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About Our Wood Grain and Hand-Rubbed Stains

About Our Wood Grain and Hand-Rubbed Stains

4 minute read

The presentation of wood grain from one species to the next varies greatly. For instance, maple—which usually refers to hard maple or rock maple in furniture building, has a faint grain with wide figuring like a calm pool of water beneath a gentle breeze. From afar the grain is barely visible.

Our wood, the quarter-sawn, heart pine that we reclaim from old bowling lanes, is typically characterized by a straight, prominent, light brown grain which runs parallel along the length of each board. This is not what you would normally think of as pine, which often refers to soft, knotty, pine—a particularly rustic look when used in furniture. Since the furniture we craft is made up of several boards meticulously joined together, the multiple, similar grains create an overall linear harmony with an abundance of variations like sound waves resonating on close, but harmonious frequencies.

We believe our wood is uniquely beautiful because of this similar, yet varying wood grain found in all our pieces, which ultimately makes every piece unique. Indeed, when you’ve lived with one of our pieces for a while, you’ll get to know the various designs created by the combination of grains on the surface, including the evidence of it’s past life, like filled nail holes and other “imperfections” that only add to the character of your piece.

This is not to say that our efforts to perfect and protect the surface of the furniture we create are not extensive. They are. However, wood is unpredictable and, ultimately, the wood is in charge. The existing grain and characteristics of each piece of wood will always prevail at CounterEv; mainly because we allow it to through our use of hand rubbed stains.

The stains we use have differing degrees of transparency. Some will bring out the grain while imparting a hue behind the darker strands, such as our Amber WavesRaw and Dustbowl.

Amber WavesRawWarm Brown

Other stains are more dominant, coloring both the grain and the “negative space” around it, like our KhakiChocojava and Whetstone.


We also have distressed stains like our Nor’easterCoalminer, and Distressed Bordeaux, which add even more character and give the pieces a more rustic, worn-in look.

Nor'easterCoal MinerDistressed Bordeaux

We currently offer 20 stains and over 60 furniture products, and have not yet built and photographed each product in every available color. Wherever possible, we’ve added pseudo realistic renders of pieces in colors we have yet to photograph, but getting an accurate sense of color via a computer screen or mobile device can be hit or miss. For many customers, just having an approximate idea of the color is enough, but if you’d like a more accurate sense of our stains, powder-coated steel, or fabrics. we suggest ordering samples. Up to three samples of each—stain, steel and fabric—are free with any order over $350.

If you’re considering an investment in one of our products, please keep in mind, as we craft your piece that the wood is in charge. We’re only attempting to showcase its natural beauty. That means there will likely be slight variations in color within your piece, and there are sometimes surprises, like a board or two that accepts the stain differently than other boards and therefore appears darker or lighter. This is the result of handcrafting with reclaimed wood, a process we’ve been perfecting by accepting imperfections since our beginning in 2008. And in this age of robotics and questionable materials in much of the worlds manufactured goods, we’re okay with that. We hope you are too.


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