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Simple Steps to Staining Wood

Simple Steps to Staining Wood

Wood is a beauty in itself. The natural grain patterns and gorgeous colors that nature provides each species of tree shows its wonderful individuality. Bringing the warmth of wood into your home can be done by installing hardwood floors, wood cabinets, a chest of drawers, an entertainment center, wood railings, a kitchen table and many more ways. As a homeowner, you might like a specific wood for its properties or grain, but sometimes it doesn’t match your interior décor. That leads us to changing the color by staining wood to create the desired effect.

Here are some simple steps to staining wood:

  1. Decide on the type of stain. In your application, would a water based or oil based stain work better? A water based stain dries faster and is easier to clean up, so choosing this type works well for small projects. An oil based stain takes more time to dry. This allows you to work on larger projects without the worry of dried lap marks. Oil based stains are perfect for cabinetry and wood floors.
  1. Remove hinges, knobs, pulls and any other metal hardware before you begin. This will protect them from changing color due to coming in contact with the stain.
  1. In order for a stain to adhere properly, the wood needs to have open pores. To achieve this, sand the surface with a medium grit paper, then move to a fine grit sandpaper to finish. Be sure to sand in the direction of the grain to avoid unsightly scratches.
  1. After thoroughly mixing the stain, apply to the wood’s surface with a cloth, paint brush, or foam brush. If you are working with wood that has large pores, push down on the brush a bit harder to make sure that you get the stain into the pores. Apply a generous amount so that the wood can absorb the stain completely. If you choose to use an oil based stain, applying a wood conditioner prior to staining will ensure an even application.
  1. Wipe off any excess stain with a clean cloth. Be careful not to let the stain pool in areas and dry. Stains are meant to be absorbed inside of the wood’s pores, not on top of the wood’s surface. If left to dry on top, it will peel off later and will also prevent the clear finish from adhering properly. If you desire a deeper color, apply a second coat after the first coat dries.
  1. The final step to staining wood is to apply a clear protective finishing coat. Only apply this after your stain is completely dry, otherwise the clear coat will pull the stain up and out of the pores. Once this clear coat is dry, re-install any hardware that was removed.

TIP: Always test your stain out on the type of wood that you will be using. Here at Shell Lumber, we’ll test out the stain for you on sample pieces of wood. This will ensure that you start your project with the stain color that you desire.

There you have it! Simple steps to staining wood. Stop on by and tell us about your project. We will help you find all of the materials you need to make it a success! Shell Lumber is located at 2733 S.W. 27th Avenue Miami, Florida 33133, visit us online at or give us a call locally at 305-856-6401 or Toll Free 800-621-6391.


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