Custom Colored Floors


We have been having fun playing around and experimenting with different colors of stains, dyes, pre-treatments and hardwax oils recently. We have come up with some great combinations and I thought I’d share some of them with you this month to give you some inspiration for your own floors.

Custom Colored Floors

When it comes to hardwood flooring, most people are happy to stick with the tried and true traditional stain selections that have been around for many decades. They can be a very good choice too –  the reason they’re popular is because they work and are classic colors.

But we are also lucky enough to have some very cool clients that are willing to try new things and change up the norm. When we showed each of the clients the new color combinations we had come up with they were ready to jump in and try them out on their floors.

This month we have 3 new colors to show you…

Weathered Oak

The first one pictured above we call ‘Weathered Oak’. It’s a blend of three processes and is finished with OSMO hardwax oil. We think it looks really cool. In person it looks even better. It’s a rustic, weathered bluish-grey color. It would look great in a traditional setting but would also work really well with modern décor.

The client we did this for absolutely loves it.

The next color we call ‘Bloody Mary’…

Bloody Mary

Pretty easy to see why :)

That is one bold looking floor! This deep, rich red color is definitely not going to be for everyone but if you want something that stands out then this could be it.

Again it’s a mixture of three processes – dye, stain and hardwax oils. This floor was also finished with OSMO hardwax oil for the top coats.

The third new color we have been working on below is called ‘Black Oak’…

Black Oak

This color is one of our favourites. It looks very classy. It’s a combination of a pre-treatments and stains and finished with Pallmann Magic Oil.

This is fast becoming a very popular color choice. Below are a couple of other floors we used ‘Black Oak’ on…

Black Oak Naperville

And here’s a third floor proudly displaying the ‘Black Oak’ color…

Black Oak Chicago

If you’re in the Naperville/Chicago area and one of these colors tickles your fancy, give us a call and we’ll bring the large sample boards around so you can see how they would look in your own home.

We have lots of other custom colors in the works too that we’ll show you down the road.

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Want badly the color of black oak on my red oak hardwood floor 2 1/4 wide..
We would like to use rubio monocoat product. Can you tell me how to get that result? We are in the northwest region. Thank you.

Hi Chairuna,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. This color is a very custom mix of pre-treatments, stains and finish that is quite detailed, it might be best if you give me a call so I can run you through what would be involved.


I currently have Pallmann Magic Oil in natural on red oak. I am very happy with the finish. I am getting ready to install new trim and wanted it to match my cabinets but with an oil finish. I can get a matched stain from Sherwin Williams. I thought that OSMO may be a better choice for the trim since it is not a 2 part finish and I wouldn’t be wasting as much since I will be using multiple small batches. Will the OSMO perform well over any of the stains at Sherwin Williams? Is the sheen on the OSMO glossy or flat compared to the magic oil? What is the smallest amount of magic oil do you think that could be mixed successfully? Shelf life on either of these products?



Hi Marcus,

Osmo will work well on any oil based stain and some water based stains. The stain has to be applied the right way and completely dry. The sheen of Osmo and Magic Oil is almost the same after it has cured. As far as mixing amounts – you can mix any amount of Magic Oil as long as you use the right proportions of hardener. The shelf life of any finish is usually 1 year for an unopened container.

Hope that helps.


Hi Tadas,
I am trying to get the weathered oak finish shown in the 1st photo on a table project I’m working on. Any chance you can email me the steps? I imagine a mix of 3 stains, weathered oak, classic grey, maybe a shade of blue too? and a matte like seal finish? though I thought Satin is the best that can be done, but it seems more flat – matte.

Thank you!

Hi Eidan,

The steps are 1) water pop, then 2) fume the floor, then 3) apply a mix of 3 parts OSMO and 1 part white stain and finally 4) coat with 2 coats of clear OSMO on top.

It’s a fair bit of work but it looks pretty cool when done.


We really love the second black oak photo. We live in South Dakota so pretty sure we’ll have to try this ourselves. Are you able to tell us how you got the different levels of darkened boards? Did you stain them separately?
Mary Beth

Hi Mary Beth,

This was done using a system called fuming. The whole floor was done at the same time and the colors you see are just the way each individual board reacted. You can’t predict how it will turn out as each board has different tannin levels.



I really like the black oak stain technique. I have about 1800sqft loft floors in the city (Wicker Park). Not sure when we would be looking to redo, but would be curious what a ballpark refinishing cost would potentially be?

Hi Kyle,

Thanks for your message. Probably better if you give me a quick call and I can give you a ballpark on the phone. I’ll need to ask you a couple of questions to get you a more accurate price. Just remind me you left a message on the blog and I’ll remember who you are :)

Look forward to chatting.


I live in Hartsdale, NY and want to do your bloody mary floor throughout the public rooms of our mid century modern home. Decor is primarily Asian (Chinese, Korean furniture) and actual mid century modern upholstery in white. We like that Sang de Boeuf look of the floors. We have a 90 lb long clawed Curly Coated Retriever…no accidents but strong claws. How do we get the color and what finish do you recommend? (Our former home had pre-finished Ipe in 2500 sf public areas with 8 layers of Aluminum Oxide. Can we achieve that degree of hardness on our own?

Hi Elaine,

The red floor is red dye with OSMO on top. If you haven’t worked with dye before it’s best to do lots of practise as it’s very difficult to do.

As far as achieving the durability of a factory applied 8 coat aluminum oxide finish, that’s going to be difficult on a site finished floor. Some manufacturers have ceramic reinforced finish which are some of the toughest out there. But a good finish isn’t just about hardness. Have a look at our PDF on choosing a finish and it will go through all the factor to be considered.

Hope it goes well for you.


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