This piece was once very ugly. We found it a dirty gray color and sanded and used the grinder and added a very clear stain to it. We didn't like the look as it appeared even dirtier and not in a cool grungy way. So, we tried our first dark stain job and it worked. It's a different look and ideal for those who like a more refined, yet rustic and dark look. It's a perfect height to feature a piece of art.