Traditionally a stain is applied directly to the wood. Then a clear protective finish is applied on top of that. In a toned finish
there is no stain applied directly to the wood. The color pigments are dissolved in the finish and applied with it. If any finish flakes or chips off, the color goes with it. Also this type of finish is less
transparent because of the pigments, so the true beauty of the wood grain tends to be dimmed and/or muddied.