I'm making a coffee table and want to use either Walnut or Chestnut. But here's the deciding question/factor because I know that Chestnut takes stain relatively well. But how well does Walnut take stain?

  • May I ask why you're using walnut and planning on staining? Walnut is one of the domestic American hardwoods that's particularly valued for its natural colour. But if you do feel the need to stain it does colour well.
    – Graphus
    Nov 5, 2017 at 9:59

1 Answer 1


Yes, Walnut does accept stain and dyes well in the sense that it does not suffer from blotchiness nor does it specifically require pre-stain conditioners. It is obviously a dark color to begin with which does limit the range of stain colors you can apply to it.

I know it is generally frowned upon to stain walnut, but case in point, I did a project where I ended up with a lot of sapwood throughout and the coloring of the project was really inconsistent. I ended up applying an alcohol-based dye to the wood to generalize the color across the project. I also filled the grain, and used a stain in the grain filler to better match the color. I was happy with the results.

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