Staining the Wood Furniture

Staining the wood is a simple and inexpensive way to update the wood furniture. It gives a fresh look to the furniture. But staining, painting, and refinishing isn’t an easy task and should be done carefully. Keep reading to learn the basic ideas of staining the wood.


  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Rubber gloves
  • Wood conditioner
  • Wood varnish
  • Wood stain
  • Paintbrush

Step 1 – Prepare the Wood

Prepare the wood by sanding it with the coarse sandpaper and then with finer-grit sandpaper until the wood the smooth and even to touch. Stand with the grain of the wood and use the tack cloth to remove the dust in between. 

After sanding the wood, clean the wood with mineral spirit using a sponge to bring out the variation in the wood. Apply a wood conditioner to help the softwood absorb stain evenly.

Step 2 – Stain the Wood

Ensure to test the stain on the untreated wood to check the color of the stain. Or use a paint stirrer to verify the number of coats that should be applied and to find the duration to get to the perfect tone.

Use a rag, a soft sponge, or brush when applying the stain. Again, move with the grain and not against it.  

Stains are of two types – 


Oil-based stains are available in liquid and gel form. It is more user-friendly. But its produce stronger fumes and is difficult to clean-up. 


Water-based stains are non-toxic and clean up easily with water. Be careful while applying water-based stains as it tends to cause streaking.

Some hybrid products are also available in the market. A water-based finish can be applied over an oil-based stain. But ensure to wait for 24 hours so that the mineral spirits gets evaporated from the oil-based stain.

Ensure to wipe off all the excess stain frequently by moving the brush in the direction of the grains of the wood. It will help the stain to get into the wood and not just stay on top.

Step 3: Finish the Surface

Stain only provides color to the wood and not a finished look. When the stain is dry, it is vital to apply a finish on the wood to prevent wear and tear. It protects the wood and the staining. There are several finishing options available in the market.

Polyurethane is probably the most commonly used finish. Polyurethane is durable and does not get damaged with daily usage. 

Another popular option is n using Tung oil. Varnish can also be used to complete the finished look.

Sand the surface lightly to create a grip and using a fresh paintbrush, paint the wood with the varnish in even strokes. To prevent making brushstrokes, avoid a dry brush or running over the same place. Also, make sure not to shake the varnish as it result s in bubbles.

Let the stain and finish coat dry for 24 hours. Also, make sure to lightly buff when the stains are dried. It will bring out the shine in the finish.