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Two wooden rocking chairs are on a porch in front of two windows with two large, green plants on both sides of them.

The 9 Most Popular Wood Stain Color Options for Furniture

Two wooden rocking chairs are on a porch in front of two windows with two large, green plants on both sides of them.

Wood is a beautiful, durable material that can last for years — especially if cared for properly. It is also easy to customize to fit your desired style; you can sand it down and stain it a wide range of colors if you want it to match a specific aesthetic. 

Different brands have different furniture wood stain colors, some are multi-function formulas like ZAR Interior Stain and some have specific formulations for indoor and outdoor wood. ZAR® Interior and Exterior offers beautiful indoor and outdoor wood furniture stain options.

How To Color Stain Wood Furniture

Staining wood furniture is easy as long as you properly prepare the wood to take the stain you choose. You can start by picking a stain you like. Look at a furniture wood stain color chart to get ideas beforehand, or choose multiple shades to compare, if you aren’t sure which you like best. 

Next, you need to sand the furniture piece carefully. Otherwise, the stain will not take. Once you have it sanded down, wipe it clean to prevent dust particles from getting trapped, which will create a rough, unattractive finished product. 

Then, you can test your stain choice in an inconspicuous area to make sure you are happy with your choice. If you are, stain the entire piece, making sure to cover it in light, even coats and allowing it to dry thoroughly between each one. 

9 Popular Wood Stain Colors for Furniture

Knowing how to color stained wood furniture is only part of the furniture-staining equation. Before you can stain anything, you need to choose a stain color. Here are some of the most popular furniture stain options to help you decide on the perfect stain for your project.

1. Exotic Redwood

Person wearing a white shirt and camo pants is staining a wooden panel with a brown rag.

ZAR® offers the Global Canvas Collection of colored stains for indoor and outdoor wood furniture for a sophisticated, worldly design. These stains feature rich colors in red, orange and blond tones, which can add an exotic feel to any piece of furniture. Exotic Redwood is a rich reddish mahogany that can create a sophisticated look and is one of the most popular wood stain colors for furniture to create a Mid-Century Modern design.

2. Vintage Modern

Many popular wood furniture stain colors for exterior use have a warm, orange-toned hue. This classic choice is found on all sorts of furniture and can work with a variety of styles. ZAR®’s Global Canvas Collection features the Vintage Modern stain color, which can be used alone or with a complementary stain, like Exotic Redwood, to mix tones and hues. 

3. Champagne

A wooden bookshelf is holding a variety of books within the shelving and on top is a plant, two champagne glasses, a lamp, some pictures and candles.

Lighter furniture wood stain colors are becoming increasingly popular across the country. These stains create a lighter look that can work with more modern styles. The Champagne stain from ZAR®’s Trending Collection is a beautiful light-colored stain that can work with styles like bohemian, Scandinavian and modern, just to name a few.

4. Golden Sunset

A person is staining a wooden Adirondack chair outside while wearing a denim button-down.

Golden Sunset is another of the lighter wood stain colors for outdoor furniture offered by ZAR®. This option, from the Global Canvas Collection, is a rich blond-toned stain. It can help create a French Country look and works well with Mid-Century Modern design, combining easily with darker stains for a dramatic look.

5. Clear Coat

A person is staining a piece of wood with a wood-handled paintbrush with black bristles.

Sometimes, you want the wood to speak for itself; natural wood is beautiful, and it doesn’t always need colored stains. ZAR®’s Interior Water Base Poly Crystal Clear stain allows you to keep the natural color of the wood and provide protection. The self-leveling formula creates a smooth finish and is available in gloss, semi-gloss, satin and matte finishes. 

6. Mocha

An office has lots of wooden furniture, including a desk, a hutch and a bookcase. The desk is holding a globe, a book, a drink, a wooden box and some other knick-knacks.

Brown-toned stains are, without a doubt, one of the most classic options for furniture wood stain colors. These stains can help create both cool and warm designs and blend the old with the new. ZAR®’s Classic Collection is filled with these beautiful, rich brown stains, with Mocha being the perfect medium, neither too dark nor too light. 

7. Gold Leaf or Metallic Luster

A person is staining a mirror frame while wearing a clear glove and a white shirt.

Nothing is more extravagant than gold. It may not be as common as other interior wood furniture stain colors, but it can certainly make a major impact on any design. ZAR®’s Gold Liquid Leaf has a rich, metallic luster that is meant for decorative touches. Use it on frames, furniture trim or anything you can come up with to create a stunning, high-end look. 

8. Moroccan Red

Person is staining a piece of wood using a wooden paintbrush with black bristles.

If a stain like Exotic Redwood is too dark for your preferences, consider lighter wood stain colors for furniture in the same family. ZAR®’s Moroccan Red, from the Global Collection, is slightly lighter without losing the wood’s rich red tone. Like the others, it can help create a sense of someone that is well-traveled. 

9. Silk Gray

Whites, grays and blacks are becoming increasingly popular wood stain colors for indoor and outdoor furniture — with good reason. These tones help to create anything from a sophisticated and elegant design to shabby chic, depending on your style. Grays are particularly popular, and ZAR®’s Silk Gray from the Easy Living Collection offers the perfect light tone that will look good in any home. 

Wood Stains for Any Taste

One of the major benefits to wood, aside from its durability, is the ability to customize it. The wide variety of colored stains for wood furniture means that you can change the color of the wood in your home as your style changes, without worry. 

ZAR® has many stain collections in an impressive range of colors and tones, so it’s easy to get a beautiful, custom look without having to replace your furniture. Take a look at the ZAR® wood stain color chart to see which stains you like best and contact us today for any questions you have regarding furniture staining.

Note: if using ZAR Interior Stain on exterior furniture, be sure to topcoat with exterior polyurethane that is formulated for weathering and UV rays Zar® Exterior Wood Stain, Finishing & Sealant Quality Products.