How to mix Stain for a Contemporary Beige / Gray Color - Oak kitchen Table and Chairs.

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Forum topic by Prizen posted 02-03-2017 06:44 PM 1196 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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42 posts in 3210 days

02-03-2017 06:44 PM

Hi all

I am refinishing an old oak kitchen table and chairs. Currently, I am sanding off the old finish with 120 grit and will then do another sand with 180.

I will to stain the table to get a gray / brown color, similar to the below floor color. However, I have not seen any off the shelf stock stains that get to this color, so I figured that I might try to mix it up myself. Has anybody any idea on how I might start this process, or any clue on what colors I may need?

I have access to the traditional dark oak / mid oak/ Mahogany / Rosewood / Walnut stains, but not sure how to get from them, to my chosen color?

Question 2 is on the top coat – I will probably need a polyeurthane varnish I guess, as this will be a kitchen table and so subject to the usual stresses strains and stains!!!


4 replies so far

View Ripper70's profile


1379 posts in 2199 days

#1 posted 02-03-2017 06:57 PM

Minwax makes a Classic Grey tint that might work.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Prizen's profile


42 posts in 3210 days

#2 posted 02-03-2017 07:36 PM

Thanks Ripper but I’m afraid that brand can’t be sourced in my country, Ireland. I can get Mylands only

View EngineerChic's profile


34 posts in 1794 days

#3 posted 02-04-2017 12:27 AM

What wood species are you working with? Iron acetate (steel wool in white vinegar) can be diluted to get a grayish tone. If it’s too strong it can turn some woods dark gray/ almost blackish-blue. You might be able to layer a thin grey color under a warmer brown stain to get the look you are after.

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1172 posts in 3821 days

#4 posted 02-04-2017 12:57 AM

I’ll suggest an aniline dye. I’m partial to W.D. Lockwood (, but there are other suppliers. From Lockwood you’d have to do mail order, but you only need a 1 or 2 oz (50 g) so it isn’t expensive to send.

It is a power you mix into water, alcohol or oil, depending on what you order. Easy to use, just wear disposable gloves.

They have a number of grey tones, ranging from blueish to brownish. I did a project using one of their dyes on maple and it worked very well. Project is here:
Click for details

I used their water-soluble #163 Weathered Oak. On maple, it is less brown than what you are looking for, but on oak, might be just right. Order 3 or 4 different greys and make some test boards.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

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