Stain can be applied with a bristle brush, a foam brush, or a cloth. On woods with large, open pores, such as oak, mahogany and ash, increase your pressure to work the stain into the pores. Rubbing or brushing against the direction of the grain will help fill deep pores with stain.


Do you need to seal wood after staining? Most stains should be sealed to prevent bleeding. After smoothing the stained wood, apply a sealer coat of thinned shellac, sanding sealer, or other appropriate sealer. Do not use shellac with NGR or water-base stains. If you plan to finish the piece with polyurethane, make sure the sealer is compatible.

what is the best way to apply stain?

The basic rule for getting good results with any wood stain is to apply a wet coat and wipe off the excess before it dries. You can use any tool – rag, brush, paint pad, roller or spray gun – to apply the stain. You can even dip the object into stain or pour the stain onto the wood and spread it around.

What do you apply stain with? Stain can be applied with a bristle brush, a foam brush, or a cloth. On woods with large, open pores, such as oak, mahogany and ash, increase your pressure to work the stain into the pores. Rubbing or brushing against the direction of the grain will help fill deep pores with stain.

can you leave stain on without wiping?

There's no risk of separation at the stain level because there's no build. If you spray the dye and leave it without wiping, you won't get good grain definition. To improve the grain definition, apply an oil stain after the dye has dried — or over the sealer coat — and wipe off the excess.

Do I need to varnish after staining? Once you have finished your staining you will need to apply a coat of clear, either varnish or polyurethane, without a coat of clear the stain will slowly be worn away with wear and tear.

how many coats of stain can you apply?

2 coats

Do you have to sand before staining? How To: Sand Wood Before Staining. It all starts with sanding. You need a smooth surface with no blemishes because stain will highlight scratches and dings in the wood. Always sand down to clean wood (if you have enough meat left of the wood) before applying any stain.

How long should stain sit before wiping off?

With a staining brush, work both with the grain and against it. Don't worry about being neat; all that matters is getting a nice, even, liberal coat over the wood. At this point, wipe the stain off immediately for a lighter tone, or for a deeper tone, leave it on for five or even 10 minutes before wiping.

How much should you sand before staining? On most raw woods, start sanding in the direction of the grain using a #120-150 grit paper before staining and work up to #220 grit paper. Soft woods such as pine and alder: start with #120 and finish with no finer than #220 (for water base stains) and 180 grit for oil base stains.

Will polyurethane even out stain?

A: If the only inconsistency is sheen, and not color, the polyurethane should take care of that, since the final sheen will be controlled by the clear polyurethane, not the stain. However, do make sure the stain color is consistent before you topcoat.

What is the best stain for wood?

Beech, birch, poplar, ash, gum, and new pine are usually stained before finishing. Some woods, like oak, are attractive either stained or unstained. In general, it's better not to stain if you're not sure it would improve the wood.

Can you wipe stain off with paper towel?

Use paper towels to wipe off the excess, because like foam brushes, they are also disposable. Grab a big wad of paper towels and remove all that excess stain that you just applied. Rub back and forth WITH THE GRAIN.

What happens if you don't wipe off wood stain?

If the excess stain is not wiped off, the stain will not dry properly or completely and any finish applied over it will not dry either. Rather than rubbing it down with lacquer thinner, use mineral spirits applied with a 3/0 steel wool.

What happens if you apply polyurethane before stain is dry?

If you apply poly before the stain is adequately dry, you're going to end up with stain mixing into your poly, poly that takes forever to dry, or worse. In some cases, applying poly over wet stain can reduce the bonding ability of the poly, which will end up ruining your finish over time.

How do you prepare wood for staining?

The best way to stain wood is to prepare the wood surface by sanding it with a sanding block or orbital sander. Start with 120-grit sandpaper on refinished pieces. When you have removed imperfections and sanded the entire surface, wipe off the dust and loose sandpaper grit.

How long after staining wood can you apply polyurethane?

While family and friends may give you helpful advice, reading the instructions on the can of stain leads to a beautiful final finish. Many brands advise buyers to plan on four to 12 hours of drying time between coats of stain and another 12 to 24 hours before applying the first coat of polyurethane.