Frustration...

Frustration knows no bounds right now...

Why? I am trying to find a good stain color, shade, what have you, for the stairs AND hardwood flooring that will go in the kitchen this year and eventually the whole house. I love dark wood but my kitchen cabinets are already dark (Black Cherry), most of the trim in the house is dark, and then I have older pieces of furniture that range from light walnut/pecan shade to red mahogany. My husband does not want to go too dark, and I agree it may make our house feel even smaller that it actually is. I do not want to go so light that it looks like blond or unstained wood.

I have tried almost all the colors at the one store that we think would be good, and that leaves 3 other places. A farm store, a hardware store and another lumber/hardware store. Most though already have the same brands I have looked at. I know I can custom tint a color, but that seems questionable and probably not the greatest idea since I have nothing to take and say I want this color.

This is what I got so far...

stain lights to med

None of these are tripping my trigger if you know what I mean. I would love for it to looked aged or distressed. The worst part is one may look good in the stairs but it looks horrible in the rest of the house and vice verse. The hubby does not like the idea of me layering different shades of stains and my DIY vinegar stain since he says its "unpredictable". I tried my vinegar stain anyway, it does not look good at all. What I am really liking the idea of now is distressing the stairs with chains and such then taking tubed gel stain in an extremely dark stain and filling those little crevices with that and then staining the stairs with 2 different stains fading one into the other so it looks more aged...the hubby is probably not going to like this...