Well, friends, I’m back with the dramatic conclusion of my adventures in refinishing my hardwood floors with dark walnut stain.

In case you’re new to this saga, here’s a quick recap: I bought a house. The second floor had carpet which was ripped out before the house was listed for sale. The floors were in bad shape and needed to be refinished before I moved anything upstairs. I hired someone to refinish them. Now they are complete and beautiful!

All caught up? Great!

Here are the floors in all their glory:

Refinished Hardwood Floors with Dark Walnut Stain and Satin Poly Finish

Refinished Hardwood Floors with Dark Walnut Stain and Satin Poly Finish

Refinished Hardwood Floors with Dark Walnut Stain and Satin Poly Finish

You’ll probably notice that the floor color can look slightly different from one picture to the next. That’s because the light is different in each room and cameras have a way of distorting things. The lesson from this: If you’re staining floors (or painting walls), it’s always a good idea to test color options in your own space. You may love a color in someone else’s home or room or in a photo you found on Pinterest, but that hue may look totally different in your home. It’s smart to take the time to sample.

With that out of the way, let’s have a look around.

Refinished Hardwood Floors with Dark Walnut Stain and Satin Poly Finish

Refinished Hardwood Floors with Dark Walnut Stain and Satin Poly Finish

Hardwood Floors: Dark Walnut Stain

As I mentioned previously, I selected Dark Walnut for the stain color. The poly finish is satin. The wood on my floors is Red Oak.

I shared this with you in my previous post, but here is the color of the floors in the downstairs (left) compared with the upstairs (right). I wanted to avoid orange undertones, and this dark walnut stain was perfect.

Refinishing my Upstairs Hardwood Floors

I also like how the stain brings out the grain in the wood. This adds texture and movement, which I think will help to disguise dust and dirt between cleanings.

I’m not sure if you can see it in any of the photos, but I will need to repaint all of the base moldings because stain got on them. It’s not a big deal since all of the rooms will eventually get repainted. I’m saving that project for the winter months.

Refinished Hardwood Floors with Dark Walnut Stain and Satin Poly Finish

I am thrilled with the refinished floors and the dark walnut stain. and I was excited to finally be able to move into the second floor of my home. While I was told I could start moving furniture onto the floors after 72 hours. I decided to wait for about 10 days. It might have been a bit excessive, but I wasn’t in a huge rush and didn’t want to risk the possibility of damaging the new finish.

Since then, I’ve been using what I have to start getting the upstairs furnished and functional. A week ago my mom visited for the weekend. (She was my first guest.) So I purchased a queen mattress for one room and two twins for another. I still have a long way to go, but it’s feeling more like home.

Refinished Hardwood Floors with Dark Walnut Stain and Satin Poly Finish

Refinished Hardwood Floors with Dark Walnut Stain and Satin Poly Finish

Refinished Hardwood Floors with Dark Walnut Stain and Satin Poly Finish

If I can get my ducks in a row, I’ll share a short updated video tour of my home with you early next week. Stay tuned for that!

I hope you enjoyed this first look at my refinished hardwood floors.

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  • Charmaine at

    Gorgeous! That color was meant to be.

  • Stacey at

    A labor of love-but so very with it! Well done!

  • Thea at

    I am living through you! Everything is beautiful! Your outdoor views are amazing, the floor stain is perfect. Can you share the paint color in the living room/kitchen area?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      The repainted the house before I moved in. I have all the paint cans, I just haven’t matching things up yet. I’ll be sure to share paint colors once I do. Thank you for your patience!

      xo Michael

    • Bre Stone at

      The refinished floors are gorgeous! I’m curious to know the width of the wood planks. They look wider than usual for hardwood.

  • Elizabeth at

    What is the bedding on the twin beds?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I’ll be sharing more soon. Just white coverlets from HomeGoods. 🙂

      xo Michael

  • KimS at

    “New” floors, I can only imagine the glorious feeling! And, they are beautiful.

  • Arli at

    The floors are GORGEOUS! So happy for you. (And jealous.)

  • Rose at

    Did you go woth an oil or water based finish? I am having trouble deciding. Love the stain you went with!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you! It was water-based. 🙂

      xo Michael

  • Reenie at


  • liz n. at

    Perfect, perfect, perfect!

  • ChrisB at

    Absolutely gorgeous and just what I’ve been looking for!

  • Kim R at

    Your floors are beautiful and will be beautiful for a very long time. I also have red oak floors, and the stain must be similar to yours. I agree that the stain adds texture and movement due to the grain. That is what I especially like about my floors, but I didn’t know how to describe it – thanks!
    I’m enjoying this journey with you!

  • Sherry at

    I love that the stain is sheer enough to really allow the grain to shine through. Gorgeous!!!

  • PJ at

    Beautiful floors! Your guest rooms look very inviting.

  • slope game at

    Absolutely gorgeous and just what I’ve been looking for!

  • Janet at

    Ahhh….sigh….perfection! Absolutely beautiful and yes, no orange! I have orange undertones in my 1950 ranch and plan to refinish in the future. Possibly having no stain at all, just natural wood color since my home is so very small. Anyway, love what you are doing so far and the plans look just great! Thank you for sharing, Michael! Your mom is indeed a blessed woman! 🙂

  • Cathy at

    Help please! What vacuum do you recommend for the hardwood floors? We pulled up the carpet in our 30’s house and had the pine and oak floors refinished. The floor guy recommended Bona for cleaning and a vacuum with a horsehair bristle attachment. Yeh, right, good luck with that! So what do you use? Many thanks!

