Last Updated on April 19, 2023 by Ernest Godia
Blue wood stain is one of the most popular finishes today for its uniqueness. It has quickly gained popularity among woodworkers and homeowners due to its beauty and a wide variety.
Blue wood stain is available in various shades, which sets it apart from other wood stains. The shades are suitable for various applications, including indoor and outdoor furniture, cabinets, and fences.
Each shade of this unique stain perfectly accentuates the wood grain and makes it pop. Knowing how to use blue wood stain can help you transform your projects with the right blue wood stain colors for every project.
Blue Wood Stain Colors
Unlike many wood stains, blue wood stain is available in many shades. Some blue wood stain colors look better on some projects than others. This section discusses the common blue wood stain colors and their best uses to help you make the most out of this unique product.
You will also get product suggestions for each shade to save you the hassle of looking for one yourself.
1. Dark blue wood stain
Dark blue wood stain is a deep-colored stain variety resembling its navy blue cousin. Most people associate this color with elegance, intelligence, and authority.
When used on wood, dark blue stain excels in interior wood surfaces such as furniture and accent pieces. A dark wood stain on a piece of furniture will look stunning against brighter colors such as cherry red, yellow, bright pink, and gold.
Using such combinations will create outstanding effects in your interior décor. The idea is to find a color directly opposite blue on the color wheel or one close to that position when adorning your space with a dark blue wood stain.
Our pick: Unicorn Spit Gel Stain and Glaze
This Unicorn Spit product creates incredible depth while bringing out the wood’s true grain pattern. This effect naturally creates a beautiful balance when combined with the fiery hue of a cherry red, pink, gold, or yellow background.Buy on Amazon
2. Light blue wood stain
The best way to understand what a light blue wood stain looks like is to observe a clear sky. Unlike the dark blue stain above, the light blue wood stain makes excellent backgrounds. It is a pale shade that creates a sense of tranquility ideal in any living space.
While it is best to use less of dark blue shades in your interior space to avoid a gloomy feel, more is better for a light blue stain.
When creating a DIY scheme with this color, consider pairing it with darker shades of blue for balance. It should also go well with soft pink, purple, rose, or cream accents.
The light blue wood stain is an excellent choice for wooden paneling since it is ideal for backgrounds.
Our pick: Verathane Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain
This wood stain is formulated for indoor use, so it should be perfect for the paneling, doors, and trim in your room. Thanks to a one-coat coverage, oil-based formula, only a single coat should give you the desired color.Buy on Amazon
3. Navy blue wood stain
Navy blue is one of the most popular shades of blue. It is dark colored and easy to mistake for a dark blue wood stain.
The color falls between blue and black, so it pairs well with lighter shades, including red, orange, green, and yellow.
To get the most out of this stain, you may layer several coats on your wood surface to create more depth and richness.
However, to lighten the color, consider mixing it with compatible white or gray to give it a distressed but spectacular visual appeal.
Navy blue wood stain is ideal for outdoor and indoor projects. However, ensure the product is formulated for indoor use if you are working indoors and outdoors formula for outdoor applications.
Our pick: Varathane Premium Fast Dry Stain
This Worn Navy Blue stain from Verathane gives your wood a near-black tint. The stain is formulated for one-coat coverage, so a single can should be enough for a medium-to-large project.
Thanks to its fast-drying oil-based formula, the stain dries to the touch in just an hour.Buy on Amazon
4. Ocean blue wood stain
Ocean Blue is another dark shade of blue. It falls between bluish-black and dark blue.
This blue wood stain shade is perfect for outdoor wood projects, including furniture, pergolas, fences, and wooden house.
Our pick: Luminos Cold
This ocean blue wood stain is excellent for those who want to keep their DIY practices eco-friendly. The product has a bio-water-based formula designed to protect wooden surfaces outdoors.
It is loaded with reflective ingredients that cause UV and IR rays to bounce back and not penetrate the wood. It also protects the wood from rain, fungus, and frost.Buy on Amazon
5. Vintage blue wood stain
The vintage blue wood stain has the color of the ocean with subtle grey undertones. It is a beautiful light shade of blue that can easily make an ordinary piece of wood furniture look classy.
Use the stain to finish indoor and outdoor wooden furniture or pieces of art to give them a luxurious appeal.
Our pick: Minwax Polyshades Stain
This vintage blue stain from Minwax combines wood and polyurethane to color and simultaneously protect your wood surface.
This goes a long way in saving you time by reducing the number of steps involved in its application. Pair the stained piece with pink or off-white accent pieces to complete the look with an excellent touch.Buy on Amazon
6. Royal blue wood stain
You may be familiar with royal blue in garments as it is among the most popular colors. It is a deep, vivid blue shade that nears navy blue but is lighter.
