Published: September 27, 2020

If you want a gorgeous, fresh-looking, and long-lasting oak floor, you’ll have to stain it after a specific period. It’s the deck stain that provides the best finish for red oak flooring with natural color. 

Red Oak is a solid wood that makes a natural and durable floor. It gets stunning after applying the deck stain and sealer.

The pores of the red oak floor quickly consume any stain applied to it. That’s why it’s easy to put almost all types of stain on it. But what is the best stain for red oak floors? If you don’t have any idea, you have come to the right place to learn. Here we’re going to explore the reviews of the best stain for red Oak.

With these stains, you’ll not only get a rich and warm color but also save a lot of your costs. Now, let’s look at our stain reviews and select which can be the best red oak floor stains.

Best Stain For Red Oak Floors Reviews

Are you confused about which stain would be best for your red oak floor? If so, then you must know first in detail about the well-reputed stain of the market stain. Here are our top 5 picks of the best stain for red oak floors.

With the real finished floors, the minimax 63483000 stain is the best choice for the red oak wood. It comes with the real minimax wood stain finish, which is excellent for crafting projects. That’s why we have kept the stain on the number one position on our list.

The stain provides deep covers on the nicks, stain, scratches of the wooden objects. Plus, it includes fast and easy drying after application, especially on the red oak wood. Possibly, that’s why it has made a good position among the consumers.

The marker stain is not suitable for big projects like staining an entire deck, floor, etc. Instead, it’s perfect for small projects and wood crafts. For example, repairing and touch up furniture, doors, molding, cabinets, dark floors, etc.

If you purchase the stain for the smaller projects, indeed, you’ll be surprised by its easy touchup. However, you’ll find the stain marker in several color options. As a consequence, you can select the right one easily by matching with your wood color.



Would you like the deep color for your red oak floor like dark cherry? If so, you must try the Rust-Oleum oil base stain. It’s a quality red oak stain that provides an excellent surface finish and brings out the natural beauty.

Regardless of color and saturation, the stain also provides deep penetration to the trims, floor, cabinets, etc. That’s because it’s an oil-based shining stain. Likewise, most oil-based stain also uses soy oil-based formula to offer deep penetration and accurate color.

After the first application, the Rust-Oleum will take 1 to 2 hours to dry. It gets entirely ready for the second coating after the two hours. So, let the stain dry at least two hours before applying the second coat.

However, the oil-based stain also provides an exceptional enhancement to the red oak wood. Plus, it wipes on easily and offers a long-lasting appearance for your interior projects. That’s why we have selected this stain as a runner up in our list.



Varathane 224459H get stain is an excellent solution for staining the vertical wood surface. Likewise, most other stains, it doesn’t cause a mess of drip, grain rising, or other stain application issues. That’s why we have kept the stain in our third choice.

However, the Varathane dry wood stain develops a rich color on the red oak floor. As a consequence, the floor holds a beautiful patina. Also, it provides amazing coverage on the wooden projects, which is twice the traditional oil-based stain.

The thicker consistency of the stain prevents drips, runs, and other problems. Because of the thickness, the stain needs almost 1 hour to dry. Nevertheless, 8 hours is the maximum waiting time for applying the second coat.

Now, do you want to protect and enhance the long-lastingness of your red oak wood? Then apply Varathane premium polyurethane on your stained wooden project after 8 hours of application. 

The stain is more suitable for the vertical wood surface, such as furniture, cabinets, doors, and red oak objects. Likewise, for the horizontal wood surface, the floors, decks, and sliding, the stain is not so recommended. 



Minimax is one of the top leading brands of America. It gained popularity to the American because of the long-lastingness and great wood tone. If you’re searching the wood color stain, you must select the Minimax 70040444. Indeed, you can enhance the beauty of the bare and stripped red oak wooden surface with the stain. In contrast, it’s an ideal choice for unfinished wood cabinets, furniture, door, trim, etc. Furthermore, the penetrating of stain also provides excellent coverage on the molding and hardwood floors. However, the stain is applicable for your indoor décor; nonetheless, it has 28 beautiful, available colors. You can choose the best hardwood floor stain color among these available options. Still, you cannot refer to it as a protective stain. It cannot give better protection against UV sun rays and moisture. So, you better choose the stain as a highlighter for your red oak wood grain.



Many among us cannot tolerate the acute odor of the stain. If you also don’t like the stain’s acute smell, then the Ecos paint is the perfect match for you.

Over 25 years, the Ecos are delivering award-winning paint, stain, and varnishes. They are well-known for producing environment-friendly products.

With the two primary colors of the Ecos stain, you can tackle almost all the projects in your home. It’s one of the best wood stain that treat the floors, trims, cabinets, doors, shutters, window flawlessly.

If you want an amusable result for your unfinished hardwood project, you can keep the stain on your choice list. That’s because it gives the award-winning finish, which dries very fast on the interior wood projects.

Similar to the other red oak wood products, the Ecos stain is also durable and long-lasting. With the use of technology, manufacturers produce these durable products, including lower chemicals.



How to pick the best stain for the red oak floors?

After having several quality stains, you must have been confused about which one you should choose! Well, it might be a little confusing to get the best stain for your wood grain.

