why we don’t stain Walnut

Walnut is a special, premium wood choice that is our darkest unstained hardwood choice. We only offer Walnut with a natural Tung Oil finish that highlights its unique chocolate colors. In our experience, a stain only hides the natural character of Walnut wood.

Part of Walnut’s charm is a occasional streaks of lighter colors that can be a range of reds, creams and sometimes even dark green.

If you prefer a more consistent Walnut color, a good option is Cherry wood with Dark Walnut stain. This popular combination will give you a rich Walnut color with less grain variation.

Maintaining and protecting stained hardwood

Unless ordered unfinished, all Solid Custom Heirlooms furniture is finished with Tung Oil, a natural Oil that protects the stained wood surface and is easy to maintain. For more info, please take a look at our why we use Tung Oil page.

Once you’ve found the perfect stain shade of wood stain, here are some tips for keeping it looks its best.

      1. Avoid direct sunlight: Direct sunlight can cause wood stain colors to fade over time. Avoid placing stained wood in areas where it will be exposed to direct sunlight.
      2. Clean regularly: Regularly cleaning your stained wood with a gentle wood cleaner can help to maintain its color and shine.
      3. Use a high quality furniture wax. Applying a protective wax like Briwax adds protection to the wood stain over time and can even guard against scratches and stains.

Still have questions?

At Solid Custom Heirlooms we love helping our customers choose the perfect stain color. We encourage you to browse our website to see the many combinations of wood choices and stain choices as well as order wood samples to see the colors in your home. And please don’t hesitate to contact us – we love to talk about furniture options.