Can Red Oak Be Stained Grey?

Staining wooden floors do not just add to the overall aesthetic value of your home, but it also creates a protective barrier that will help preserve the material. You might have red oak flooring or furniture and are now wondering if you can stain it grey. Don't worry because we have done the research to provide you with everything you need to know.

Red oak can be stained grey. However, since oak is porous, you will need more coats of stain before the color comes out. If you prefer to reduce the pink undertones of a red oak, use a mix of white and ebony stain instead of a premade grey stain.

Due to the grain of oak wood, it is a popular choice for homeowners who want to have texture on their wooden floors or furniture. However, red oak is not the easiest type of oak wood to stain grey. Continue reading as we discuss all the other important information you will need when staining red oak wood grey.

Can You Stain Red Oak Grey?

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Oak is commonly used as a material for hardwood floors and furniture because it is affordable. In addition, oak is a porous wood that can easily absorb stains better than maple or birch.

Since red oak is porous, you will need to apply multiple coats of stain before you can achieve the same result as you would see in other types of wood. Also, it depends on the shade of the red oak wood that you have at hand. If it is vibrant, then a darker shade of grey would be needed to combat the warm color of the wood.

However, if you will need more coats of stain to turn a red oak wood grey, the porous characteristic of oak is a benefit. The stain will have more areas in the wood to settle in. This makes oak wood a good candidate for staining because it holds the color better.

How Can You Stain Red Oak Grey?

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For staining a red oak with a classic grey stain, " target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">apply at least 3 coats of stain before finishing it with a polyacrylic gloss.

If you want to create your blend of stains, then you can mix ebony and white stain until you have reached your preferred tone. This special blend will help offset the pinkish undertone of red oak wood.

If you are blending your own stain, it is best to gradually test the color on a scrap piece of wood similar to the wood you will be applying the stain. Wait at least 24 hours on each coat to see the best results.

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How Do You Apply Stain On Wood?

The natural look of wood can be preserved with wax or varnish. However, some homeowners prefer to enhance the look of the wood with stain.

Staining wood can emphasize the natural design of the grain of the wood. In addition to improving the aesthetic of the wood, stains can also protect the material. Below is a simple " target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">guide you can follow if you are planning to apply stain to your wooden floor or furniture.

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Sand The Wood

Before applying the stain on the wood, prepare the surface to which the stain will attach. Sanding the wood will prep the surface for the stain.

Sanding the wood will create a smooth surface for the stain. In addition, sanding will also open up the pores of the wood. This will create a lot more areas for the stain to penetrate, resulting in a color that will last longer.

The type of sandpaper you will use on your wooden floor will depend on the type of wood that you have. However, is best to use a medium 150-grit sandpaper for furniture, especially the store-bought kind.

It is also important that you sand the furniture by hand. This is because the furniture you are sanding could just be a wood veneer of a fiberboard. If you use a strong mechanical apparatus for sanding such furniture, you can easily sand off the veneer.

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Clear The Surface Of Dust And Debris

Once you are satisfied with the texture of the surface, proceed to clear off the dust and debris left from the sanding. It is recommended to use a tack cloth when clearing off the dust from sanding, but others do not agree.

Tack cloth can still leave dust on the surface, which can then affect the overall appearance of the stain. Microfiber cloths can be used alongside tack cloths to reduce the amount of dust left on the surface.

Click here to shop for microfiber cloths on Amazon. 

Apply Wood Conditioner (Optional)

Once the surface of the wood is clear of any debris, you can opt to apply a wood conditioner on the entire surface. Using a clean, spare paintbrush, create short strokes on the wood to apply a thin layer of conditioner.

Wood conditioner is not necessary for staining wood. The stain will still attach to the pores of the wood with or without applying a wood conditioner prior.

However, there is a distinct difference between wood that was conditioned before staining compared to wood that was not. The conditioner will result in a cleaner finish. If the wood you will be staining has a dark shade, conditioning the wood will help the stain attach better.

Click here to shop for a pre-stain wood conditioner on Amazon.

If you chose to apply a wood conditioner before staining the wood, wait for at least 15 minutes for it to dry. This will avoid any wet wood conditioner from mixing with the stain during application. 

Apply Stain

Once the wood is ready, you can proceed to apply your preferred stain on the surface of the wood. Make sure to follow the correct procedure for the stain that you have brought. Before applying it to the wood, mix the stain thoroughly to reduce any content separation that may have occurred inside the can.

To apply the stain on the wood, you can use either a clean tack cloth or a synthetic paint brush. Apply the stain in a circular motion with a gentle press to ensure that the stain is latching onto the pores of the wood.

Make sure that the motion of your hand is going with the grain of the wood, and not against it.

How Can You Control The Shade Of The Wood Stain?

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After applying an even coat of stain, immediately wipe it off with a clean, dry coat to achieve a light coloring effect on the wood.

If you " target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">prefer to have a darker color, you can leave the water-based stain on the wood for 5 minutes at most. If the stain that you bought is oil-based, you will have to wait for at least 10 minutes to achieve a darker shade of stain.

Leave the stain to dry on the wood for at least 24 hours.

Apply Wood Finish

Once the stain has completely dried, proceed to apply your wood finish of choice. Common types of wood finishes include polyurethane and lacquer. The drying time will have a significant difference between these two finishes.

In general, polyurethane takes a longer time to dry, but it is more durable and does not crumble easily. In contrast, lacquer has a shorter drying time, but it does not have the same quality as polyurethane when dry.

If you are working on wooden flooring, it is best to use polyurethane because it acts as a barrier that protects not just the stain, but also the wood. On the other hand, lacquer can be used on furniture to achieve a glossy effect.

Can You Make My Own Grey Stain?

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Aside from mixing pre-made stains, you can also choose to make your grey stain at home. A benefit of creating a homemade stain would be that the color would not have as many chemicals in the mixture.

To make your grey stain, soak a ball of clean steel wool in a jar full of white vinegar. You can add nuts and bolts that are clear from any rust or grime. The metal soaked in vinegar will result in iron acetate, which can then be used to stain wood.

The measurements of the vinegar and metal ingredients depend on the surface area of the wood you will stain. However, you must keep in mind that the more vinegar you add, the lighter the color would be.

Increase the metal in the stain if you want to have a darker shade of grey. Since this method is natural, the results may vary.

Wait for the metal to soak in the vinegar for a couple of days until you have achieved the color you prefer. Just as we mentioned before, you can choose to test the stain on a scrap piece of wood that is similar to the wood you would be staining.

To Wrap Up

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Red oak can be harder to stain grey than white oak, but it is possible. Make sure to choose the suitable stain for your red oak to achieve the best result.

Made it to the end? Check out some of our other related posts!

White Stain Vs White Paint On Wood l Pros, Cons, And Major Differences?

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