It gives the wood a richer, brighter look that is ideal for accent pieces. Royal blue is the ideal choice of stain for furniture, areas of the room, or outdoor areas where you want to draw people’s attention.
Royal blue wood stain will make an excellent finish for picnic tables or pool chairs adorning your deck.
You could also use this stain to finish your wooden wall art or a fence with satisfying results.
Our pick: Unicorn Spit Gel Stain
This is a unique stain formulated for use indoors and outside. You can dilute it with water to create a glaze, gel, stain, or antiquing tint on your wood. Alternatively, you can apply it as paint to wood without diluting it for finished surfaces.
When diluted, the stain penetrates deep into the grain of bare wood, highlighting the patterns.
You will love the 3-dimensional effect it creates on surfaces when used undiluted.Buy on Amazon
7. Majorelle blue wood stain
Majorelle Blue color is named after its founder, French artist Jacques Majorelle, who patented the color’s recipe before he passed away. It is a clear, fresh, and intense shade of blue.
Use Majorelle blue to finish your wooden pieces where you want a clear, cooling, and fresh aesthetic effect—indoors and outdoors.
Our pick: Luminos Outdoor Wood Finish
This is the perfect blue wood stain color for outdoor projects where you want to draw the eyes. It is formulated with exterior-grade pigments that enhance its vibrancy under the sun’s light.
The unique water-based formula protects your wood against the damaging effects of UV rays, humidity, precipitation, rain, and frost.Buy on Amazon
8. Blue-green wood stain
This is a shade of blue that falls between blue and green, a member of the cyan color family.
Think about the feeling you get from looking at turquoise water when deciding how to use this stain color. When used on wood surfaces, the blue-green wood stain creates the same calming effect you get from turquoise waters.
For this reason, the stain is perfect for use on the patio or garden furniture. The color will create a calming ambiance in your outdoors, where you unwind when the weather is right.
Indoors, you can use this color on wooden wall art or paneling to create the same effect within your indoor living space.
Our pick: SamaN Interior Wood Stain
The water-based formula of this wood stain makes it odorless and low VOC. Therefore you can safely use it indoors without posing any health risks to your family and pets.
It is a high-quality product that offers the desired coverage in just one coat. It is easy to apply and saves you time through a one-coat application and shorter dry times.
Blue wood stain types
After going through the products above, you must have noticed the difference in the types included. Like all wood stains, blue wood stain is available in different formulas and types, including the following:
Water-based blue wood stain
As the name suggests, water-based blue wood stains have water as the solvent and binder in their formula. Water is the vehicle in which the blue wood dyes are suspended.
Like all water-based wood finishes, these stains are safe to use around pets and people because they are non-toxic and low-VOC. So they will not irritate your eyes or lungs. They are environmentally friendly and have no noticeable odor.
Modern water-based blue stain formulations are also nearly as durable as their oil-based cousins. So you can use them indoors and outdoors, depending on the formula.
Oil-based blue stain
Oil-based blue wood stains are traditionally more durable than water-based stains. However, that has significantly changed as some brands now have products that offer equal durability in water-based and oil-based formulations.
That notwithstanding, oil-based stains tend to have more toxic ingredients and a strong odor, so you need to use them in well-ventilated spaces. You also need to wear a respirator mask to protect your lungs from the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from these stains.
Gel stains are a thick variety of oil-based or water-based wood stains. The thick consistency helps prevent runs when applying the stain on vertical surfaces, but it means the stain won’t penetrate deep into the wood grain as standard oil- and water-based stains do.
They work by forming a film on the wood surface, making them ideal for use on wood types with surface flaws.
Read our article on the types of wood stains for detailed coverage.
How to make blue wood stain at home
If you prefer to be innovative with your blue wood stain colors, here are some DIY blue wood stain ideas to attempt.
- Mix some gray wood stain into your dark blue stain to create a custom color. Ensure both stains are of the same base—both water-based or oil-based, preferably from the same brand, such as Minwax.
- Add some whitewash or antique white stain to your blue wood stain to create a lighter-colored stain.
Notice that the combinations can be limitless as long as you have compatible products to darken or lighten your choice of blue wood stain, so it may take some trial and error.
Nonetheless, here is a great video tutorial on making your custom blue wood stains from low-cost ingredients at home:
Tips for Using Custom Wood Stain
- Choose wood stains with similar undertones to achieve a cohesive final product.
- Ensure you test each custom wood stain on a scrap piece of wood before using it on your project.
- Always prepare enough custom wood stain based on the size of your project to avoid remaining with too much or running out of the product before completing the project.
Blue wood stain exterior uses
As already mentioned, blue wood stain is among the most popular wood finishes in woodworking due to its beauty and uniqueness. But what is blue stain for wood used for?
The wood stain has a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications, as you may have noticed in the above discussion on blue wood stain colors.
Some of its most common exterior uses include staining patio furniture, siding, decks, and fences.
