Understanding staining techniques

Working on your home and furnishings can be both fun and rewarding if you follow simple safety guidelines. For the best results and your own safety, remember to read and follow all label warnings and instructions carefully. If you feel the task might be overwhelming, never be afraid to consult with an expert in sanding and refinishing your wood.

To preserve that glowing quality wood gets with age, we suggest you not sand refinished wood. Refinishing floors is one exception. And of course, you may have to sand a piece that has been stripped with materials that have raised the grain or to remove imbedded wax or stearates.

Understanding staining techniques

Understanding staining techniques

Make sure all hardware is removed, including hinges. Mask mirror with tape if it cannot be removed.

Sand off glue on any spot to be stained; otherwise, stain will not penetrate.

Wipe wood surface with a tack rag or cloth dampened with mineral spirits.

To assure the highest quality results from your staining work, closely follow these guidelines:

Mix the stain thoroughly before you begin and frequently while you’re staining. This helps keep the color consistent throughout the project.

Before proceeding, apply the stain on a discreet area of wood to test the color.

Apply stain by brushing or wiping it in the direction of the grain, using smooth, even strokes. Wipe off any excess.

Avoid unattractive lap marks by applying stain from an unpainted area back into the last wet stain. In other words, don’t let a section of stain dry before you blend it in with stain from an adjoining section.

Let dry completely (usually 24 hours).

Apply a second coat if you want a darker look. Also, apply a second coat if staining badly weathered or unfinished wood.

Helpful Staining Tips

Use the right brush. Use a natural-bristle brush for oil stains and a synthetic-bristle brush for latex stains.

Apply stain only at the proper temperature. For most stains, 70 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimum, with the safety range from 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Stains do vary, so check the label first.

Avoid high humidity when applying stain. All finishes, including stains and paint, have trouble drying in moist conditions.