6 Favorite Stain Colors for Your Interior Pine Paneling

Many options are available to stain your walls, ceilings, kitchen islands, and bars made from knotty pine paneling. Six colors are favorites all across America and we want to point them out to you. Whether you own a cabin, cottage, conventional home, mansion, or company, any of them can be the ideal color for your home or business.

We have selected these six stain colors for your interior pine wood paneling (not in any order). We recommend:

  • White Ash (White Wash)
  • Early American
  • Chestnut
  • Fruitwood
  • Bronze Walnut
  • Wheat

All these colors are available in durable, high-quality stain products for interior paneling use.

White Ash (White Wash) Looks Great on CeilingsWhite-Wash Stain on Knotty Pine Paneling

Whitewashing pine paneling is trendy today, especially for ceilings and bathrooms. It brightens up rooms without hiding the wood’s grain patterns in areas that have limited lighting. Apply it like any other stain product with a high-quality brush or lint-free cloth. To achieve the desired effect, you may want to layer the coats followed by a clear coat when the whitewash is dry.

These techniques for whitewashing pine paneling are quite helpful, and by the way, this stain is best suited for pine. You are not limited to ceilings and bathrooms because many home décor items go well with this approach to finishing pine paneling.




Early American Is a Classic FavoriteEarly American Stain on knotty pine paneling - 6 Stain Colors

You just can’t go wrong using Early American stain on your pine paneling and trims.

Oil-based stains, such as Minwax Wood Finish, enhances pine’s grain and colors and can do it with just one heavy coat. Apply first in a thin coat if you want a lighter color and add another for a darker shade. Its benefits include:

  • Dries in just 2 hours
  • Resists lapping for even application
  • Dries in a rich color
  • Easy to apply


Chestnut Turns Back the Clock

The American chestnut tree has virtually disappeared except for a few trees in the South. What we see today are nuts and trees imported from Asia. The original chestnut heartwood, or center of the tree, is a light to medium brown that gradually turns reddish-brown as it ages. The sapwood, or outer part of the tree, ranges in color from light brown to pale white.

Anything made from real American chestnut wood is recycled wood from days gone by and it is scarce. That’s why chestnut stain is available so we can still enjoy the rich brown hues. Leading companies manufacture this color in oil-based and water-based products.

Many options are available to stain your walls, ceilings, kitchen islands, and bars made from knotty pine paneling.



Fruitwood Looks Amazing from Light to Dark Shades

Fruitwood stains for pine paneling are very versatile and range in color from light to dark hues.

Minwax Fruitwood oil-based stain enhances the natural pine wood grain with a beautiful rich color. It penetrates deeply into the wood pores and gives these useful benefits:

  • Works great on bare wood
  • Ideal for paneling and trim
  • Color deepens with a second coat
  • Easy to apply with natural bristle brush or cloth
  • Easy clean up with mineral spirits


Bronze Walnut Gives Knotty Pine an Oak Wood Appeal6 Stain Colors - Bronze Walnut Stained

If Bronze Walnut oil stain is your choice, try Minwax for a naturally beautiful rich color that enhances pine’s amazing wood grain. It is a light color and you may want to apply more than one coat to reach the desired finish.

This brand of Bronze Walnut stain provides these pros when using it on knotty pine:

  • It penetrates deeply into the wood
  • Resists lapping for even color
  • Dries in about 2 hours
  • Easy to apply and wipe off excess


Wheat Brings Out Pines’ Natural CharacteristicsWheat Stain on Knotty Pine Paneling - 6 Stain Colors

Wheat is a light color stain that closely resembles a naturally clear finish with a hint of color on knotty pine. It is a favorite of cabin owners that add some variety to pines hues, mineral streaks, colors, and knots.

Like the other stains we offer, wheat is easy to apply and dries relatively fast. It penetrates deeply enough to provide an even coat, and when a clear coat is applied on top, produces a lasting shine. Like with other stain colors, to obtain a darker shade apply a second coat to paneling after the first is thoroughly dry.

Please read this guide about avoiding common staining mistakes and misconceptions, especially on pine wood, before you start a project.



Order Your Paneling Stains Online and Save

We hope these ideas have been helpful for selecting the stain color for your knotty pine paneling. Use a natural bristle brush or a clean, lint-free cloth to apply each coat of stain. Give us a call to discuss your staining and pine paneling needs and we will direct you to the best Minwax or Sherwin Williams stain products available today. P.S. – If you don’t want to stain your paneling, we will do it for you with our pre-finished wood products.  

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Resources and References:

6 Favorite Stain Colors Knotty Pine Paneling