Getting a nice finish when staining wood can look challenging, but it is very easy in reality.
This guide will help you learn all you need to know about staining wood.
How to Choose Your Stain
When you are staining, one of the first things you need to do is decide on what color stain you would like to work with. Try out a sample of colors on the rough timber piece and pick the finish that you like the most.
How to Prepare the Wood
Once you are done with picking the color, you need to then prepare the wood piece that you plan on staining. You want to make sure that your wood piece is prepared. If you plan on sanding the wood, this should be done before you apply the stain. This is because if you were to sand your wood after staining, you will just remove the stain and make it patchy. Also make sure that the wood is clean and does not have any dust or residue that might stick on to the stain. Also make sure you remove all the unnecessary marks as well. After dusting everything off completely, it's time to start applying the stain.
How to Apply the Stain
After you have selected your wood stain and prepared your wood, the next step is to apply the stain on the wood piece. Here are a few easy steps that can make sure you achieve a perfect finish every time.
Step 1: Stir the Can Properly
The first thing you need to do when you get your wood stain is to shake it well. This is because the pigment residue collects at the bottom when sat idle for a while. Simply use a stick or brush that reaches the bottom of the can. Give the stain can a good stir making sure that you get rid of all the residue and the stain itself mixes well overall.
A good tip is to stir every once in a while to make sure you apply the wood stain in the same colour. If you do not do so, you will notice that the colour of your wood stain will darken by the time you reach the end of your stain can.
Step 2: Transfer it to Your Choice of Tray
If you plan on using a rag for wood stain application, transfer your wood stain from its container into a nice big tin where you can easily dip your rag without ruining your hands. The tin should also be big enough for you to use the stain comfortably. If you plan on using a brush or a roller, transfer it to respective tray similarly. After transferring, make sure you stir the product again just to be sure.
However, it's best not to put all the stain in at once and only transfer as much as you need. The more the stain is exposed to the air, the more it will start drying and reduce in quality.
Step 3: Apply the Stain
Applying the stain is very straight forward. Simply apply a small amount to your brush or rag and begin to apply it to your chosen surface, making sure to try and get an even coat. Try not to get a lot on the edges, otherwise your edges will darken in color as compared to the middle. The best way to apply the stain is first go over with a brush, and then go at it again with a rag. Also, make sure you use small, but light movements. The stain has a tendency to flick if heavy movements are used, staining the surrounding elements as well.
Step 4: Wipe the Excess Off
Once you have applied the stain with a brush, use a rag to wipe all the excess off. This will ensure an even distribution of paint stain in all directions. The stain job will look neater, cleaner and dry much quickly as compared to just using the brush alone. One more trick is to make sure that the rag is not wet. If you feel that the rag has absorbed too much stain, get a drier rag and continue wiping the excess off. Use the wet rag to apply more stain in other wood sections, such as for use on the sides of the piece.
When you are applying the stain, make sure your task at hand has your full attention. Do not stop halfway and start talking to someone on a phone call or walk away to get something else. You want to finish with the job first. Otherwise, you will notice that the layer you left before you left the workspace will become noticeably darker. Finish the section before you attend to the other issues.
Prepare the Wood before the Varnish
Another thing to do before applying the varnish is to make sure that your wood is exactly in the position and shape that you need. For example, if there are some gaps in the wood, use a wood putty to fill up the gaps. Also, once the stain has dried up, make sure you give the wood piece you stained a good dust-off.
Finish it Off with a Clear Varnish
Once again follow the given steps above to apply the clear varnish or top coat on your wood. Make sure you put plenty of varnish on the paint. Start with the centre and spread off everything at the edges. Do not use a rag for applying clear varnish, because varnish is a lot stickier and you don’t want it getting on your hands. Make sure to check for any misses that you might have made. Let the varnish dry.
Once the varnish has dried, your wood piece is done. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
Applying a wood stain is not as hard as it seems. All you need to do is make sure you have patience and give your full concentration during the job. Also make sure that you practice your hand at smaller wood projects before you move on to bigger ones.
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