Choosing A Dark Floor Stain Color

This post has been a long time coming and I’m so excited it’s finally here! Today I’m checking in with the “last” step from Phase I of our home renovation (at least the construction part) — choosing floor stain for our hardwood floors.
Before- the old floors prior to our new stainRemember when the house looked like this? Well, we’ve come a long way since then!

Why Stain the Floors?
We narrowed it down to four samples to preview in our home

The new paint, trim, doors and fireplace tile has already made it feel so much more “us”. The only thing that was missing was a new stain color on these beautiful hardwood floors.

I actually didn’t mind the light floors after we ditched the yellow/brown paint, but they were pretty beat up in some spots so sanding them down and re-staining them was a win-win. We were able to choose a stain color that we wanted AND remove all of the discoloration and minor surface imperfections.

Choosing Floor Stain Color
We knew we wanted to go dark, and these were our top four selections

We lined up a professional to handle this step of the process and scheduled him to start after the trim and paint were all done. We knew this was going to be a dusty job but we wanted all of the “construction traffic” to be out of the house before finishing the floors. Before he started, he came over and put some sample stain colors down on the floor.

Above Stain colors from left to right: Jacobean (Casey’s floor color), Rosewood, Chestnut, Dark WalnutCheck out the samples in lots of different light

Just like paint samples, I requested that he add these floor samples to at least two different parts of the house because the light is so different in each room. I wanted to make sure I loved the color in each situation, and I checked on the colors during the day and night to make sure the color was not too dark or too light at different times.

The Winning Stain Color Here's the stain we selected

We ended up going with Dark Walnut stain in a satin finish because it had a warm undertone and wasn’t too dark or too light. We opted for the satin finish because it was a good compromise between a flat finish and a semi-gloss. I’m super happy with our choice so far!

I LOVE super dark floors, but I was nervous that the extra dark floors would show a lot of dust and could make the space feel a bit small since we don’t have extra high ceilings. I also thought about keeping them light, but Matt convinced me that the contrast would make the white trim and doors really “pop”. Haha, he’s learning! We are so in love with how the floors came out

The floors took 5 days for one professional to complete, which included sanding them down, adding two coats of stain and a final finishing coat. Matt and I stayed out of the house for 4 of those days/nights to avoid the fumes… especially with Baby Mac on the way.

Now What?The whole house has a completely different feel to it

When we came home, we were in LOVE with the new look! We couldn’t wait to move upstairs and start decorating… that was until our floor guy told us that we shouldn’t really put rugs on the floor for about 2-4 weeks!!! 2-4 weeks?!!

We need to wait a few days to put down carpet and rugsThis was news that we definitely weren’t anticipating (especially because the nursery timeline is a ticking!!). But of course, we didn’t want to jeopardize the new floors, so that’s exactly where we stand right now. Loving the new floors, but not really putting anything on them for a couple more weeks.

Phase One is Pretty Much D-O-N-E!

Before- not terrible, but not great

Finishing the floors pretty much brings us to the end of Phase 1 of our renovation plans. Next year, we can’t wait to tackle Phase 2 (more on those plans at the start of 2018) but for now, we have plenty of decorating to focus on… not to mention a new baby to prepare for.After- a more modern, elegant color for our home

Over the next month, we are focused on getting the nursery done, the front door painted, and deciding on furniture for these spaces so we can actually start enjoying the first floor! Of course, we can’t wait to take you along every step of the way and can’t thank you enough for your patience up until now. It’s been a whirlwind. And although I’ve had SO MUCH FUN tackling this journey with some of my favorite people, I’m excited to take a break from dusty construction and start the decorating.


P.S. If you don’t want to see the large projects go, be sure to tune in next week for our last house update before Christmas. Casey and I added shiplap to the basement and I can’t wait to show you.. and ask for your advice on a burning question.

The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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