Staining bare wood furniture is relatively easy to do so long as you have properly prepared the wood surface. A wood stain soaks into the fibers of the wood but provides no protection so must be finished. There are various types of stains available such as oil, spirit, water and acrylic.

The type of stain you use will depend on the wood, the finish you are trying to achieve and also your experience in staining wood furniture. For example, spirit stains dry very rapidly so it can be difficult to get even coverage. Most beginners end up with darker patches of overlapping color which is not quite the look they wanted to achieve. Water stains can only be used after the wood has first been sanded down.

Staining allows you to color the furniture piece any color you wish as you can mix and match compatible stains and dyes. You would seal an oil stain with sanding sealer before applying varnish. Don’t use a spirit stain if you intend French polishing the piece of furniture. If using water or acrylic stains you must allow them to dry properly. This means leaving the piece for at least 48 hours. Otherwise when you apply the sealant, you can get a white haze effect on the wood. Always test on an inconspicuous place first before applying the sealant to the whole unit.

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Be careful if you want to stain furniture darker as the wet stain will always look darker than the dried finish. You do not want to apply more than two coats as it may become patchy. You need to try and get as good a match to the color you want to achieve as possible the first time round.

Staining wood furniture takes time and patience but the finished results will be worth it.

Find out more about bare wood furniture from an enthusiast who’s been working with it for more than ten years! Check us out at!

Author: Chris Hartpence
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