When you are doing home projects, you are likely working with wood at some point. When you work with wood, you can enhance the natural look of the wood by staining it with a wood stain. Wood stains deepen and enrich the natural color of the wood. Some kinds of stain can even come in opaque colors such as blue or black. They will allow the grain of the wood to shine through but will change the wood to a less natural color. Whichever type of stain you choose, you need to follow a few steps.
First, Sand the Wood
It’s important to sand the wood to a smooth finish. It needs to be sanded because once you apply the stain, you will have a much harder time getting it sanded without removing the stain. So, sand the wood with a rough grit of sandpaper for any large-scale removals. If you need to remove bumps or knots, a rough grit will work. You want to then step up to a medium grit such as a 120-grit sandpaper. This will get it smooth but not too smooth. If the wood is too smooth, the stain will not adhere. You want to then make sure that you clean the wood. Many people use a tack cloth to clean up any sawdust. You can also use an air compressor or a damp rag. If you use a damp rag, make sure that you give the wood time to dry completely before staining.
Next, Organize Your Tools
Once you start staining, you want to apply each coat in full before you move on to the next step. You need to make sure that you buy enough stain to cover the entire surface of the item. You don’t want to have to stretch the stain; that will yield thinner coating in certain areas. So, assemble your stain, drop cloths, a fine-bristled brush, and some paint thinner. Once you have everything in place, you’re ready to begin staining.
Now, You Can Stain
You want to apply a thin coat of stain to your wood. If you need a deeper color, you can apply another stain later. So, you want to apply a thin coat of stain by moving your brush with the grain of the wood. Try to make long, smooth strokes that cover as much of the surface of the wood as possible. This helps the stain go on more smoothly.
Allow the Stain to Dry
You need to allow the stain to dry according to the application guidelines on the can. Many will recommend that you use a clean dry cloth to wipe up any stain that did not soak in after about ten minutes. You’ll then normally allow it to dry for about 24 hours. If you need a deeper color, you can apply another coat of stain at that point. The next coat should also be very thin. You should use the same process that you used for the first coat. At that point, you’ll be ready to seal the wood and allow it to dry.