Modern gray, greige and brown-gray stain shades for hardwood flooring
Over the last 7 years, gray hardwood has become super stylish and continues to grow faster and faster. We’ve been getting more and more requests to stain hardwood floors gray. Some prefer lighter, some prefer darker and some prefer somewhere in between.
We’ve usually customized the gray stains to achieve the customer’s desired shade. We haven’t been thrilled with the pre-made gray and white washed stains from Duraseal and Minwax (e.g. classic gray, country white) as they just aren’t thick enough. They come out too thin and watery.
Now, over the last 2-3 years, we’ve been getting more requests to mix the gray blends with browns and beige to get greiges or brown grays. Sometimes it takes a bit of imagination as well as trial and error (and patience) as we are often blending 3 or more colors (white, ebony and at least 1 shade of brown). It can take a while.
Well, Duraseal, the preferred stain among professional refinishers, has come to the rescue. They are also aware of shifting and evolving homeowners’ tastes. They introduced 6 new gray and gray blended stains. These are part of Duraseal’s Inspired Stain line.
These innovative gray stain blends range from light rustic tones to time-worn grays to deep brown and gray blends. These new stains are more charming, more contemporary and have more pigment than the gray, whitewash and weathered oak stains.
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Duraseal’s new stain color line:
- Silvered Gray
- Rustic Gray
- Warm Gray
- Dark Gray
- Aged Barrel
- Heritage Brown
Silvered gray is lighter than classic gray and dark gray is a bit darker than that.
Now, we have Rustic Gray and Warm Gray which mix in some beige with gray to get a Greige (or a warmer gray).
And, then on the other end, we have Aged Barrel and Heritage Brown which integrate dark browns and ebony with gray.
I think my favorite is Heritage Brown which looks kind of like a stylish charcoal. It’s ebony with lighted a tad with a touch of gray. It softens the ebony and even gives you slightly different tones pending on how the light hits it.
I recently had my refinisher test all 6 of these gray or grayish stains and I wanted to share the pictures with you.
The above stain colors (in order) are dark gray, rustic beige, heritage brown, warm gray, aged barrel and silvered gray.
How many coats of stain should you use on hardwood floors?
As always, you would just want to do 1 coat of stain. While adding a 2nd coat of stain will make the color darker, you really only want 1 coat of stain…that’s how the product is designed.
The stain penetrates the wood, and then the polyurethane is designed to adhere to the stain. If you do a second coat of stain, it will not penetrate the wood properly, nor will the poly adhere to it as well. As a result, it is possible that the stain and/or poly may peel (over time) and it certainly won’t last as long.
After the stain has properly dried (usually 24 hours), you would then add 2-3 coats of polyurethane on top for protection (3 coats is lasts longer).
Which type of polyurethane and which brand is best for gray blended stains?
When it comes to gray stains, you always want to use water borne polyurethane. You want to avoid oil based polyurethane poly, as this will turn the gray yellow and it will look very unattractive.
But, a high grade water borne poly will do the trick as it won’t yellow. My top recommendation is Bona Traffic HD. This is the most durable and yellows the least out of any polyurethane out there.
You can read more about the best brands of water based polyurethane in this article.
Related gray hardwood articles:
- How to stain and refinish hardwood gray
- Best paint colors to go with gray flooring
- 13 Stunning gray hardwood floors (pre-finished) you can buy online
- Hardwood flooring trends
- 9 Amazing warm gray paint colors
- 11 Stylish cool gray paint shades
Complementary products that will prolong the life of your hardwood floors
And, this Painting and Flooring Planner will organize your paint shades, finishes and flooring choices by room.
New Gray Blended Hardwood Stains by Duraseal