How to Stain Wood Furniture Like a Pro

Thanks to its vast resources and highly skilled artisans, North Carolina has a rich history in furniture manufacturing. This industry dates back over a century

With all of this growth and history, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. But sometimes the best piece of furniture is one that you stain yourself. 

Follow this guide and learn how to stain wood and create a custom piece of furniture for your home. 

Preparation Is Everything 

When it comes to a beautiful stain job, it’s all about the prep work. You need to prepare the surface of the wood by sanding it. A lower grit will rough up the wood more, which will allow the wood to soak up more stain and create a darker color. 

Start with sandpaper at 120 grit. Then use 180 grit sandpaper. Finish by cleaning the wood of shavings and dust. 

Fix the Blemishes 

Some woods appear blotchy after you apply the stain. If you’re working with pine or cherry, then consider using a conditioner. This will help the wood evenly absorb the stain. 

Some woods have deep grooves in the grain. You’ll need to apply a filler to create a smooth finish. If you’re working with oak or mahogany, then consider using a pigmented paste that matches the wood or stain color. 

Get It Wet 

When wood gets wet, the grain raises. By getting it wet now, you can then go over it with 180 or 220 grit to smooth it out. If you skip this step, the moisture of the stain will raise it later. 

Apply the Stain 

Make sure you thoroughly stir your stain before you apply it. This will ensure you have an even color application. 

You can use a rag to apply the stain. Skip the sponge as it will absorb the stain. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the stain. 

There’s some debate over whether you should apply with or against the grain. This doesn’t matter as much as using enough stain and applying it evenly. 

Keep in mind that you can’t remove a stain once it’s applied. So it’s better to go slow with light layers. 

Remove the Excess 

Take a clean cloth or old t-shirt and wipe down your wood to absorb the excess stain. If you take too long to do this step, the stain may have dried too much. You can combat this by applying a bit more stain and vigorously rubbing. 

Seal It 

You technically don’t have to seal your wood. But applying a topcoat will protect your wood and keep the staining from fading. Plan to apply two or three coats and giving it a day to dry. 

Now You Know How to Stain Wood

By following these easy steps, you can create a custom look to your home’s furniture. Knowing how to stain wood isn’t a challenging task, but it does require you to take several steps. 

Take the time to prep your surface and slowly apply your stain, and you’ll have a beautiful piece of custom furniture. 

Browse our collections of unfinished furniture and stain your own piece. 

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