It gives these stained pieces, especially blue wood stain furniture, a beautiful rustic charm that allows them to go well with most exterior décors.
Blue outdoor wood stain can give your outdoor living space a beautiful, calming ambiance to make it welcoming and livable. You just need to choose the right shade of blue outdoor wood stain to achieve the desired effect.
Navy blue fences are trendy due to the durability and boldness of the dark hue.
When used correctly, blue wood stains do an excellent job of making your home stand out from the street—especially vintage, navy, and royal blue shades.
Blue wood stain interior uses
Some of the most common interior uses of blue wood stain include staining dining tables, entertainment stands, accent furniture, dresser side tables, wooden wall art, cabinetry, shelving, coffee tables, and paneling.
You can use blue wood stain for furniture as a subtle, rustic addition to your living space or as a bright and eye-catching accent piece. Most of the time, this decision will depend on the specific shade selected.
However, blue wood stain is not a popular choice for hardwood floors. The bold nature of this stain color makes it unideal for the floor.
However, you can mix the stain with a compatible color, such as grey, to create a custom blue wood stain for your floor. The idea is to find a compatible stain color that will tone down the boldness of blue into something more suitable for hardwood flooring.
Keep in mind that most manufacturers do not formulate the blue stain for the high foot traffic that characterizes hardwood floors.
So when considering a custom blue wood stain for your floor, find another that is formulated to withstand such high foot traffic to improve its durability.
Otherwise, blue wood stains for cabinets and furniture are widespread, and you should have no trouble finding a suitable color for these applications.
How to use blue wood stain
If you know how to stain wood, then learning how to use blue wood stain should not have a steep curve. Here are the things you will need for the task.
- The blue wood stain of your choice
- Compatible pre-stain wood conditioner
- Clean rags or tack cloth
- Applicators (cotton cloth, paintbrush)
- Drop cloth
- Protective hand gloves
- A sealant such as polyurethane
How to stain wood blue
After gathering these required materials, follow the steps below to complete the project of staining wood blue.
- Lay a tarp on the floor or ground to protect it from spills and collect the wood dust and debris.
- Thoroughly but gently sand the wood to smooth the surface. Use 80- to 120-grit sandpaper for a start, then switch to 180-grit sanding paper for the final part.
- Use a tack cloth or damp rag to wipe away the sanded wood dust and let the surface dry.
- Next, use your preferred applicator to cover the entire wood surface with a pre-stain wood conditioner. A natural bristled paintbrush or cotton cloth should do an excellent job here. More importantly, ensure you wear a pair of hand gloves before you begin.
- Once you have followed the instructions on the product label to apply the pre-stain conditioner, use a clean rag to wipe the excess and let it dry.
- Use a clean cotton rag or paintbrush to apply the blue wood stain according to the instructions on the label.
- Let the stain sit on the wood surface for 5 to 15 minutes, and then wipe the excess product.
- Let the surface dry thoroughly, and then seal the wood surface with your preferred sealant. We recommend polyurethane to do an excellent sealing job here.
Blue Wood Stain VS. Blue Paint
Blue wood stain and blue paint are both popular wood finishes, but they are different. Here is a comparison between blue wood stain and blue paint to help you choose better for your next wood project.
- Penetration – Blue wood stain penetrates the wood pores while paint forms a layer on the wood surface. Notice that blue gel stains and glazes form a thin coat on the wood surface with minimal penetration compared to standard water-based and oil stains.
- Surface texture – Blue wood stain retains the wood’s natural texture, so you often need to sand the surface to smoothen it before staining. In contrast, paint creates a thick, lustrous layer on the wood surface.
- Aesthetics – Staining your wood blue allows its grain to pop. This makes staining an ideal option for woods with beautiful grains. Painting masks the grain, so it is best for blotch-prone woods or those with unappealing grain patterns.
- Adhesion and removing the finish – Since the blue wood stain penetrates the grain, you can only remove it by sanding the colored layer of the wood. On the other hand, you can strip off a coat of blue paint because it sits on the wood surface without penetrating the grain.
Can wood be stained blue?
Yes. You can stain wood blue using one or more shades of blue wood stain on the market. You can go for a bright finish or rustic appeal. Whichever way you choose, staining wood blue is an excellent way to accentuate its natural beauty and protect it from the elements.
What wood stain goes with blue?
Any compatible light gray wood stain goes well with blue and can easily create a custom finish for your wood projects. You can use the combination indoors or outdoors, depending on your project and the stain formula.
Blue Wood Stain Colors: Recap
Blue wood stain colors and appearances can range from rustic to bright, with various beautiful hues in between.
Any shade of blue you choose should give you stunning results if you use it correctly.
This article provides eight popular blue wood stain colors and their best uses. With this many options, you should be sure to find a fitting choice for your next project—indoors or outdoors.
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