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The Top 7 Modern Wood Stain Colors

A person wearing a white shirt and dark pants is staining a piece of wood.


As the design world evolves, trends go in and out of style. However, traditional, classic design elements have remained at the forefront of popularity — and one of the most popular design elements is wood.

Favored among classical and modern design aesthetics, natural wood grain is welcome in almost any home. Whether you’re trying to achieve something chic and minimal or weathered and traditional, wood is an unbeatable design companion.

Wooden features and products have been in the design world for centuries, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t changed over time. Most homeowners, developers, and designers don’t throw raw wood on the exterior or interior of a home and call it a finished project.

Before wood can be used, it must be properly stained and finished. Without that extra layer of protection, it would be vulnerable to the elements, including inclement weather, humidity and insects. Fortunately, this provides an incredible design opportunity.

Staining wood allows contractors and designers to alter the color of the wood, making it much more adaptable to a wide array of styles and aesthetics. When choosing which stain to use for a project, many options are available. For those looking for a bit of design inspiration, here are the seven most popular modern wood stain colors in use today.

1. Dark Brown — A Forever Classic

A close-up image of a dark brown wood stain.


Dark brown wood stain is a forever classic and will never go out of style. There’s just something incredibly traditional and modern about this color, making it an ideal companion to the contemporary, industrial and minimalist aesthetics.

Pairing dark brown hardwood floors with white or light-colored walls creates a stark level of contrast that is very pleasing to the eye. It’s also an excellent color for kitchen cabinets and creates a sleek and clean look in one of your most high-traffic areas.

2. Flip the Script with a Light Stain

A close-up image of a light brown wood stain.


Light stains are perfect for breezy, temperate climates, as they create an aesthetic appeal that is not fussy or overly designed, but extremely elegant.

As the name suggests, it’s a perfect stain for a beach house or any home embracing a beachy aesthetic. It’s also an ideal color choice for homes with lots of sunlight and homeowners who love to embrace nature.

3. Blue? It’s Actually a Hot Trend

A close-up image of a blueish wood stain.


If you thought blue was a strange or unconventional color for wood staining, think again. Blue stains are quickly rising in popularity, and the color blue has become a surprisingly hot staining trend around the world.

Blue-stained wood is especially effective in homes that embrace color blocking and heavy contrast. Pair this dark blue wood grain with white walls and a soft, pastel décor to create a homey environment that will wow your guests. Remember that homes don’t have to be warm-hued to be comfortable and cozy. 

4. Vintage Modern

A close-up image of a vintage brown wood stain.


This stain is a modern take on the warm wood color found in many mid-century modern homes. It’s the answer for anyone who loves the modern aesthetic paired with traditional design elements.

The warm hues of this color stain pair perfectly with nature, lots of sunlight and colorful homes. If you’re a fan of bright colors, golden tones and subtle touches of luxury, this is the color stain for you. 

5. Gray Makes a Strong Statement

A close-up image of a gray wood stain.


Like blue staining, gray wood stain is incredibly popular among homeowners looking to embrace something new and fresh. If you’re looking for something chic and modern, gray is the way to go — and the possibilities don’t end there.

Interior and exterior home designers worldwide have proven that you can pair gray wood with almost any aesthetic with awe-inspiring results. Often considered dull and gloomy, gray is actually a great color if you want to revitalize a room or transform an entire home.

6. Exotic Redwood

A close-up image of a reddish wood stain.


Red-forward wood stain is a classic that once defined the home development industry. Redwood has been a traditional wood type for over 200 years because of its warm-hued tonality and exotic look.

It’s no wonder that classic redwood color staining remains so popular today. It’s an excellent wood stain for outdoor features, including decks, patios, barns and more. Don’t fear the red — it’s also a striking color to use inside the home. 

7. Mink

A close-up image of a classic brown wood stain.


Pairing the bright hues of lighter tones with a subtle touch of rich brown gives Mink” wood stain a universal appeal. Unsurprisingly, homeowners, developers and contractors are flocking to it for its warm tone and smooth coloring.

It’s the ideal wood stain for a traditional home with classic design elements or a beach house with tropical vibes. It’s also an excellent choice for outdoor projects and will bring your deck or patio to life! The color is a workhorse that can do it all, something many homeowners are looking for when selecting a wood stain to endure aesthetically.

Jump on the Latest Stain Trends with ZAR®

At ZAR®, we work hard to maintain the highest quality wood stains and finishes on the market that are simple to use. So, whether you’re a novice DIYer or professional contractor, our products are created with you in mind. To learn more about the latest stain design trends, locate a retailer near you today.

If you’re searching for additional inspiration, check out some of our previous projects.