In order to get the perfect finish on your wooden furniture or floors, you need to use the right type of wood stain. Different woods stain differently, and each has its own benefits. In this blog post, we’re going to teach you how to find out the best woods for staining, and how to staining them easily in just three steps. Read on for all the info!
Determining from the beginning in the search for the worst and best woods for staining will bring a lot of benefits to you from saving time, efficiency of staining work, product quality …
Let’s go to find out the answer with me.
Criteria to Choose the Best Woods for Staining
Are you having trouble picking which wood stain to use? Not sure if the color will complement your interior design? You don’t want to choose the incorrect stain and then have to remove it before applying another one.
Check out our tutorial on how to select the ideal wood stain to save yourself time and effort.
Always prioritize safety as a top priority. If you are unclear of what you are doing or how something works, please seek assistance from a knowledgeable individual before attempting anything yourself.
When selecting a wood stain, safety should also be considered, as some stains contain toxic chemicals and fumes.
Long-term exposure to these substances may result in adverse effects such as breathing difficulties, skin irritation, rashes, and in extreme circumstances, respiratory collapse.
Therefore, it is essential to know what you’re getting into before attempting something new!
2, Color Selection
It is crucial to know which color stain would look best on your wood. By utilizing oil-based or water-based stains, it is simpler to experiment with diverse hues. And the stain may be readily removed if it does not meet your demands!
Oil-based stains are often more expensive than latex stains, but they last longer and have a higher pigment concentration, allowing for deeper and more vibrant colors.
This type of stain often contains less hazardous chemicals and is less harmful to the environment and your health, so it’s an excellent alternative if you’re looking for something with longer-lasting results!
3, Wood Type
Wood type selection is one of the must-do in the process of finding the best woods for staining. Due to their density, porosity, and grain patterns, different types of wood require different stains, so some stains will work better than others.
For instance, because pine is a softer type of wood, oil-based stains are not advised because they do not permeate the surface as well and are more difficult to remove!
Hardwoods, such as teak or mahogany, have tighter grains, so water-based stains penetrate deeper into the pores and become more translucent.
If oil-based stains are not applied uniformly, they can also leave a yellowish tinge on certain types of wood, so be sure to choose the suitable type for your individual needs!
Coverage of Stain It is essential to determine how much stain you will require prior to purchasing it. If you do not take this into account, you will waste your time and money because the stain will not cover the wood sufficiently.
For maximum coverage, one gallon of stain is required for every 400 square feet. This includes both indoor and outdoor spaces, but keep in mind that your deck or fence may require multiple coats of stain to protect the wood from the elements.
4, Type of surface
For a luxurious appearance, an opaque stain may be preferred rather than a transparent finish. Most finishes can cover most stains, although polyurethane varnish cannot be used on certain stains.
If you want to utilize a polyurethane finish, look for a stain that is compatible with polyurethane; this type of finish is appealing and durable.
If you are unable to find a suitable stain, you must apply a transparent penetrating resin sealer over an incompatible stain. If you like a glossy appearance, you may apply varnish on top of this sealant.
Before applying a stain to the entire surface, it is essential to test a tiny section of the wood.
This will allow you to ensure that it is compatible with the stain and matches the color without wasting an excessive amount of time or money!
In addition, using paint on different types of wood may be easier because they are more malleable and easier to work with, allowing you to get a better sense of how your wood will appear after it has been stained.
What are the Best Woods for Staining?
If you’re looking for the best woods for staining, maybe the information below will give you some suggestions in choosing woods for staining.
This is one of the best woods for staining that is a popular type of wood used today. It has a light brown hue with reddish undertones and is ideal for staining. It is the greatest wood for desktops due to its aesthetic qualities and grain pattern.
Can you apply a stain to oak wood? Yes, Oak’s unique grain pattern and large, open pores allow it to readily receive stains. Although stained kitchen cabinets were popular in the 1980s, they may now appear dated, particularly those with a crimson hue.
For a more contemporary look, we propose staining white wood with a hue that has a cold undertone.
The Red Oak
Although red oak is comparable to white wood, there are a few variances between the two. It has more open pores than white wood and so absorbs stain faster.
The ideal stains for red oak are those with medium tones, such as rosewood or mahogany, because they highlight the wood’s unique grain pattern. It is also straightforward to work with and reasonably priced.
The White Oak
How well does white oak stain? White oak is more challenging to dye than redwood due to its tight pores. Staining white wood will require multiple coats, but the gorgeous golden hue will be well worth the effort.
Obtain quarter-sawn white wood if you want premium white oak. We have a blog post that discusses staining oak, the best stains for oak wood, and how to achieve a darker or lighter hue.
