Tips for stain­ing wood

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate Weekly -

Stain­ing wood can trans­form the look of ev­ery­thing from fenc­ing to deck­ing. While wood can be beau­ti­ful in its nat­u­ral state, stain­ing can pro­tect the wood and com­ple­ment land­scap­ing and other home de­sign el­e­ments.

Stain­ing can seem like a sim­ple pro­ject, and that is of­ten true. However, cer­tain woods, such as pine, cherry, maple, and birch, can be dif­fi­cult to stain. Boards with at­trac­tive grain pat­terns also can ab­sorb stain dif­fer­ently, re­sult­ing in blotch­ing and un­even tone.

Be­fore be­gin­ning a stain­ing pro­ject, it is im­por­tant for home­own­ers to test the stain cho­sen on a sam­ple piece of wood to see how the color and ab­sorp­tion turn out. This gives home­own­ers the chance to un­der­stand what they’re deal­ing with and time to make any nec­es­sary ac­com­mo­da­tions to achieve a more even look.

Be­gin by gath­er­ing the nec­es­sary sup­plies. A pair of la­tex or vinyl gloves will pro­tect your hands. Drop cloths will catch any drips or spills. Safety gog­gles and a dust mask pro­vide pro­tec­tion if sand­ing is re­quired prior to stain­ing. If sand­ing is nec­es­sary, home­own­ers will need an or­bital sander, hand sander and sand­pa­per. Start with the coars­est grit sand­pa­per and move to a higher grit for a smooth fin­ish. Wood that is cov­ered in paint may need to be stripped prior to sand­ing. Fol­low the di­rec­tions care­fully when us­ing chem­i­cal strip­pers. Nat­u­ral bris­tle paint brushes are handy for oil-based stain ap­pli­ca­tions. Syn­thetic paint brushes can ap­ply water-based fin­ishes. Many do-it-your­selfers find that foam brushes or paint pads are the most handy be­cause they pro­vide a smooth fin­ish and there’s no need to clean up the brushes af­ter­ward.

Many pro­fes­sion­als rec­om­mend us­ing wood con­di­tion­ers or pre-treaters so that the stain will not leave blotches on the wood. This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant for home­own­ers who de­ter­mined their wood is prone to un­even color ab­sorp­tion. Al­low the con­di­tioner to dry ac­cord­ing to prod­uct di­rec­tions.

Stain should be ap­plied so that it is evenly coated. Wipe off the ex­cess to get the pre­ferred color. Ap­ply more stain as nec­es­sary to get the de­sired color. Many stains only of­fer color, so you’ll need to ap­ply a fin­ish­ing coat to pro­tect the wood. Oth­er­wise, look for a prod­uct that com­bines stain color and a fin­ish to save time. Re­mem­ber to re­move knobs, hinges, and han­dles from a piece be­fore stain­ing, as the stain may af­fect the color of any metal hard­ware and dam­age it.

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