How do i stain and seal a kitchen table top that is made of raw pine?

by Lynda

I have an old dining table and want to replace the top with 2x8 boards for a more farmhouse look. Any suggestions on how to stain wood and then seal it?

  11 answers
  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Oct 02, 2020

    Test various stains on "scraps" until you find the shade you will be happy with, remembering that sealing will slightly change the color as well. When I refinished my dining table, I sealed with polyurethane using 3 coats. In between each coat I scuffed with fine steel wool then wiped with denatured alcohol. The scuffing helps the additional layer(s) to adhere. The alcohol cleans any residue away.

  • Janice Janice on Oct 02, 2020

    Hi Lynda, raw pine accepts staining very well. As Kathy mentioned, it would be wise to test a few stains to insure you get exactly the correct color you want on your table top. Stains are very liquid so you can add the stain with a soft cloth dipped in the stain. There are also "gel" stains. Most stains are left on for a time and then wiped with a soft cloth. You can do multiple layers of the process untill you reach the darkness you like. Seal with a clear polyacrylic that will not yellow to protect the stain and make the table less susseptible to water marks. Here's a link:,excess%20stain%20in%20the%20process.

  • Nick Ornitz Nick Ornitz on Oct 02, 2020

    Hi Lynda,

    Recommend checking out this post:

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  • Pine will stain easily. Choose your shade and follow the directions on the can. Since it is your dining table - and will get heavy use, I would seal it with polyurethane, not polycrylic. I had polycrylic wear off of a table and had to refinish it. Here's the link:

  • Em Em on Oct 02, 2020

    Any stain will work and you can even get some great colors like blues and green stains. Whatever you choose, finish with a couple of coats of clear polyurethane. It comes in matte, satin or glossy finishes.

  • Dee Dee on Oct 02, 2020

    First sand down the boards you want to use to get rid of any burrs etc. Then Use a wood conditioner. Let Pre-Stain Conditioner dry at least 30 minutes, but no longer than 2 hours before applying stain, in ideal conditions: 70°F/20°C; 50-70% humidity. General Finishes makes a good one. or Varathane 1 qt. Wood Conditioner is a pre-staining step made for use on interior wood projects before finishing with an oil-based stain. Varathane Wood Conditioner helps prevent splotchy, uneven staining on soft and porous wood types, including birch, maple, alder, fir and pine. If the wood appears to be excessively absorbent, a second coat of conditioner may be advisable. Then, clean up with mineral spirits or paint thinner. It's fairly important to apply the stain within the recommended window of time—from 15 minutes to about two hours of application of the conditioner.

    Use a stain color of your choice. Stain can be applied with a bristle brush, a foam brush, or a cloth. On woods with large, open pores, such as oak, mahogany and ash, increase your pressure to work the stain into the pores. Rubbing or brushing against the direction of the grain will help fill deep pores with stain.

    The basic rule for getting good results with any wood stain is to apply a wet coat and wipe off the excess before it dries. You can use any tool – rag, brush, paint pad, roller or spray gun – to apply the stain. ... It's more efficient to wipe stain than to brush it, and you're less likely to have color problems.

    After completely dry, seal the wood I like General Finishes Top Coat.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Oct 02, 2020

    Raw pine will soak up the stain very well. The cans of stain will have a picture of what you stain will look like on pine and oak, it is a general guide. Pick what pleases you most. It is a good idea to stain a scrap piece of the wood before attempting the whole project. Finish off with polyurethane in which finish you like.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 03, 2020

    Hello there,

    Raw Pine is a soft wood and will dent and mark with out you use cutting boards etc.

    But if I had decided to use it, I would use many coats of Polyurethane over a stain that I liked. Best wishes.

  • Super easy, just pick a stain in a color you like (either oil or water based), wipe it on, wipe it off, then when it's dry, seal it up with a few coats of a polyurethane.