English Chestnut Stain on Oak?

CassandraDecember 14, 2010

I need some handholding--I just selected English Chestnut stain for my living room/dining room floors. They are 100 year old white oak and had previously been finished with no stain. I disliked the orangy-yellow look, and I want to go darker but not too dark. The refinishing guys put down samples of 4 stains on the floor and I selected the English Chestnut. But I'm now scared it is going to be too dark. I would really appreciate pictures if you have a medium brown stain of any type in your living room/dining room.

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We wanted Cherry and our builder's wife (herself a great decorator) suggested half Cherry and half Natural, saying that she always uses her stains half-strength. We did what she suggested and love it. That way we have the "color" without it being too dark. Sorry I can't help with your actual question, but is it too late to see another sample of half-strength English Chestnut?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 7:13PM
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I cannot not be any help as I am in the same situation. Our white oak was delivered today and will be site finished after Christmas. We want them stained a med color--a brownish red. I will be curious to see if anyone has any pics of their stained oak floors.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 7:20PM
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Marita, Our window trim and baseboard molding is English Chestnut on 1919 white oak, with about 5 coats of amber shellac.

If you have darker wood trim, I think a floor that color will be dark, too dark.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 7:27PM
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Thanks everyone. Patser I had a previous house with that kind of very dark wood trim. But my oak floor, now sanded, is nearly white in color and when the guys put down the sample (a 2 ft square) of English Chestnut it didn't color it nearly as dark as your wood trim. They also put down a coat of the oil based poly I'll be using, so I think I saw it in its "true" color. I also looked at Early American and Provincial, but the first was too golden for my taste, and the second was much darker than the English Chestnut. By the way, this is DuraSeal stain, made by Minwax. I googled photos for oak floors finished with English Chestnut and the color varies tremendously. So no doubt all this depends highly on the individual situation. It sure doesn't make the choice easy! By the way, my choice is really between Nutmeg and English Chestnut--those were the two of the four I liked, both a medium brown.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 7:57PM
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Not sure if this will help - it's the best picture I could find quickly of my floor color. It's been 20 years but this is Nutmeg with a bit of something darker mixed in - sorry I cannot remember if it's Chestnut or Provincial or something else. Don't be afraid to ask them to do a custom mix for you - just be sure they make extra and leave it with you along with the formula/proportions.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 9:08PM
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We recently used Provincial in a "flip" house and it looked like the swatch of English Chestnut we had been trying for. The EC came out much darker than the brochure had pictured.
Provincial was rich without being too dark and showing every speck of dust.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 12:27AM
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Don't know if this will help or not but, Here is a chestnut wood table with my wood floors. My floors are Red Oak. The center of the medallion is Early American, the rest of the floor is Provincial, and the trim is Provincial on Cherry.

My point is that your stain can be as dark or light as you wish. I think our floors only have one or two coats of stain, followed by a satin sealer. I would have preferred several coats of the Early American because it looks the same as the Provincial, where I wanted a contrast.

Try one coat of Chestnut on your floors, and if it's not dark enough, try another coat. I think that your floors will soak the stain right up since they are so old and white. Also, remember that while one board may be dark, another will turn out light, and the same goes within each board.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 1:11PM
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you're right - our trim is covered with many coats of stain.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 3:27PM
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I sent you an email with my email because I am having problems posting pics to this forum with snapfish. The decision of floor stain was harder for me than naming my kids!! Any way I used English Chestnut on all of the oak in my house, some old, 100 years, and some new. I have pics if you want. I love the color. I was sick of the orange looking oak from our first house yet did not want it so dark, also I wanted a very rich color not a old fationed brown. And red mahogany was too red for me for a floor. We later used English Chestnut and Red Mahogany mix on some doors and loved it next to the EC floors. Amy

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 9:08AM
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Well, I went with the English Chestnut! The stain was put on yesterday and I must say that it looks gorgeous. Like Amy, I was so tired of the orangy-yellow look of the floors before the stain. They begin with coats of oil-based poly today, so I don't know how the stain will darken or change yet. I'm taking photos of each step of the process and will post them here within a day or two.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 9:35AM
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Here are the promised photos:
Old finish:

Sanded: New English Chestnut finish:
    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 3:54PM
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That turned out perfectly! I love that color of stain in your room. I'm glad it turned out so well for you. Thanks for posting the followup photo.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 4:01PM
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Thanks doonie. I realize the "after" photos aren't the best because the finish coat is still drying. But I'm so excited about them I couldn't wait to post!! It is really going to change the atmosphere of these rooms. By the way, the rooms normally get a ton of light--big picture windows are throughout. It just happens to be gloomy today.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 4:07PM
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Beautiful! And your windows are gorgeous, too!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 5:21PM
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Looks good so far!

They will lighten as they dry, but darken up a bit with the poly.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 8:21PM
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they look great! I am going to have to make sure that my finisher shows me English Chesnut as one of the samples on our site finished white oak floors.

thanks for posting the pics.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 9:34PM
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