The uniform tone of chestnut wood makes it one of the best woods for staining. It has a deep, medium brown hue that darkens with time when exposed to UV light and humidity in the air.
This wood is lovely in its natural state or stained any shade of brown or gray. It is the best woods for staining in grey.
Hickory is the third on our list of the best woods for staining today. The durability and strength of hickory wood make it a popular choice among woodworkers. Since the early 1800s, it has been utilized for flooring as well as wood furniture!
After getting the hang of it, it’s simple to use. Hickory is a fantastic wood for staining. But remember to properly sand it.
Ash is one of the most common options and is the best woods for staining today. This wood has a beautiful wood grain and works well with any stain color; however, there are still a few considerations to make when selecting ash wood flooring or furniture.
As with oakwood, ash wood ontains pores that absorb a great deal of wood stain. To avoid dark wood flooring stains or furniture items that appear excessively heavy and dated, it is generally preferable to pick oak wood over Ashwood.
Another consideration when staining ash wood is its appearance after drying. Occasionally, you may wind up with wood flooring that appears overly bright and out of place.
After staining ashwood furniture, allow it to cure completely before re-hanging doors or placing objects on the wood surface so that it does not appear too shiny.
And after a thorough sanding, hickory readily accepts stain. However, this is the key. You must sand it thoroughly. To open the pores, begin with 100-grit sandpaper and lightly sand the surface.
What are the Worst Woods for Staining?
After learning about the best woods for staining, now let’s take a look at the worst woods for staining. Certain wood types can be extremely difficult to stain. Some become blotchy, while others do not absorb stains at all. Here are the woods that have given us the most trouble over the years, along with a few ideas to make staining them easier.
Birch is difficult to stain. It absorbs pigment unevenly and becomes quite splotchy, especially when stained with dark colors.
Left to right: birch with Harvest Oak stain, birch with American Walnut stain, and birch with Charcoal stain.
This example illustrates how blotchy and uneven the stain is on these birch doors, which becomes more apparent as the stain becomes darker.
However, the grain pattern of Birch closely matches that of Cherry, Mahogany, and Walnut. Therefore, it is a less expensive choice that, with the proper stain color, can appear more upscale.
To make staining birch easier, we recommend applying a pre-stain conditioner. The conditioner will aid in partially sealing the surface of the wood to prevent blotching.
In contrast to the best woods for staining above, this is rated as one of the worst woods not used for staining. Even for seasoned finishers, staining maple may be a frustrating endeavor. Since the wood has tight pores, it does not absorb much stain. And because of its uneven grain structure, the stain it absorbs is blotchy.
Maple stained with Harvest Oak, maple stained with Espresso, and maple stained with Rich Cherry, from left to right.
The darker the stain, the darker the spots on the less dense wood will be. If you choose to stain maple, we recommend avoiding dark colors and keeping to just light or medium hues.
Poplar is among the gentlest hardwoods. That is, it absorbs color quite unevenly. The stain absorbs and typically results in a blotchy and lifeless appearance.
Poplar also has a great deal of natural color variation. Occasionally, it can be white, a deeper yellow, almost grey, or even faintly greenish. This makes it incredibly challenging to obtain an even stain hue. And with a green undertone, numerous stains can accentuate the green hue.
A specimen of poplar displaying the color variation
If you decide to stain poplar, we recommend selecting a darker variety. Darker hues of poplar typically have a deeper grain and accept stains considerably better.
The grain of pine is unevenly thick. This means that the stain will have a more difficult time reaching the wood’s denser areas.
Choose lighter colors to achieve a beautiful stain on pine. Avoid using dark hues, however. Pine absorbs a great deal of stain around knots and imperfections, which is much more apparent with dark stains.
Cherry is not a difficult wood to stain and delivers a high-end appearance and luxury feel when properly prepared. However, it does have a reputation for blotching, which is why we’ve included it on this list.
The wood grain absorbs varying quantities of stain pigment at varying rates and depths. This causes certain parts to be darker than others, providing the blotchy appearance.
Cherry is naturally gorgeous and has a unique red tint; therefore, dyeing is unnecessary.
How to Staining Wood, the Easiest Step-by-Step Guide
Now that you’ve learned about the best woods for staining and the worst woods for staining, now we’re going to learn what the staining process looks like. What ingredients do they need and what are their steps?
Materials you will need to staining woods
- Useful rags
- Clear gel varnish
- Lacquer thinner
- Plastic mixing bowl Wooden stirring implement
- water-soluble wood stain
- Water Gel stain
- Shellac or polyurethane surface finish
Step 1: Preparation
To effectively dye wood, you must prepare appropriately.
Wear protective equipment and work in a well-ventilated area. Use sandpaper with a grit of 80 to lightly sand the wood. