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From the world of wood finishes there are gloss finishes, semi-gloss finishes, and satin and matte flat. A “new” term on the finish circuit is "hand rubbed," which has a similiar look to matte flat. Another thing to consider when deciding on color for your stain is the level of opaque. If you still would like to go with a stain, blended colors are very popular today. This would be two stain colors blended together. If clear is more your taste, just remember that today's clears finishes will stay clear. If, of course, you choose one of the polyurethane's on the market and not the shellacs which are a completely different animal in themselves.