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Protect eyes and hands by wearing safety glasses and rubber gloves. You’ll also want to wear old clothes, as stains are permanent. Use epoxy for larger flaws—Major damages can be fixed with a two-part epoxy mixture. Epoxy will dry hard without cracking, saving the aesthetic appeal of your furniture. Additionally, epoxy can be mixed with various tints to match the color of the furniture you’re fixing. Some types of wood possess characteristics that make them difficult to stain.

It has tiny zinc particles that work like sunscreen for the wood – they reflect UV rays away and prevent premature graying and color loss. Its wood staining process resins also have higher resistance to fading colors and wood darkening. The zinc also works as a protection against mold and mildew growth.

Some products are marketed as a combination of stain and varnish. I applied two coats of stain plus a final coat of poly to get this table top finished. It’s a lather, rinse, repeat kind of process, and more coats of stain will make your wood color deeper and richer each time.

The BEHR Premium Stain and Sealer can be applied using a brush, roller, sprayer, or pad applicator, and one gallon should cover up to 300 square feet on the first coat. The formula resists rain after just four hours, and the brand says it lasts up to six years on decks and up to eight years on fences. Plus, reviewers confirm that it’s easy to apply and clean up after, and many say it totally transformed their outdoor projects. The majority of wood stains today are oil-based, but you can still find water-based products like this stain from SamaN. While water-based stains are trickier to apply, they’re eco-friendly, quick-drying, and easy to clean. Most commercial stains contain both dyes and pigments, though often in varying colours and ratios depending on the desired colouring effect.

Step One: Prep Your Surface

white vinegar for heavily soiled, unfinished wood that has sticky residue or similar buildup. Traditionally, finishing was created solely to provide additional protection against the weather and daily wear and tear. A finish can also provide that wet or shiny appearance, which is also a matter of preference. It breaks down the 7 tools you need to complete 95% of DIY projects, what they’re each used for, and the only 3 tools you need to start. The Essential Tools Roadmap will show you what tools you actually need to complete 95% of DIY projects, what each tool is used for, and the 3 tools you should start with. It’ll add an amber hue to your project and give it solid protection.

staining wood

Sanding with 80, 120 and 180 grit can still produce peaks and valleys on the end which are filled with the sanding dust; these are the light areas you want to get rid of. Going up to 220 and finally 320, the surface is clear or any lighter scratches and is relatively flat. It will also feel beautifully smooth to the touch. Quickly brush or wipe on the conditioner, let it penetrate and wipe it off, just like stain. Now you need to apply the stain before the conditioner completely dries, usually within two hours or so. The applicator you choose for applying stain doesn’t really matter.

The 8 Best Wood Stains Of 2021

The easiest product to use is a stain-polyurethane mix. If you are using stain only, it will be necessary to seal the finish with butcher’s wax, tung oil, or some form of “poly” protective sealer. To stain pressure-treated wood, you’ll need a product like the DEFY Extreme Exterior Wood Stain, and you’ll need to apply it when the lumber is as dry as possible. This semi-transparent water-based stain comes in 1- and 5-gallon sizes, and you can select from seven natural colors, all of which will enhance the wood’s natural grain pattern.

  • On the left side of this piece of pine, I used oil-based sealer.
  • Check out this post for more information on how to best apply stains to different types of wood.
  • Walnut stain “Brand A” won’t necessarily look the same on the wood as walnut stain “Brand B,” even though the color might look the same in the can.
  • Wet the wood with water before applying the stain to raise the grain and leave a rougher surface for more pigment to lodge.

Wood stain is designed to penetrate into the grain of the wood, not to remain on the surface. If you spread it too thickly or forget to wipe off the excess, the material that remains will become sticky and will ruin the job. Remember-don’t put water-based polyurethane on top of an oil-based stain. Oil and water don’t play well together and the water-based poly will tend to bead-up on the oil-stained surface, unable to coat the surface.

Minwax Wood Finishing Cloths

People often use the word “staining” interchangeably with finishing or sealing, which technically isn’t correct. Water-based stains dry extremely fast, so you need to wipe off any excess stain within 2 minutes of first applying it. Water-based stains are much thicker than traditional wood stains and apply almost like paint. Simply brush your stain on in the direction of the wood grain. You don’t want to brush on too heavy of a coat, but make sure that everything is fully covered. Pre-stain wood conditioner helps prevent blotchiness and allows the stain to absorb more evenly.

Whether they come powdered or in concentrate form, you’ll have to mix and apply them to test boards until you find a pleasing color and effect. A fourth option is to abandon stains altogether and try a dye. As mentioned earlier, I’m using “stain” to refer only to pigmented stains.

In the US, caustic soda is much harder to buy and have heard that a mix of one part cheap drain cleaner with one part water achieves a similar effect, but I have not tried it. Sanding end grain is time consuming as it is naturally quite rough. After the initial 80 grit sanding it may feel as smooth as the rest of the board but the stain will tell a different story. The key is to watch for that layer of lighter coloured sawdust to disappear.

Then use a finer higher number/finer grit sandpaper and sand it again in the same manner. Starting with a low number/coarse grit sandpaper, sand your wood back and forth, with the direction of the grain to avoid adding scratches. It can be tough to decide which type of stain to use, oil or water based. Below are the advantages to using each one and what I prefer. Once it’s time to apply the stain, I’m not too picky about how I get it on the wood, whether it’s a brush, sponge, or cloth.