  • Hannah at

    We just finished all of the floors in our house (main part last summer and bedrooms this summer), and I opted for the dark walnut on red oak floors with satin finish too. I absolutely love them. Our house is 60 years old and the floors had never been refinished, just carpeted over when they got nasty. I still cannot believe they are my beautiful floors when I come home every day. Great job and great choice.

  • Loretta Van Driel at

    They looks gorgeous! I have a couple of questions. Is it dark walnut stain on white oak? If so, does it show the dirt easily?

  • joe at

    Do you know if they “water popped” the wood before they applied the stain?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      No. They did not.

      xo Michael

  • Dawn Raposa at

    Hello. I absolutely love your floors. Like you, I am trying to avoid orange undertones. The dark walnut has a cooler undertone. I need to make my decision tonight on stain color. UGHHHH such a hard decision. My husband likes provincial but I love the dark walnut. My question is, did you do straight up dark walnut or did you do a 50/50 mix?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you so much! I did straight dark walnut. I suggest trying some samples on your floors if possible. Stains can look different depending on the wood, lighting, etc.

      Good luck. I feel for you! It’s not an easy decision.

      xo Michael

  • Steve Summers at

    Those hardwood floors really turned out spectacularly! It can be so tricky going through the whole process of picking a hardwood floor and making sure you really love it. I know it was for me and my husband when we installed hardwood flooring throughout our living room and kitchen. Very nice!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you so much! I think they are beautiful too!

      xo Michael

  • Melissa Spagnoli at

    Looks beautiful.
    Can you share the brand of the dark walnut stain?
    Thank you!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      The brand is DuraSeal. However, I was recently educated on stain color and while I’m still please with my floors, I wouldn’t use DuraSeal again. I recently had my downstairs floors refinished and opted for Dark Walnut, but in Bona stains.

      xo Michael

      • Lynnette McLaughlin at

        How similar are the bona and duraseal dark walnut colors?

        • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

          The Bona is lighter and seems more “natural”.

          xo Michael

  • Kristy at

    Did u share the paint colors yet?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      What paint colors?

      If you’re looking for the paint color on the walls in this post, I unfortunately don’t know. The house was painted this color when I purchased it last year.

      xo Michael

  • Rebecca at

    The floors look absolutely beautiful. Walnut stain was a good color because it’s so versatile.

  • Shannon at

    How did you choose the satin finish?? I’m debating between satin and matte.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I asked a designer friend. Based on the style of my wood floors, the material, and the style / age home, it was recommend to use satin. If you have a more modern home and / or wider planks, matte might be a good fit for you.

      Hope that helps!
      xo Michael

  • Jennifer Kiesel at

    I am in love with your floors and want to do the same in my house. Can you tell me if you used 1 coat of stain or 2 when it was applied?

  • Brian at

    Can you share the width of your planks?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I measured them to be 2 1/4 inches.

      xo Michael

  • Kristin at

    Your floors are beautiful and go so well with the paint color on the walls!

    I know the walls were painted before you moved in. You mentioned that you still had the paint cans and were going to match then repaint. Is the color listed on the paint cans? If not, have you repainted yet and do you mind sharing the color or do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

  • Chris Plastaras at

    Hi Michael
    I’ve read this post countless times but you’ve never said if you used duraseal brand or Minwax brand dark walnut – they both make dark walnut floor stain. Thanks !

  • Chris Pastaras at

    …ahhhh I see you said duraseal. Thank u. I will check out Bona as well !

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Definitely recommend Bona over the Duraseal. I had my first floor done with Bona more recently. While both are nice, I perfect the Bona.

      xo Michael

  • Michael at

    It looks very beautiful. I’ve been thinking of getting hardwood floor and your beautiful floor is giving me the encouragement I need. Thanks for sharing.

  • Helen Karanikas at

    Beautiful selection on the stain! I’m redoing my floors and was leaning towards the dark walnut. Thank you for the pics.

    I must ask….the wall color down the hallway is the perfect neutral I’ve been looking for. I realize that it was painted before you moved in, but is there any paint can left behind that might have a name on it? Pretty please!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you! And I’m so sorry, but I don’t know the color.

      xo Michael

  • Amy Marie at

    I am deciding on stain color for my wood floors tonight. Dark walnut is one of the samples I have. This post just made my decision for me. I love that color! I wasn’t planning on a satin finish but I think you just changed my mind on that one. Absolutely beautiful!

  • Anna at

    These are so beautiful! Did you do one coat or two coats?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I assume it’s just one coat of stain.

      xo Michael

  • Tyler Linabury at

    What color and brand are the walls? Love the combination

  • Kristin at

    How does the dark walnut hide the dirt, footprints, crumbs and hair? Sometimes too dark shows EVERYTHING!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I have zero issues. There’s enough texture in the wood grain that things are hidden. But I honestly prefer seeing when things are dirty so I can clean it up.

      ox Michael

  • Katy at

    Absolutely beautiful!! It’s been stressful choosing a stain and u helped me make our decision. So, thank u!! I hope mine turn out as beautiful as yours.

  • Anna at

    I keep on going back to this post every time I am asked about what I am doing for floors in my new house! Do these floors have one or two coats of satin?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Of the top coat you mean? If so, two.

      xo Michael

  • Teresa at

    Your floors are beautiful!
    Two question: Are you sure that your floors are red oak, not white oak? They show no orange at all….gorgeous! My red oak floors are ORANGE and I need to stain them with something that will neutralize the red. I like yours!
    When you said you used water-based instead of oil based, were you talking about the polyurethane finish or the actual stain?

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