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The Best Hardwood Floor Finishes and Stains for Your Style

Find the best stain, finish, and color for your floors with this handy guide.

hardwood floor finishes
Stacey Brandford, Lisa Romerein, Maree Homer/Trunk Archive

Dress up or makeover your floors with these pretty finishes, stains, and paint treatments including limed floors, bare floors, whitewashed floors, dark stains, colorful paints, and more. Also check out our complete guide to hardwood flooring for more inspiration.

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Limed Floors

If your style is coastal country, go for this light and airy option. Use a liming paste or wax for slightly whitewashed, distressed floors.

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Lightly Whitewashed Floors

Modern farmhouse decor will pair perfectly with this versatile stain. Try mixing one part Minwax Ebony with one part Minwax White Wash.

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Ebonized Floors

A classic white kitchen calls for some contrast, which is why these rich floors are a beautiful choice. This chemical treatment (different from a stain) creates a dark, opaque finish.

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Bare White Oak Floors

These neutral and versatile floors will fit right in at historic homes, country cottages, modern retreats, and everything in between. “White oak has beautiful natural color, so it doesn’t need stain,” says designer Sarah Richardson.

RELATED: The Complete Guide to Hardwood Flooring

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Painted Floors

Painted floors instantly give a room some country appeal. Opt for shades of white to brighten a space, or dark gray to high dirt in high-traffic areas. Over time they'll begin to look more rustic with wear and tear, giving them some of that perfectly imperfect appeal.

RELATED: The Best Colors for Painting Hardwood Floors

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Painted Pattern Floors

Applying paint in some sort of pattern or print (think gingham, geometric shapes, or this diamond motif instantly creates a bold and playful statement. If you're afraid to go all out, try a stenciled pattern on hardwood floor stair risers. Cutting Edge Stencils offers some of our favorites, including “Jewel Tile” and “Maestro.” (Risers are typically 7 inches tall. Choose your stencil accordingly.) You can also opt for pre-painted pattern wood tiles, which do all the hard work for you.

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