All the Best Tips about Wood Finishes

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Discover All the Best Tips about Wood Finishes From a Designer

Choosing the best wood finishes for your home might create huge confusion.

It is hard to decide what types of wood finish look best with the furniture or if the wood tone you like will match your paint colors; this list can go on and on…

This is the real challenge for me because the most used color and texture are the wood tones in every home. I really don’t want to mess it up as a designer.

If you feel the same way, I shared the best tips to confidently mix, decide on, and use the wood finishes in every home.

Pay Attention to Undertones

Wood has 3 tones, which are: cool, warm, and neutral.

Like every other neutral color in interior design, whether it is in your color palette or choose to have neutral tone metals, neutrals can match with warm or cool beautifully.

Matching warm with warm, cool with cool is the safest approach if you want to achieve harmony effortlessly.

Warm Wood Finishes: Cherry, Oak, Maple

Cool Wood Finishes: Black Wenge, Gray Wood Stain, Dark Walnut

Neutral Wood Finishes: Hazelnut, Walnut, White Oak

Cherry wood tone
Gray Wood Stain
Gray Wood Stain
White Oak
White Oak

Don’t feel bad if you have a hard time seeing undertones because wood undertones can be hard to see. There are, of course, some secrets to figure that out easily. 

Not Matching is Better than Almost Match

Matching two different wood finish types is always a better idea than to match close but not exact finishes.

Do you know why?

Because when you cannot find the same wood finishes and trying to choose the closest wood finish, it will look like a design mistake.

Instead of doing this, try to match with complimentary wood finish paints.

Decide on 2-3 Different Finish

Limit your options is the best way to avoid chaos. Decide on 2-3 finishes and stick with that number.

Don’t forget to balanced these finishes throughout your room. The easiest way is to spread the finishes rather the using one finish in one corner and the other finish on the other side.

Dividing the use of finishes will simply look and feel unbalanced.

Using 2 different wood finish is a preferable and easy way. One for your flooring and the other will be your furniture leg or other wood furnishings. 

mixing wood finishes

If you have a large space, then you should consider adding another finish.

Like mixing metals, you need to choose one dominant wood finish for your home while others should be supported.

This will destroy any competition between your wood finishes and help you ensure the balance.

PS.  Wood finish that you use on your flooring automatically became the dominant wood in the room unless you have a large piece of wood furniture.

different types of wood finishes

Best Way to Mixing Wood Tones

Sometimes it really hard to mix and match wood finishes. Let’s assume that you find the perfect furniture, but the wood finishes not looking good with your other finishes.

What would you do?

I think you may felt that at least one time in your life and I am sure that most of us just ignore the wood finishes to buy the furniture they like.

Here are how you can mix and, at the same time, ensure that the wood finishes combine perfectly:

        • Try to use lots of white color in the room. The only colors will be your wood finishes. This will automatically feel like they are your room’s color scheme.
        • Use a bold accent color for your room. Use that color in your drapes, throw pillows, lampshades, and possible accent furniture pieces. This will help you create cohesion throughout the room.
how to mix wood tones

For Existing Wood Finishes that Are Not Look Harmonious

This is a common problem that most people have.

Let’s assume you find a beautiful home to move in, but the floor and your furniture finishes just don’t feel harmonious when you settle down.

What should you do?

You may think that there are only 2 options: changing your floor, changing your furniture.

Well, it doesn’t need to be one of these expensive and time-consuming options.

Here is an efficient and easy way to do that:

Just use a rug to visually break between the floor and the other wood finishes you have in furnishings.

warm vs cool wood tones

What about Wood Grains?

This part is a little bit of detailed information about mixing wood tones, but if you want to achieve the perfect styled interiors, then details are essential.

Designers are a designer because we pay attention to details. So, I want to share that information with you, and it is not that hard.

You can easily decide on what type of grain you need after you read this.

Before we dig in, I want to give brief information on what grain is. It is simply the pattern on woods in which is the manner of wood grows.

It can change because it depends on how the board sawed.

wood grain

The question here is, should you mix or match the grain?

You need to figure out if the grain is larger and knottier, then your wood is more suitable for creating a casual and rustic vibe.

If the grain finer which will read as more formal. 

Fine Grain
Fine Grain
Larger and Knottier Grain
Larger and Knottier Grain

Once you figure out what type of grain is, you can decide on whether or not you want to mix or match it.

If you want to add more interest in your woods, so you better mix these two.

If you don’t want to use different textures and accentuate the style, try matching the same grains.

Here it is. These are all the best tips most designers use (myself included) when choosing and matching different wood finish colors in every stylish home.

 What are your thoughts? Feel free to add a comment below and tell me if did I missed anything?

What is the #1 thing you are struggling with choosing wood finishes?

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