Staining black walnut grey

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Q: I have natural Lauzon black walnut floors that need refinishing. I would really like to achieve a greyed contemporary look (that is so current right now). Is staining black walnut grey possible? What colour would I use (due to the variations of gold, chocolate, blond, red in the wood)?

A: I don’t honestly know how you will achieve such a look with black walnut. Semi transparent stains still allow wood colours to show when using what I would call pastel colours. That is why sometimes when staining oak white we had to bleach the floor first. Colours like that were big in the ’80’s. They aren’t generally very durable.

Webmaster’s Note: I’d make a sample or try it in a hidden spot like a closet. A warmer grey might look cool despite the variations?

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2 comments on “Staining black walnut grey

  1. First, I don’t know why you would try to stain walnut with it’s heavy dark brown colour. Using a pastel grey just doesn’t seem right to me. It sounds like a losing battle. Years ago when I was doing a lot of pastel stains on oak some customers wanted the floor bleached first to remove any wood tones showing through the stain. That aside, I don’t even like or agree with applying 2 coats of stain to a floor for fear it may interfere with finish adhesion. And you want to apply 3 coats of stain? If you are trying to paint the floor why not just use paint? To answer your other questions I will need to know if this is a factory finished floor originally. I will say that finishing with 120 grit is a mistake. The smoother you try to make the wood the less effect the stain will have and it will tend to reveal sanding errors. The final grit would be 100 grit.

  2. Hoping you can lay out the process for a DIY project. We have walnut hardwood floors that are stained medium dark and then protected. We want to sand it, starting with 40 grit, then 80 grit then 120 grit paper on a rotary sander. then we will try the water popping method so the “grey” stain will absorb better. Then we will stain it three times with the Bona brand – Grey stain. I will then dry it and protect it with a Nanoshield Protectant (aluminum oxide). Would his be correct? Thanks for your help.

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