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Instead, she wanted a dark-colored court...more of a mahogany or cherry oak grain. Hey, her floor, her choice, right? The first step is to pick out a 'base' coat that will go under your stain and woodgrain. This coat will not resemble the end-product, but will provide a subtle undertone that the rest of the grain will go on. You still have a gel stain, wood stain, and a few coats of polyeurethane to go on top of this coat, so don't worry about getting it exact. In simplest terms, if you want a light court, use a light base...if you want a dark court, use a medium yellow base. We went with Honey Wheat.