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The best Varathane Wood Stains by color

Shopping for a wood stain for your next project? Here are the best Varathane Wood Stains by color!

Building a woodworking project is satisfying, but the build isn’t the end of it.

Unless you use a high end hardwood (in which case, go you, get some walrus oil, and let the grain shine), you will want to paint or stain your wood for a finished look.

Picking a stain color is a big commitment! It’s not something that is super easy to change down the road.

So, we have made it our mission to sample and test a TON of wood stains to make it as easy as possible for you to pick the right stain color the first time.

the best varathane wood stains by color

Is Varathane a good stain?

Varathane wood stains are a good quality and a good value for your money. Varathane is a wood stain brand owned by Rust-Oleum. It is a high quality product that comes in a wide variety of colors and is widely available.

What’s the difference between classic and premium Varathane?

Premium Varathane stains are designed to give better “one coat” coverage and to dry a bit faster compared to the classic stains. Premium stains are usually slightly more expensive than their classic counterparts.

A note on Varathene One Step Stain + Poly in one

Sealing stained wood is an important part of any project, but adds extra time and work. So, I totally see the temptation to try a stain and poly in one. I highly do NOT recommend these products. I find them bubbly, drippy, and very very hard to work with and get a good finish.

Where do you buy Varathane wood stain?

If you are shopping at a big box store, it’s pretty likely that you will encounter Varathane stains. Varathane is currently the prominent stain brand available at most Home Depot stores in the United States.

The best Varathane Wood Stains

Here are my personal favorite Varathane stains in each color category.

The best gray Varathane wood stain

Gray wood stains are great for a rustic, coastal, or farmhouse vibe.

Sunbleached is my favorite light gray wood stain by Varathane. It has pretty full coverage, so it’s better for when you don’t need to show too much of the grain of the wood.

The color is a beautiful beige that works in a lot of styles of rooms.

varathane sun bleached wood stain on white wood, poplar, pine, oak, plywood

Click here for my complete Sunbleached review.

For more of a mid-toned gray wood stain, I recommend Varathane Smoke Gray. It’s got a bit more transparent coverage, but a darker color overall.

Varathane Smoke Gray stain on different types of wood

Click here for my Smoke Gray review.

The best “natural” Varathane wood stain

By natural, I mean natural wood look. These stains enhance the grain without overwhelming it with color.

Varathane’s Weathered Wood accelerator is designed to give the wood an aged look while still preserving the beauty of the grain underneath.

In our old home, we had a strong coastal or beachy style and chose this stain quite a bit!

Varathane Weathered Wood Acceleratorvarathane wood stain on white wood, poplar, pine, oak, plywood

Click here for our compelete Varathane Weathered Wood accelerator review.

The best brown Varathane wood stain

Brown wood stains are a classic and great way to give cheaper wood a rich look.

Varathane Early American is my pick for a rich, medium to dark toned brown wood stain. I have used this stain on a ton of projects and it never disappoints.

Early American gives one coat coverage and the color, while it varies slightly by type of wood, is a rich chocolate brown.

varathane early american wood stain

Click here for my complete review of Varathane Early American

The best white Varathane wood stain

I personally love a whitewash on wood projects for a light and bright feel.

Our pick for best white wash is Varathane White Wash! This stain has a good amount of coverage, while still letting the wood’s significant grain details shine through.

varathane white wash of different types of wood

Rad my complete white wash review here.

The best black Varathane wood stain

Black wood stains are a great way to give a piece a more modern look.

For a black wood stain, I prefer a fuller coverage. For this reason, my pick is Varathane Classic Black. It gives pretty solid coverage of the wood surface, even without additional coats.

Varathane classic black on different types of wood

Click here to read my full review of Varathane Classic Black.

Any more questions about Varathane wood stains?!

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