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Tips and Tricks for Staining Wood Indoors and Outdoors

How to Stain Wood

Staining wood is a great way to restore old wooden furniture. It can also help you achieve an appealing color and enhance the natural beauty of your wood furniture. Staining wood can bring new life and character to your home.

This may seem intimidating because it is a permanent process, but it is not that difficult. We have compiled a list of helpful tips which will help you achieve the perfect look for your wooden furniture.

Best Overall Stain

The water based stain from General Finishes is the best product on the market today. It will give you vibrant, deep colors without raising the wood grain. It can be applied in a variety of ways and is designed to work like a solvent based stain.

Even a single coat of this stain will give a lot of color. This product also dries faster than most, so keep that in mind. It is a versatile product which is beginner friendly at the same time.

Best Stains for Decks

This beautiful stain from Ready Seal also doubles as a sealer. It will allow the natural beauty of your wooden deck to shine through. This product will accentuate the natural texture and grain of the wood, while also protecting it from the elements.

This stain will settle into its final color in approximately 14 days. It can be applied at any temperature. All of these factors make it the best product that you can use for your deck.

Best Stains for Fences

This water based, semi transparent wood stain from DEFY is the perfect choice for your fence. This is a highly durable stain which will prevent premature fading and color loss. This product is UV resistant, meaning that you will not have to worry about a fading or darkening fence.

Maintaining the color of your fence is easy with this product and no sanding is necessary. Simply clean your fence and reapply another coat of the stain. The durable nature and protective features of this stain make it the perfect choice for a fence.

Best Stains for Banisters

The oil base gel stain from General Finishes is the perfect stain for a banister. It will provide a lustrous finish and is easy to apply. This product will ensure an even appearance, even with notoriously difficult woods.

Oil base gel stains do not penetrate as deeply inside the wood as liquid base stains do. This makes them a great choice for banisters.

Best Stains for Hardwood Floors

This wood stain from Minwax is a deeply penetrating, oil based product that will highlight the natural beauty of the wood. It is a versatile product that is easy to apply.

This stain penetrates deep into the wood fibers and highlights the natural grain. This translates into a deep, beautiful and rich color. It is the perfect choice for your hardwood floors.

Tips for Staining Wood

All staining projects have a few elements in common. The first step is always to clean the wood you want to stain. When that is done, the wood must be sanded.

If you want a darker color, go with a lower grit number. If you want a lighter shade, choose sandpaper with a higher grit number. Once you have sanded the wood, remove all the dust with a clean, damp cloth or rag.

Now you can start applying the stain. Thoroughly stir the stain before applying it. Stain cannot be removed after application so apply multiple thinner coats to get the right shade.

Wipe off any excess stain. Allow everything to dry properly for at least 24 hours. If you deem it necessary, you can also apply a sealer like polyurethane at the end to protect your newly stained wood.

For a Deck…

Begin with a thorough inspection. If you find any imperfections, such as raised nails or broken pieces of wood, remove them. Next, clean your deck. New decks can be cleaned with little effort but old decks may require pressure washing.

Make sure your deck is dry before beginning. Use painter’s tape to protect surfaces that you do not wish to stain. When staining a deck, it is best to use a roller. If you want to cover the surface between boards, use a small paintbrush to apply the stain.

Take care not to trap yourself in a corner. Plan your route ahead of time. Make sure to let the stain dry properly once you are finished.

For a Banister…

The first step is removing the old paint. Thoroughly sand your banister. Sand with the grain and do not try to do all the work at once. Sand your banister, wipe down the surface and then sand it two more times, using a finer grit each time.

Tape off all surfaces that you do not want to stain. When staining a banister, a rag is probably the best tool to use. Coat the entire surface of the banister evenly. After 15 minutes, wipe off any excess stain. If you want a darker color, repeat the process until the result is satisfactory.

For a Fence…

Examine any signs of damage. When staining fences, it is important to be able to work with a smooth surface. If needed, sand down coarse or rough areas of the fence.

Apply a wood cleaner to your fence. Let enough time pass for it to dry, then remove the dirt and grime with a rag, mop or brush. Next, apply the stain to the fence. Make sure to coat it evenly. If you see any blotches or puddles, smooth those areas out as soon as you see them. Keep a drip cloth close at hand, just in case.

When staining a fence, an additional factor that you must consider is the weather. A good rule of thumb to follow is to choose a day when it has not rained in the last 24 hours and will not rain for another full day.

For Hardwood Floors…

Remove all of your carpeting. When that is done, begin sanding your floor. Remove any items that you want to protect from dust. Use slow, forceful movements until you remove the old varnish. The floor should feel smooth, with a consistent texture.

Vacuum all the sawdust once you are done. Use a damp mop to get rid of all remaining dust. Make sure that your mop is not soaking wet, slightly damp will do fine.

Open all the windows and doors in the room to ensure good ventilation. Put on some disposable plastic gloves. Dip your sponge or rag into the stain. Work along the grain of the wood, not against it. Wringing out excess stain will allow you to get even coverage.

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