Our Favorite Raw Wood Stain Combination

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Hey friends! If you’re here, I am guessing you are looking for how to get a raw wood look! I’m here to tell you, I’ve tried SO many stains over the years that I can confidently say that this is the BEST wood stain combination that I have found!

**to note: Our projects involving stain are almost always being applied to pine. This stain combo may look different on other types of wood.

best wood stain colors

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How to get the raw wood look:

Mixing a few stains is how I’ve been able to achieve the weathered, warm look that I love! So here it is.

Wood Stain Combination:

White Wash
Special Walnut
Weathered Oak
(I’ve used both Varathane & Minwax brands of all and seen great results).

best wood stain colors

how to apply the stain combination:


The key is to start with a coat (or two) of white wash to take the yellow out of the wood and give it that gorgeous weathered finish. I have used Minwax and Varathane’s version of White Wash Pickling for our projects and had great results with both. Any white wash would probably do the trick. I usually give the wood one or two coats to create a very light-colored pine base to work with.

I do this by applying one coat with a sponge brush or cloth and then wiping off the excess. I wait a few minutes and then apply the second coat and again, wipe off the excess. Repeat as many times as necessary.

Edited to add: It seems White Wash Pickling is hard to find these days. I recently used Minwax ColorWash and it’s essentially the same idea, just more watered down – so it takes more coats. But will definitely do the job!

Combine Stains

In a separate container, I combine Special Walnut & Weathered Oak. My mixtures usually end up about 2/3rds Weathered Oak and the rest Special Walnut. My best advice is to make Weathered Oak your base and add Special Walnut, little by little, until you reach your desired color. Weathered oak gives the wood a bit of a rusticness, and special walnut brings in the warmth.

Do this by staining a piece of scrap wood with whitewash, and then testing your stain color with a separate sponge brush or cloth. Apply your combo stain over the white washed wood, and wipe off excess. I apply anywhere between 1 to 3 stain coats until I reach desired color. Don’t be afraid to start small and apply more as needed.


If you need to protect your wood project from water, I suggest sealing with matte or satin polycrylic. I swear by this brand. Polys can often alter the color of the wood after staining, and this one keeps the color you intend!

best wood stain colors

I hope this helps you achieve the perfect raw wood look!

Happy staining, friends!


Need more home ideas? Check out these posts!

1) Weekend Home Projects Under $100

2) DIY Wood Beam Doorway

3) Exterior Porch Columns Stain Color

best wood stain colors

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