6 Tips & Tricks for Staining Wood

by Max Panych from Trimaco

Whether you’ve found an exciting piece of furniture to upcycle, or you want to give your wooden furniture a new lease of life, wood staining  is  the way to go. Wood staining is a task that can be completed with minimal DIY skills. However, it can get messy if you’re not careful,  so  it  pays  to  do  your research before starting. In this article, we explore six wood staining tips and tricks to get your wooden items shining brightly.

1. Which wooden items need staining? 

Before    getting   started,    it   is   important    to    think   about whether   the   item   you   are   considering   requires  staining. The   purpose  of  wood  staining is,  ultimately,  to  improve the look   of   the   wooden   surface.   This   allows   you to alter the color    of    the    wood   to    a   different  natural   shade, or an alternative color entirely. Wood staining is an  ideal solution for pieces   of   wooden   furniture  that you wish to enhance, but it will not provide protection if exposed outside. 

If  you  are wanting to improve the strength and durability of items that will be outdoors, you will be better off using a wood sealer.

2. Choosing the right stain 

Once   you’ve   decided   that  staining  is  the  correct course of action, you need to think about  the type of wood stain needed for your   project.    There   are    many   different   categories  of   stain  to    choose  from  (not to mention color!),   however, the main consideration   is whether you go for an oil stain or water-based stain. Oil stains are made up of a linseed oil base and take a  long  time   to  dry.   This is helpful if you are painting a large area and are hoping  for  a smooth  and   consistent finish, such as staining wooden floors.  Water-based  stains are  generally  easier  to  apply,  dry  in  about 24 hours, release less of an odor, and have less toxicity.

 

3. Prepare your surface 

With   most   DIY   jobs,  preparation  is  key to  ensure a quality finish.   Jumping   right   in  with  a  project  increases the risk of uneven   surfaces  being  highlighted.  Since  dust  can  create a messy   finish,   it   is   important   to s and first.  Give the item a thorough   once  over  with  your sandpaper in the direction of  the    grain   and   smooth   out   any   snags.    Once    you   are satisfied,    brush   down   the   item   to   check   that all dust is removed    and   go   over   with    a    tack   cloth   to   eliminate any lingering dust particles.

4. Apply a pre-stain conditioner 

While  not essential, applying a pre-stain conditioner beforehand can enhance the  overall  appearance  of  your  project.   The pre-stain    conditioner  treatment  can  be  used  on any wood, but especially improves softwoods. Treating the wood prior to applying the  wood  stain  enhances  the  absorption  of the stain and reduces the likelihood of blotches appearing on the surface. Although this adds another step to the process, the extra effort will definitely be worth it in the end.

5. How to apply wood stain 

Once your  surface is prepped, you’re  ready  for  the  main event.  There are  a  variety of tools you can use  to wood  stain, but we recommend  a  staining  pad to do the job.  This  provides  a smooth  application without blemishes or drips. Make sure to give the wood stain a good stir before use and then apply evenly using your tool of choice.

6. A smooth finish 

For   the   ultimate   wood   stain   treatment,    finish  off  with a layer of  top-coat. We suggest for your top-coat to be made  of  the   same   material  as  your  wood  stain   (if using an oil stain go   for   an   oil-based   varnish   for   your  top-coat). However,  this  isn’t  always  essential,   so   check  the  small  print before purchasing. There are a variety of  brushes  you  can    use    to  apply the top-coat, but it is best to base it on the varnish.

You   will  need  a  brush  made  of  natural  bristles  if  using  an oil-based varnish, and a synthetic brush for a water-based varnish.

Applying  wood  stain  is  a  simple,   yet effective way of revamping wooden items inside your house. It can either help the wood to reclaim  its  original color,  or allow you to be experimental with a totally different style. Whatever you decide, make sure you follow our top tips and tricks for using wood stain!

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