For most projects, you need to follow only three basic steps to stain wood with successful results:
- Prepare the Wood
- Apply the Stain
- Protect your Stained Project
STEP 1 - PREPARE THE WOOD
Preparation is a crucial stage of your project if you want to achieve beautiful-looking pieces.
This process can be as straightforward as lightly sanding and cleaning the wood, or messy and time-consuming as stripping and sanding a piece down to bare wood. How much work the preparation will take depends greatly on the condition of the wood you wish to stain. Here are the most typical examples.
Preparing Unfinished Wood
Staining unfinished wood is the perfect project for beginners. It is easy, quick and, unless you are on a very unlucky day, it will look gorgeous the first time around!
To prepare your unfinished wood, sand it lightly with fine grit sandpaper (220-250 grit). If the wood surface feels rough, start with coarse sandpaper such as 80 grit, then smooth it out with a fine one. Always work in a continuous movement across the wood, going with the grain to avoid creating visible scratches.
Next, make sure you remove all sawdust. Sweep the excess off with an old brush, then wipe the surface with a slightly damp, lint-free rag or piece of t-shirt. Once your wood is smooth and clean, you can move on to step 2, "Apply the Stain."
Want to try a cool project with unfinished wood? Check out this awesome rolling cart made with wood crates by a Hometalker.