What is the Best Blue Wood Stain? (2024) — Navy, Dark, Grey Blues

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If you’re hunting for a blue stain, you may be overwhelmed by the many options available. The wrong choice can lead to a dull tint and finish or, worse yet, discoloration on your wood piece.

In this article, I tested the best blue wood stains to save you time and effort in choosing a top-quality product for a beautiful, long-lasting finish.

Premium Option
General Finishes DQB
Editor’s Choice
Varathane 297428
Budget Option
Varathane 297427
General Finishes DQB
Varathane 297428
Varathane 297427
• Non-Toxic
• Consistent hue
• User-friendly
• Fade-resistant
• Low VOCs
• Vibrant color
• 1-hour dry time
• Durable
• Scratch-resistant
• Easy clean up
• Low odor
• 1-hour dry time
Premium Option
General Finishes DQB
General Finishes DQB
• Non-Toxic
• Consistent hue
• User-friendly
• Fade-resistant
Editor’s Choice
Varathane 297428
Varathane 297428
• Low VOCs
• Vibrant color
• 1-hour dry time
• Durable
Budget Option
Varathane 297427
Varathane 297427
• Scratch-resistant
• Easy clean up
• Low odor
• 1-hour dry time

Reviews of the Top Blue Stains for Wooden Pieces

1. Varathane 297428 Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain, Worn Navy

The Varathane 297428 Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain in Worn Navy is a highly-rated interior wood stain product that provides a rich, vibrant color and dries quickly, allowing you to complete your project in less time. 

This stain is designed to penetrate deep into the wood, enhancing the natural grain and providing excellent coverage and durability. It is suitable for hard and softwood use and can be applied to bare or previously stained wood surfaces. 

One of the key benefits of the Varathane Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain is its fast drying time. It dries to the touch in just one hour and can be recoated after two hours.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

2. General Finishes Water Based Dye, 1 Quart, Blue

The General Finishes Water-Based Dye in Blue is a high-quality blue wood dye designed to add color to your wooden surfaces. It comes in a quart-sized container and is water-based, making it easy to apply and clean up. 

The main advantage is its fast-drying formula. You can apply multiple coats daily and move on to other projects. It’s also straightforward to use with a brush, sponge, or cloth, and it can be thinned with water to achieve the desired color intensity. 

The dye is also non-toxic and safe for use on surfaces that come into contact with food or drink.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

3. Varathane 297427 Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain, Vintage Aqua

The Varathane 297427 offers excellent color clarity and durability. The stain is oil-based and provides a rich, deep color that enhances the natural beauty of the wood grain. 

It is a fast-drying formula, and unlike other stains that can take hours or even days to dry, this stain dries in just one hour, allowing you to move on to other projects quickly. The stain also has excellent coverage, with one quart covering up to 275 square feet, making it an economical choice for larger projects. 

It’s also self-leveling, meaning it will even out any imperfections in the wood surface.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

4. Minwax Wood Finish Oil-Based Vintage Blue

Minwax Wood Finish Oil-Based Vintage Blue

The Minwax Wood Oil-Based Finish in Vintage Blue is an oil-based stain that penetrates deeply into the wood, enhancing its natural grain and bringing out the richness of its color. 

The stain dries quickly and evenly, ensuring a consistent finish every time. The stain works well on a wide range of wooden surfaces and is also easy to use, making it an ideal choice for DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Once applied, the stain forms a protective barrier that helps to prevent water and other elements from damaging the wood. This feature is essential for outdoor projects or wooden surfaces exposed to high traffic and regular use.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

5. Olympic Maximum 1 qt. Blue Fjord Semi-Transparent Exterior Stain

Olympic Maximum Blue Fjord Semi-Transparent

Olympic Blue Fjord Semi-Transparent Exterior Stain is designed to enhance the natural beauty of the wood while providing long-lasting protection. 

The stain is part of Olympic’s Maximum line of stains and sealants, designed to provide maximum protection from weather and other environmental factors. It is formulated with a rich, deep blue color that creates a beachy or coastal feel to your furniture or outdoor living space. 

One gallon of Olympic Blue Fjord can cover up to 250-350 square feet, depending on the porosity of the wood. This means a little goes a long way, making it an affordable and cost-effective option.

What i Like

What I Don't Like

Blue Stains for Wooden Furniture: Buyer’s Guide

Type of Stain

Water-Based

Water-based stains are made from water-soluble dyes and pigments. They dry quickly and are easy to clean up with soap and water.

Water-based stains are ideal for indoor projects and are low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds), making them more eco-friendly. [1]

Oil-Based

Oil-based stains are made from natural or synthetic oils and resins. They take longer to dry but provide deeper penetration and a longer-lasting finish than water-based stains. 

Oil-based stains are ideal for outdoor projects and are more resistant to water, heat, and abrasions.

Also Read: How to Remove Oil-Based Stains From Wood

Gel

Gel stains are thicker than traditional ones and ideal for use on vertical surfaces or surfaces with intricate details. They are less messy to apply and can create a more uniform color by preventing blotching. 

But what if you apply thick layers of gel stain? What will you do? Here’s a detailed guide to fix this problem. 

Amount and Coverage

The amount of stain needed and the coverage area will depend on the brand and type of stain used and the condition and type of wood.

Most types of wood stains will specify the amount of coverage on the product label, but testing a small area first is recommended to ensure the desired results.

Generally, one quart of stain will cover around 150-200 square feet of wood surface.

Using a Blue Wood Paint vs. Stain

Adhesion

When comparing blue wood paint and stain, one of the main differences is their adhesion to the wood surface. 

Blue wood paint is a thicker coating that sits on top of the wood, creating a protective layer. However, paint can chip or peel off over time, especially in high-traffic areas or outdoor projects.

On the other hand, a stain penetrates the wood fibers to create a deeper, more natural look. This allows the stain to bond more effectively with the wood and provide a longer-lasting finish.

Appearance

Another difference between blue wood paint and stain is the appearance they create. A blue stain provides a translucent look on the wood surface, allowing the natural wood grain and texture to show through. This creates a more organic and natural-looking finish.

On the other hand, blue wood paint provides a more opaque finish that can cover the wood’s natural grain and texture. The final color and appearance of the stain will depend on the type of wood used and the number of coats applied.

Penetration

A blue stain penetrates the wood fibers to create a deeper, more natural look. This allows the stain to bond more effectively with the wood and provide a longer-lasting finish.

Additionally, blue stains can be reapplied without sanding or stripping, making it a more flexible option for touch-ups or refinishing projects.

In contrast, blue wood paint sits on top of the wood surface and can chip or peel off over time.

FAQ

What does it mean when the wood is blue-stained?

When wood is blue-stained, it has been treated with a blue-colored stain that penetrates the wood fibers, resulting in a blue or bluish-gray color. This can occur naturally due to certain fungi or be intentionally created using commercial blue stains.

My Top Pick For a Blue Stain For Wood:
Varathane 297428 Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain, Worn Navy

My choice for the best blue wood stain is the Varathane 297428 due to its fast-drying formula, exceptional coverage, and excellent color payoff. Its water-based composition makes cleaning more accessible and environmentally friendly than oil-based stains. 

Its versatility in application methods and compatibility with various types of wood make it an excellent choice for DIY projects and professional use.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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