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Filed in PROJECTS & DIY — March 25, 2022

How to maintain a seamless wood finish throughout the home for a cohesive look.

I’ve been asked the last couple months more than anything else about creating this custom finish on all the wood tones in our home. I prefer to mix my own stains to get that perfect combination.

Years ago, I started out making furniture and home decor on Etsy. I created custom stains that our clients loved because I really invested in crafting the best tones that work with so many styles and compliment other wood accents. You don’t have to be a professional to whip up your own stain though, I’ll show you how I make mine and store them for use.

Here’s how to get my perfect “Restoration Hardware” aged wood finish – slight weathered, gray tint and a good medium brown without any red/orange undertone… basically it’s perfect, like I said!

-Start with a glass mason jar, seal and lid
-Measure 3/4 cup Minwax Provincial, pour into jar
-Measure 1/2 cup Minwax Weathered Oak, pour into jar
-Fill remainder of the jar with water to dilute

This is the basic measurement I use. As a rule of thumb I usually start with 2 parts Provincial to 1 part Weathered Oak and 1 part water to dilute.

*Sometimes I adjust this ratio to get the right tone. More water/less provincial, more weathered oak. It all depends on the type of wood and the piece. Always test first and adjust.
*Also, oil separates from water so as the stain sits in the jar the water separates. I shake/stir really well before each use and continue to as I’m using it.

To apply I typically use an old towel/shirt/sock, dip into stain and rub it into the wood. I almost always prefer this method because with a brush it really saturates the wood more and ends up being darker. Sometimes I’ll use a sponge brush for a very full, even coat.

Not all wood takes stain the same. That’s why I really like to test before fully applying. Adjust the ratio as needed to get the tone you’d like. It also helps creating a seamless finish throughout the entire home when you have a custom finish you can tweak on each piece, really keeps the wood finish throughout the entire home cohesive. I also love to use Valspar limewash glaze over top sometimes. It adds just a hint of white overtop to really tone down the brown, if it’s a little darker than I wanted. I absolutely love this product and use it on a lot of pieces.

A look at some of your favorite pieces I’ve used my custom finish on. Hope this inspires and encourages you to work on whipping up your own for your next project. I would love to see your projects if you use my custom finish – tag me on IG or send me a photo, love to share your projects.

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  1. Lyna says:

    I looooove the custom stain you have on all of your furniture pieces! I am new to staining and am so excited that you shared this!! This article was written just a few months ago. For some reason, I cannot find the Valspar Limewash Glaze anywhere at the local home improvement stores nor Amazon! Have you had any trouble buying any? I am wondering if it has been discontinued?

    • Hi! I’m so glad it’s helpful for you! I had my website and blog redesigned a few months ago and lost some posts so this one is actually a few years old it just was re-published a few months ago. I think it has been discontinued but any limewash or even a white paint with water mixture will work for the same look.

  2. […] and used a mixture of two stains (Weathered Oak and Provincial) to achieve this color. I used this tutorial to make the […]

  3. Christa Gray says:

    Hi there,
    This is exactly the look I am going for!!!
    I plan on using your custom stain on a dining room table and wondering if you have a favourite sealer? Preferably a a matte finish.
    Thank you so much,

    • Hi! Yes! Sorry for this delayed response. I use Minwax Polycrilic in clear matte. No sheen and it does not change the stain tone or make the finish yellow over time. It’s perfect!

  4. Beth says:

    Hi, we live in a log home with darker stained log walls, doors, and trim that I think might be Fruitwood. Some trim is Early American.
    We also have soft pine floors stained Puritan Pine. You can imagine what a mish-mash it is.
    I’ m wondering if there’s a fairly easy process using pickling stain or something to ‘normalize’ the stains on the logs, doors and trim so that another stain like the Provincial/Weathered Wood combo could be applied.

    • Hi there! I really can’t say for sure. But I would try something with a green undertone to cut the tone you currently have or try a gel stain that can cover it completely. The other option would be to try whitewashing. Hope this helps.

  5. Becky says:

    I’m really confused, you actually mix water with oil based stain?

    • Hi! It also comes in water based. You can mix water based stain with water to dilute, yes. Oil based will also work if you continue to mix/stir as applying it. When I orginally created this combo all I had was oil based and it worked great. I prefer water over using mineral spirits to dilute as it doesn’t penetrate the wood as much and the color is different.

  6. Natasha says:

    Is there a reason you use water to dilute instead of something like mineral spirits that wouldn’t seperate out like water? Does water stop if from penetrating as much?

    • Hi! I don’t like using mineral spirits as it didn’t give me the same results color/tone wise. You can use water based stain and dilute with water if you prefer. When I originally created this combo all I had was oil based. I just continue to stir/mix as I’m staining and have no issues with the stain.

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Grace Oaks Designs is an interiors and lifestyle brand located in Central IL.
Creating homes that are both stylish and deeply rooted in livability. Offering design services and inspiration encouraging an elevated everyday.