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Varathane Gray Stone stain – the ultimate review

Considering adding a gray wood stain to your wood project? Check out Varathane Gray Stone – our full review & how it looks on 6 types of wood!

Gray wood stain is a cool option for your DIY woodworking projects.

Gray wood can look beachy, rustic, or modern. It’s a fun color to play around with.

I was really excited to test out my favorite 8 gray wood stain colors on 6 types of wood so you can see exactly how they each look!

varathane gray stone wood stain a complete guide

Varathane Gray Stone

Varathane is a brand commonly carried at the Home Depot. Click here to buy Varathane Gray Stone at Home Depot.

Gray stone is a very dark charcoal gray wood stain. It’s so dark that it can almost look black in certain circumstances.

See my favorite black wood stains here!

This stain has definite warm undertones to it – that means there is a lot of brown in the color.

This looks rich and chocolatey on many woods, but can kind of clash with woods with green or purple undertones.

Here is how Varathane Gray Stone looked on each of six wood types!

Varathane Gray Stone stain on different types of wood

How does Varathane Gray Stone stain look on oak?

8 gray wood stains on oak

Oak is a really beautiful wood with natural red undertones.

Gray stone takes oak wood to a deep chocolate brown. It’s truly gorgeous and rich looking! This is a great option if you want a wood stain on oak to look nearly black.

How does Varathane Gray Stone stain look on pine?

8 gray wood stains on pine

Pine wood has natural yellow tones with some slightly darker graining.

Gray Stone does a great job of darkening up pine. It also can help to mostly (not completely) cover and disguise dark knots.

Some of the yellow grain of the pine did show through. You could always give it another coat or two if you wanted fuller coverage.

How does Varathane Gray Stone stain look on poplar?

8 gray wood stains on poplar

Poplar has natural green and some purple undertones.

Poplar has little almost dashes it it’s wood grain which gives it the look of a lot of texture. This stain really highlights that.

Gray stone looks deep and dark on poplar. However, the above-mentioned dashes in the grain really don’t take the stain as dark. This gives it more of an uneven look, which you may or may not like.

How does Varathane Gray Stone stain look on plywood?


Birch plywood is very light, almost white, with very light tan grain lines. It has beautiful flowing grain lines.

Plywood tends to absorb a lot of stain, making it look darker than it looks on some other wood types.

Gray stone gives plywood complete coverage, making it look almost fully and solidly charcoal-almost-black.

How does Varathane Gray Stone stain look on a 2×4?

8 gray wood stains on 2x4

2x4s are usually very light wood with darker knots and holes. Most people don’t use 2×4 for projects you would really stain, but we still tested it for you!

2x4s have grain that varies widely between white and golden yellow. I find that stain takes to this grain differently, giving it a striped look.

I don’t hate the look of it with this dark stain – it makes it very clear that it is stained and NOT painted. However, if you want a more solid finish, this is not your best bet.

How does Varathane Gray Stone stain look on white wood?

8 gray wood stains on white wood

White wood is a sort of miscellaneous category for light, soft wood with lots of knots.

Gray Stone gives this wood very solid dark coverage. It’s also good for mostly covering dark knots. I think it’s a great option if you are looking for a dark wood stain!

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