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Weathered grey tones are a neutrel way of adding texture and dimension to a room, without cluttering a space with different wood hues. But I felt the color was a little too matchy-matchy to our wood ceiling, and wanted to add a grey tone to it.

It can be applied just like a normal polyurethane, on bare wood or over a fully cured finish. Yes, you read that right - you can apply right over top of a finished piece, just like adding another coat of poly. But it also adds a tint of color (like sunglasses) on top of the wood finish, and protects in one easy coat. But with tinted poly, you are just adding a layer of tint on top of the wood - it doesn't soak into the wood, removing potential for blotchiness or uneven color.

I first learned about tinting instead of staining when visiting high end furniture factories in North Carolina. Water-based polyurethane goes on smoothly and easily, has low odor, and cleans up with soap and water - making it very DIY friendly. And it's not just me - people are loving Varathane Stain + Poly in all the colors for all the projects - You can add a final clear coat (use a water based poly) in a satin or matte sheen to dull the finish. If you are working with bare wood that doesn't necessarily need a final top coat (think low use pieces like headboards and dressers), tradditional wood stain may be a better option because it comes in more colors that are mixable and results in a flatter sheen. For my dining table that is already finished, but needs a new top coat, preferably with a grey tint - Varathane Stain + Poly is the cat's meow.

Varathane Stain + Poly comes in 14 colors, including Sunbleached, Ebony and Weathered Grey, and is available at Home Depot for about $12 a quart.


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