Nevertheless, it’s not impossible to make the right stain choice, especially after studying our buyer’s guide. So, let’s get started and know what you should consider before selecting a stain for your wooden projects.

best stain for red oak
Image: stock.adobe.com

Color choice: What colors go with red oak floors?

Before selecting a stain, the first question comes in our mind, what is the best stain color for red Oak?

Well, the color of the wooden stain actually depends on where you’re going to apply the stain. Varieties of color in the market also makes you a bit overwhelmed. In the meantime, if you’re purchasing a stain for your rustic red oak floor, we’ll suggest choosing the lighter shades.

That’s because the red oak project, which is paired with the natural light stain, provides a professional look. However, you can choose your desired color based on the previous color of your wood grain.

How to select the quality stain for the oak floors – Water-based, oil-based or gel stain

It’s a quite complicated question, what should you choose among the water-based, oil-based, and gel stains. We’ll still give a detailed idea to choose the solid stain based on your wood types.

Water-based stain

The water-based stain is popular for its faster drying time. Within 1-2 hours of clear coat, most of the water-based stain allows you to apply your second stain coat. It’s a good stain for almost all indoor wood grains, furniture, cabinets, and doors.

But without a wood conditioner, individually, the stain doesn’t give such a good result on the solid hardwood floors and deck. For the hardwood floors, you can choose the solid deck stain.

However, the stain is also holding a good reputation for its environment-friendliness. Getting an environment-friendly stain is not mandatory. But if you don’t like the stain’s severe smell, you better look for a water-based stain.

Oil-based stain

The oil-based stain gained popularity for producing the rich color and protective finish. It deeply penetrates the wood grain and provides a clear finish on any wood project. That’s why it doesn’t cause any grains, drips, or other issues.  

However, the stain is the best choice for almost all outer and horizontal applications. Nevertheless, for vertical applications like doors, furniture, etc. it’s not such a good choice.

Furthermore, the oil-based stain consumes tremendous time to dry. So, before selecting the stain, you must keep this fact in your mind.

Gel stain

Gel stain is also considered as the oil-based stain. But compared to the oil-based stain, the stain is more ticker. It’s suitable to apply for small projects and craft works. Instead of hardwood, the Gel stain works amazingly on the fiberglass, metal, veneer, and other surfaces. 


Transparency is a crucial factor that you cannot miss while selecting a stain for your wooden floor. The stain, which is absorbed by the wooden floor within 10 to 15 minutes, is considered an ideal stain. 

The quality semi-transparent stain quickly penetrates into any type of wooden grains. Plus, it upholds the natural color of the woodgrains. That’s why the semi-transparent stain is the best stain for your red oak floor.

Nevertheless, not all the semi-transparent stain works great on the red oak floor. You must identify the best semi-transparent deck stain for your red oak floor.

best light stain for red oak floors
Image: stock.adobe.com

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

How to Choose a Good Finish For Red Oak Flooring?

To bring out the stunning beauty of your wood, you must refinish the floors. Danish oil and beeswax are two better options for refinishing the high-quality wood like the Oak. Furthermore, high-quality varnish and polyurethane is the best option to get a good finish on the luxurious wood.

Does Red Oak Need a Pre-Stain Conditioner?

Indeed, the pre-stain conditioner is suitable for most of the blotch-prone wood species. They include the pine, poplar, colonial maple, spring wood, cherry wood, and so on. Nevertheless, for the Oak and special walnut, it depends whether you should apply the stain conditioner or not. At most of the Oak and dark walnut wood, the pre-conditioner stain limits the moisture absorption. As a consequence, there are rising drips, grains, runs, etc. on the wood. Also, the pre-conditioner stain affects the color shades of some oak and walnut wood. Still, some oak and walnut wood gives excellent results if you use the stain conditioner.

What is the Best Finish For the Internal Oak Doors?

The wax, varnish, and oil tend to provide a clear finish for the internal oak doors. Wherein, the oil and varnish give a slightly darker result on the wood by increasing its character.

How Do You Make the Red Oak Floor Look Modern?

To make the red oak floor modern, firstly, you have to concentrate on the custom stain’s tone. You should use the classic gray or off-white color on your red oaf floor for a standard look.  But, if you want the darker tone for your floor, you better concentrate on the deep color stain. After application, apply a top coat on your wooden deck to make it dark. 

How Do You Neutralize Red Oak?

Mixing some green color with the stain will help you neutralize the red color’s red color. Furthermore, choose any opposite color of the red, add the color with the stain. Now, apply the stain on the red Oak to neutralize or conceal its red color. That’s how you can neutralize the color red from the red Oak and make it grey

Should You Go For a Light Or Dark Stain Or Something in Between?

It depends on the stain color trends, which is going on, and the style you love! Therefore, select something between the light or dark stain. Whether purchasing the dark or light stain, make sure it goes with your choice.

Final Notes

If you ever experienced painting the red oak wood, you must know how easy it’s to do. A bit toughest part here is choosing the suitable exterior wood stain for the red oak. All your efforts on the staining floor will go in vain if you cannot select a long-lasting professional-looking stain. That’s why we have broken the top 5 best stain for red oak floors of the market. Hopefully, you won’t get disappointed by choosing the products and can make a beautiful journey.
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