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February 4, 2011

MCM Home Improvement: Wood Stain Colors

By Sablemable aka Jan

I am just wild about blonde wood finishes and they were so popular in the Fifties.  Also a weathered gray finish was popular.  Take a look. (photos courtesy of www.midcenturyhomestyle.com)



Darker stains were also used on interior wood trims and furniture.  Walnut, cherry and warm honey tones were used.  My current kitchen cabinets are in a light honey stain, but this summer, all that will be stripped away and refinished in blonde.

If you want to finish your woodwork and don’t want to purchase the stains, you can easily take interior paint and thin it out with water.  We did that one year with our kitchen cabinets in our 1958 ranch.  After Bob sanded them, we watered down plain old white paint.  Then using a paintbrush, I’d paint the color on, then remove it quickly with a lint-free cotton rag.  Then another coat of the watered down mixture was applied and removed with the cloth.  All in all, it is a matter of layering the coats until you reach the desired tone.  A clear sealer was added after they dried.   Thus, you now have that blonde wood finish and it looks professional.  The same can be done with watered down gray paint, using the same application process. 

I haven’t discussed refinishing wood floors, but I intend to be daring this summer and have the refinishers stain them blonde.  Yummy! 

One note:  If you live in the Seattle area, check out Daly Paint (www.dalyspaint.com) as they mix their own stains and all of them are remarkable!  Sometimes manufactured off-the-line stains aren’t what you’re looking for, so always check for hometown paint and stain supplier who mix their own.  Daly is just one example of such a vendor.

What are your plans for the woodwork in your MCM homes, readers?

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3 Responses to MCM Home Improvement: Wood Stain Colors

  1. Robin Daly Reply

    February 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful shout-out for Daly’s Paint! Here’s a tip for your readers: If you are interested in replicating a vintage finish, bring us both the old piece and the new wood you are working with (assuming you are working with new wood, too).
    Since Mother Nature gives every species of wood a different characteristic, it really helps us to know what your new finish is going to be applied to. And allow a few days for us to customize this for you.
    If you are refubishing an existing piece, we are also happy to help!

  2. sablemable Reply

    February 4, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Hi, Robin! Thank you for visiting the blog!

    One reason I chose your store to showcase was the incredible stains that are so much more interesting than those of the you-know-who companies’ colors. Kudos!

  3. Sara in AZ Reply

    February 4, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    No MCM woodwork for me yet……but I am hoping to have some one of these days! 🙂

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