If you search on Amazon for "rustic [insert item of furniture]", a lot of the results have this style of wood effect...

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I.e. deep colour, with even deeper (almost black) "splotches" (?) that are relatively large (compared to the knots, say).

These items all use vinyl wraps, but I like the style and want to stain some plywood in a similar way. However, I don't know what type of wood this is pretending to be to look up how to do it.

A reverse image search suggests its smoked oak, or dark oak, but then searching for images of these, they don't look quite the same...

Does this species, or finish, have a name?

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    You might consider cross-posting this to woodworking.se too Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 19:38
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    just stain the plywood unevenly. This can be a light sanding in spots before, a little paste wax in spots/streaks before, conditioner before to make it darker, or distressing it after staining. You might want to apply an even but light coat, then come through and leave some extra thick stain splotches to get the look you want.
    – dandavis
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 20:33
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    Grain pattern to me looks like pine, and it would be easy to get an uneven stain when using pine, in fact, that comes naturally!
    – LarryBud
    Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 3:44
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    Thanks for the comments and answers! I am pretty confident I can get the plywood face to match based on them. I need to research staining a bit more and will probably post to woodworkers.se to make sure I have got a good plan for it!
    – sebf
    Commented Dec 3, 2023 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


The grain pattern in your second image makes me think of oak. Here is a photo of a dark stained oak stair tread; the ones in my own home look similar. side view of stained oak stair treads showing grain patterns I think the darker, splotchier areas are meant to evoke weathering or other wear. The next image is wood treated with a minwax "Weathered Oak" finish. It's a little grayer than your example but the unevenness definitely comes through. A wooden door stained to appear old and weathered.

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