We’re in the final DAYS of the One Room Challenge! And we have SO MUCH to do! We have all the cabinets in the shelves are done and the counters are in. But we have to choose a stain for the butcher block countertops. I tested eight different stains on a remnant of the butcher block to see which one would work best in the pantry. Let’s check it out! And be sure to check out the One Room Challenge Blog for all the other amazing projects!
We went with an oak butcher block. My husband believes it’s a mix of red and white oak. It’s actually really pretty in its raw state. I was tempted to leave it raw, but I want some contrast and the cabinets and walls are kind of light. We purchased two 12-foot slabs from LL Flooring. We actually purchased all the wood floors in our house from them as well. The two slabs were the only two in Nebraska (one in Lincoln, one in Omaha) and they were on clearance. I feel like we got a good deal. We do have some left over, but I want Andy to make me a butcher block cutting board. 😉
We installed wood floors throughout the entire main level of our ranch home, except in the bathrooms and laundry room. So, the pantry has wood floors. All the floors are stained Jacobean with a satin poly. Jacobean is quite dark, and I was tempted to paint the floors in the pantry in a diamond pattern. But I don’t think Andy would have been too pleased with that idea, so it was dismissed. Jacobean is a warm toned stain, so I need something in that tone for the counters.
The Stain Lineup
I already had quite of few stains in our stash: Jacobean, Dark Walnut, Weathered Oak, Early American, and Red Mahagony. I purchased three new ones to give me eight to choose from. I purchased English Chesnut, Special Walnut and Provincial. Let’s take a look at each one.
It’s a dark brown stain color with golden undertones that are more subtle. The grain will look a bit more light brown. Jacobean is a beautiful, rustic color.
This is a rich, classic, mid-tone brown color. It can have a slight hint of red when used with oak. It’s not overly orange or yellow, but still a beautiful warm color.
This is a lighter brown walnut color. It can have cool and ashy undertones. It’s a muted brown color with no red tones.
This is a traditional medium-toned brown color. It’s a warm stain with golden undertones. It’s a classic color that will look beautiful in almost any setting. Provincial is in the top 5 most used Minwax stains.
This is the number one used stain by Minwax. It embraces the shadowy hues of black and brown. Dark Walut is very dark brown in color with black undertones. It will work with warm and cool tones.
It’s a muted brown stain with warm gray undertones. Early American may have a hint of red in it. It’s a classic color that is very versatile.
A bit of a wild card in this lineup, Weathered Oak is a dark gray color with warm undertones. I had my suspicions that this one wouldn’t work in the space.
Another wild card, it’s a beautiful rich brown color with definite red tones. It’s more of a contemporary color that is surely to enhance the piece.
So which stain did I choose for our countertops? It’s secret choice number 9! I mixed 1:1 ratio of Provincial and Special Walnut to get a nice warm mid-tone stain color. I cannot wait to get these counters stained! But I think first we’ll be painting.
There are so many stains out there, depending on what tone you want. It was very hard to decide. But I’m happy with the decision. There are just days left in the One Room Challenge and I’m very nervous that we’re not going to make it. My husband is confident that we will. I hope so! Stay tuned for next week’s update! And be sure to follow along on Instagram where I show a lot of the behind the scenes. Until next time Treasure Hunters!
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