When we talk of staining wood it does not mean we are going to put a coffee mug on the wood and let it stain. Staining wood is a nothing more than applying chemicals on the surface of a wooden object in order to give it a particular look. The chemicals used in staining wood are generally colorants dissolved in a solvent like water, petroleum or alcohol. The colorants are generally of two types, dyes or pigments. Dyes are used to stain wood that has very fine grains because pigment colorants mostly fail to stain such wood. These days most of the colorants available in the markets are a mixture of both dyes and pigments. The stain that is formed on the wood using these colorants usually varies as a result of the amount of time the colorant is allowed to stay on the wood before being removed. This article will explore some of the tips that may come in handy the next time you decide to stain some wood.
Staining wood can be tricky because if you are not careful you might end up making the stain uneven and the entire wood work will look bad. These tips will help you prevent such mishaps.
- Remember that softwood needs lesser amounts of colorants to stain than hardwood, so don’t pile the colorant on if you are working on softwood.
- The very first thing you should do is to make sure that you have enough of the stain to finish the job in one sitting. If you have to go to the hardware store to get more stain in the middle of the project, then you may not get the even finish you are looking for.
- When you are applying the stain, make sure that the temperature is not too high or too low; otherwise the time you wish to leave the stain on for will be affected.
- If you are using oil based stain, make sure that the wood has been smoothed out and that there is no debris on it, otherwise the stain will look patchy and uneven.
- Wetting the wood with a brush, prior to applying the stain, will be a good idea because it will help the stain spread in an even fashion.
- It would be best to use a brush to apply the stain because the bristles on the brush will be able to get into the smallest of crevices and apply the stain. This is especially true when you are trying to stain ornate wood that has a lot of intricate cuts in it and a cloth just can’t get to all the nooks and crannies.
- If you are applying the stain with a brush, it would be advisable to apply the stain with an even stroke in the same direction. Random changes in direction can lead to uneven staining.
- Once you are done applying the stain, wait for it to dry before you apply the second coat. If there is excess stain and you want to remove it, using paper towels for the job would be a good idea.
- Once the wood has been stained to your satisfaction, you can apply some varnish or wood polish and stand back and admire your handy work. The polish will make sure that the stain is preserved for a longer time.
If this is the first time you are going to stain wood, it would be smart to practice a little on a spare piece of wood so that you can get the technique right.