Skip to main content

Changing tastes

I used to really like dark stain and used it on almost everything. Now, I rarely touch the stuff.

A dark stain, typically walnut, was once a staple of my shop. There were few things I made that couldn’t be improved by darkening them, or so I thought. These days, though, I’m more inclined to leave wood natural and let time and nature take its course

Don’t get me wrong, I still use walnut stain but only when it’s right for the project. When making a reproduction that is stained, for example, or trying to match a general color tone to complement existing furniture, I have no issues.

But some things, I’ve decided, just shouldn’t be that dark. Flooring is a good example.

AJBLOG-1008 image

The trouble with dark flooring is that it shows absolutely everything. Like in the photo of the oak floor above, no matter how often you sweep or clean, the floor looks dirty. Above, just a few errant sesame seeds from my morning bagel stand out like fireflies in the dark. Wait… is that a stray gray hair. Can’t imagine where that came from.

On the other hand, had that oak flooring been left natural (or had a bit of golden oak stain at most), my kitchen wouldn’t look like a pigsty mere moments after cleaning. It would also mean that my kitchen – already way too dark an area for my tastes – would be a bit brighter and warmer.

I’m not alone in this. My wife feels the same way. While visiting relatives this past weekend, one of them who has walnut-stained oak floors lamented the same thing. I have no idea if this change of color preferences is age-related, although all those opining on the subject this weekend were indeed older (and one of them likely responsible for that gray hair in the photo). If so, I prefer to think that my tastes have matured, rather than aged.

Related Articles

Knowledge + time = taste

As years go by, you learn more. So, for my woodworking tastes to change drastically over time is only natural.

Change a blade with A.J.

For those of you who’ve ever dreamed of stepping into my shoes, now’s your chance! Grab your arbor wrench, and let’s change table saw blades!

A stain on my record

I’ve long maintained that stain is a pain. I now realize that kind of thinking was, well, inane.

AJBLOG-1062 image

Stop, look and think

Nothing kicks your brain into safety mode in the woodshop like a blood stain.

AJBLOG-1017 image

Art thief

Hey, I can’t think of everything. That’s why I steal great woodworking ideas wherever I can.

AJBLOG-1028 image

Mini machines

I used my wife as an excuse to buy a new tool. Do I feel guilty? Nope.

AJBLOG-1003 image

Out of sight

I’m not really a forgetful person, but in the woodshop I do tend to misremember what I own.