How to Stain Wood? Some Easy Steps

Staining the wood appropriately has the power to take the project to the next level. It helps transform any wooden piece completely to stain wood and give it an entirely new look and feel. Sometimes it might be nerve-racking, but it is possible to get the most professional-looking result by following appropriate methods. 

An ultimate guide to stain wood like a pro 

Before diving into the staining process, it is important to decide which type of stain to use. There are two options: oil-based and water-based stains. The choice of stain is all about personal preference. Some of the steps to follow are: 

Prepare the Wood for Stain

Preparing the wood will help you to make or break the staining success. First of all, pick a stainable wood filler and fill in all the small and big cracks or holes. Select a stainable wood filler and not just a paintable wood filler.

Use sandpaper

Now smooth the wood with sandpaper. It would help if you started with a lower grit (80 or 120) and evenly sand the wood. It helps remove dents, scratches, excess wood glue, and the amount of wood filler that’s not filling a hole or crack.  Once the sanding is done, remove any dust from the surface of the wood and Wipe it using a tack cloth. 

Apply pre-stain How to stain wood

The purpose of applying a Pre-stain wood conditioner is to prevent blotchiness. Also, it helps the stain to absorb more evenly. This step is very important, specifically while staining softwoods like pine. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes, and then sand everything down with 220-grit sandpaper. 

Test the stain 

Every piece of wood will stain differently. So it will be wise to test the color on a scrap piece of wood. While staining, pay attention to all the instructions on the can. Different brands and colors have different requirements, so it’s an excellent exercise to read the can first.

Stir the stain 

One of the most important steps is to stir the stain before getting started. Many times different pigments in the stain sinks to the bottom of the can. So mixing it well before using it will help them to be consistent on the whole piece.

Also read: Difference between formal and informal letter 

Apply the stain

If the stain is Oil-based, it can be applied with a paintbrush or a ra. While staining,g keeps your movements circular to ensure that the stain gets fully into the grain. It is also good to wipe the stain on in the direction of the grain. The application depends on the type of wood. If the color starts to get lighter, re-dip the brush and coat another layer for a nice, even color. Furthermore, to apply Water-based stains,s use a foam brush or synthetic bristle brush to have great coverage and minimize streaks.

Wipe off the excess stain from wood

Wait for 15-20 minutes for oil-based stains to penetrate before wiping off the excess with a clean white cloth. The longer the stain sits, the darker and richer color the wood will achieve. On the other hand, Water-based stains dry tremendously fast, so wipe off any excess stain within 2 minutes. 

Let the stain dry

Different elements such as humidity and temperature will affect the time that how quickly a stain dries. Water-based stains usually dry within 1 hour and can be freshened 1-2 hours after applying the first coat. However, oil-based stains take 2-4 hours. 

In the end-use soap and water to clean all the brushes and synthetic pads. It will be good to seal the stained wood to protect it and prolong the stain color. 

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