Stain on the Brain

Seeing as how every joint and corner in the Station has been taped an mudded, its time for MysteryMan to move onto staining and varnishing the wood for the ceiling while I continue on my texturing rampage.


We chose wood for 3 reasons.

1.) Sweet Zeus, not a chance in hell I’m putting drywall up there. Once was enough.

2.) We think the look fits the rustic man-cave feel of the place

3.) As with everything else in the Station, we’re practicing for the house. If we like the look, we’re considering using it in the mini-great room in the house.

Like this, but with a smaller piano. And ceiling height.

I like the warm look as opposed to big white vaulted ceilings. And actually, I like the color of that one as well, and just try replicating that with Minwax.

Not. Easy.

I made the mistake on Garrison to “mix stains” to achieve the perfect dark wood to match my trim. It takes a coat of dark walnut, and then two of  a mahogany stain/poly combo to get the right color, and it’s worth knocking my head against the wall for at least five minutes every time I want to touch-up a piece of wood.

So I promised myself Memorial would have a standard stain color, even though I don’t want all my wood to be matchy-matchy.


So much easier said than done.


Sometimes I think all of you who take the white paintbrush to your trim are on to something.


The overall feel of Memorial will be “rustically elegant” as my aunt puts it.


I’m not sure any of these colors qualify. Like the sear-your-eyeballs out orange in the middle? Yeah, not so much.

I want to keep the wood color lighter with out the washed-out pine look and I’m having trouble finding the sweet spot between, not enough color, way too much color, and is that pink? Because no way will MysteryMan tolerate pink wood on the ceiling, and for that matter, neither will I.

Favorite stain colors anyone?

12 Responses

  1. When we were trying to figure out the stain color for our kitchen floors we tried almost 30! I wanted to punch myself in the face. We ended up with “Gunstock,” but we wanted a darker stain as opposed to a lighter one….So….really this comment is of no help to you 🙂

  2. I feel your pain I used to use plain walnut mixed with a touch of ebony but after the touch up nightmare I love Miniwax Dark Walnut 2716 or Special Walnut 224

  3. Yikes, that middle one is gross. We used Old Masters ‘Cedar’ on our living room floor, it is not super red and the oil poly on top mellows it even more. Since the poly will darken the overall look, maybe lighter is better?

  4. Timely post. I was at home depot 5 times yesterday buying different cans of stain. We reclaimed old maple boards for our counter tops but the boards were inconsistent and the stain looked different on each piece. Sigh.

    anyways, I do have a recommendation for staining a ceiling. Don’t. I love the look of wood but find stained ceilings absorb so much of the light. We did the same kind of ceiling in my studio and I just did a kind of watered down white wash… basically taking white latex paint and wiping it on with a cloth like you would stain. The style could work depending on what you are doing with the rest of the walls etc. Maybe too rustic for some but we thought it looked great, was bright to bounce light and still showed the wood character. Easy to do, easy to touch up. that’s my two cents. Cheers

  5. Thanks for the ideas everyone. All of us DIYers are “mixers” I see… maybe Minwax should take note.

    Sara- I went backed and checked out the color of your floors, and I’m kind of loving it. Where in the heck do you get Old Masters stain, I’m unfamiliar with it?

  6. Try moving outside of Minwax; General Finishes have some great stuff, and if there’s a Rockler store near you, they let you try-before-you-buy in most cases.

    I’ve also had good luck with Watco; it’s a stain/polyurethane/thinner in one, so it soaks into the wood and dries there, doesn’t feel as plasticy as polyurethane, and is all around pretty darn awesome.

  7. Oh my goodness that room is lovely! I have always thought it looked nice to have warmth on high ceilings too. I don’t know a favorite stain color, but we tend to lean more towards cherry wood tones in our house.

  8. Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

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