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Briarsmoke Wood Stain by Varathane – the Ultimate Guide!

Considering staining a project with Briarsmoke? Did you know that Briarsmoke looks different on every wood species? That should be a big factor before you buy the wood stain or wood.

Here is everything you need to know about it, before making the purchase.

Briarsmoke by Varathane

Briarsmoke is a premium wood stain by Varathane, a sub-brand of Rustoleum. It is an oil based wood finish. You can use it on hardwood floors or wood furniture or DIY projects.

It is medium brown in color with significant gray undertones. I love all of the graying in this color – it really makes it feel muted and modern.

However, Briarsmoke applies really thickly and can absorb kind of unevenly if you aren’t careful. It comes in a regular and fast dry wood stain, so be sure, especially if you get the premium fast dry wood stains, that you wipe excess off thoroughly with a clean cloth.

This stain definitely gives you color in 1 coat. It has a nice thick, highly pigmented color so multiple coats are not necessary.

Overall, I think that Briarsmoke rather distorts and masks the wood grain underneath. This is not a color to choose if you want to highlight the natural wood grain.

You can find this stain on Amazon or at your local hardware store. A can of stain lasts a long time, so it can be used for several projects.

In general, it is always a good idea to do a test stain on a piece of wood to verify desired color.

We tested this stain on five types of wood to see how it looks – whitewood, poplar, plywood, pine, and oak.

varathane briar smoke minwax wood stain on white wood, poplar, pine, oak, plywood

How does Briarsmoke look on pine?

Briarsmoke looks really gray and muddy on pine. Muddy might sound bad but it is not – it is really a beautiful color. I will say that it doesn’t really highlight the wood grain – it kind of muddies it, in fact.

How does Briarsmoke look on plywood?

The Briarsmoke color looks really pretty and grayed out on plywood. Similar to the pine, it doesn’t highlight any wood grain – though this plywood does not particularly have much natural grain to speak of.

How does Briarsmoke look on poplar?

Poplar has a lot of green undertones, which could be weird paired with this warm gray brown color. However, Briarsmoke is really thick and over powering – it doesn’t leave much undertones of the natural wood to pop through.

How does Briarsmoke look on whitewood?

Whitewood has a naturally striped grain to it. Briarsmoke enhances this look, but still muddles the grains a bit more than some of the other medium to dark toned stains that we tried.

How does Briarsmoke look on oak?

I personally would not pay a premium for oak hardwood and then cover it with this stain. I think that it distorts the underlying wood grain too much. It’s better for cheap wood that you would prefer to hide.

Projects using Briarsmoke wood stain

Want to see Briarsmoke in action? Here are some projects featuring this color:

We love how Briarsmoke looks and think that it is a great option if you are building furniture or DIY projects for your home. Try to pair this together with similar colors and tones in your home.

Click here to shop Briarsmoke on Amazon!

Want to check out more stain colors? We tested 10 types of stain on 5 types of wood – check out the whole project!

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