A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Stain Wood
How to Stain Wood
Staining wood may be considered an unnecessary process by some. However, there is more advantage to staining than most people know. It is actually beneficial when it comes to both function and aesthetics.
Functionality-wise, staining can protect wood from water and sun exposure and rotting while aesthetically-wise, it can also help in matching the wood to any existing decorations or themes in the house. Read on to find out how to stain wood the effective way.
The first and most important thing to do before starting any wood staining project is to determine the type of wood you plan to work on. Remember that wood differs from one another so it is highly essential to determine their strengths and weaknesses in order to know how to handle it appropriately.
Staining hardwoods Vs. softwoods
There are two types of wood namely hardwoods and softwoods. Sometimes determining the type of wood can get confusing because for instance, aspen is a very soft hardwood and fir is very hard softwood.
Just keep in mind that softwoods usually have uneven wood grains and blotchy patterns while hardwoods typically have a consistent flow of grain pattern.
Next, prepare the materials you intend to use. The most basic of them include a pair of rubber gloves, sandpapers, applicators, and rags.
Step-by-step wood staining process
To start, check the wood for warps and other blemishes and scuffs. Sand the wood using a #60 or #80 sandpaper then followed by a #100 or #120 sandpaper.
Sanding wood is also very important as this will determine how accepting the wood will be to the stain. After sanding, wipe off the excess debris with a damp cloth.
To begin the staining process, put on your rubber gloves and eye gear if possible. Stir the stain well. Dip the applicator in the stain and apply it onto the wood generously.
Make sure to do it in one continuous movement across the wood. This will help avoid variations in color. Using a quality fine-haired brush is recommended as this absorbs more stain. This can result to lesser trips to the can, lesser drips, and easier cleaning. Plus, you can have more control in applying the stain.
Then, wipe the excess stain off the wood by using a rag. The longer you wait before wiping off can result into a darker stain. But remember, it is always easier to add more stain later than taking it off. Repeat this process until you have achieved the desired color.
After that, place the piece on something flat and let it dry for 6-8 hours. The second process of staining is applying polyurethane. This is used to add more beauty and protection to the wood both finished and unfinished.
Before applying, make sure that the wood is free of any debris. Pour polyurethane into a spray can. Spray 8-12 inches away from the piece being worked on. Do not spray too much polyurethane to prevent getting runs. Let it sit for a few hours and then reapply.
The basic steps on how to stain wood outlined above are simple and easy to follow. But please still read the directions and cautions that come with the product not only to avoid injury but also to achieve a beautiful finish.