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8 Best Wood Stain Colors

Here are eight of the best wood stain colors for 2021 according to interior designers, color experts and DIYers.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Wood Stain Color: Yellow (Interior)

Color isn’t just for textiles anymore. Designers are expanding the bold color trend to wood furniture. Lemon by Minwax is a penetrating interior water based stain with a sunny hue that covers well.

“Color is definitely continuing to return to homes and the all-white look is returning to the sidelines,” says KFD Product Studio founder Kevin Francis O’Gara, known for his use of bold colors.

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Wood Stain Color: Black (Interior)

Black interiors were popular in 2020 and deep neutrals continue to trend in 2021. Classic Black by Varathane is a top-selling indoor wood stain used by DIYers and professionals.

Danielle Guerrero, the DIY Influencer behind Our Nest on Powell, used classic black on her recent arched cabinet build. “I was inspired by the black cabinets I was seeing online,” she says.

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White Exterior StainAePatt Journey/Getty Images

Wood Stain Color: White (Exterior)

Lighter-colored woods are trending for exterior finishes on outdoor furniture and decks. One example of this: Maritime White in the semi-solid opacity, a popular color in Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat exterior stain line.

Benjamin Moore Color Specialist Nivara Xaykao says, “White and light hues are synonymous with summer, and we’re seeing more of those stain colors being used inside and outside of the home on multiple surfaces. The look of bleached wood and pale driftwood has a relaxed, eye-pleasing effect.”

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Wood Stain Color: Blue (Interior)

The use of color stains continue to expand, and Vintage Blue, the Minwax 2021 Color of the Year, brings the colors of nature indoors. This oil-based stain provides one-coat coverage for various interior wood projects.

Sue Kim, color marketing manager for Valspar and Minwax, says people are adding “warming elements with touches of color to cabinets, wooden furniture, floors and more. Vintage blue is an organic color that balances nurturing green and renewing blue with subtle gray undertones.”

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Wood Stain Color: Greige (Interior)

Grays are trending as accent colors for 2021, and these work well for furniture, cabinets and floors. Interior designer KD Reid is seeing more gray tones in accent pieces as well.

“Gray tones have been on trend but are now being introduced in lighter washes that provide depth and contrast,” Reid says. “With their neutral tone, gray hardwood floors are popular among modern homeowners as a way to bring calming effects and serenity into the room.”

One great choice: Rustic beige, which blends brown and gray to create a versatile, on-trend color.

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Wood Stain Color: Flagstone Brown (Interior)

Varathane’s Flagstone is a warm stain color that pairs well with the light colors found in transitional home design. It’s a great stain for use on furniture projects or when replicating aged wood.

Interior home DIYer Nida Rehman used flagstone when aging a stool she purchased from a thrift store, featured on @lovenida_. “I think I’ve stumbled upon my favorite stain,” Rehman says. “The warm tones in the stain compliments the light color on my walls and it goes so well with other neutral tones.”

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Wood Stain Color: Gray (Exterior)

Moody stain colors aren’t just for interiors in 2021. “Completing small projects with a unique or colorful finish is a way to make an outdoor space a reflection of personal style,” Kim says.

One prime example: Darkest Knight charcoal exterior wood stain, which she says is trending for use on decking, fencing and siding.

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Wood Stain Color: White (Interior)

Although all-white rooms aren’t trending, light colored woods are popular indoors. “Lighter, matte-finished woods are big right now,” says O’Gara. “White oak and bleached looks are great on furniture and floors.”

The General Finishes oil-based gel stain in white is one of the top-selling stains on Amazon. It’s easy to apply and results in a white oak finish that provides an even appearance across a variety of wood types.

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Lauren Comer
Lauren is the metro Atlanta-based home improvement DIYer and blogger behind PinchPlateParty.com. She completed her first DIY furniture build in her early 20s and after that first project, she was hooked. When she's not working on a home improvement project you can find her checking out a new restaurant or spending time with family.

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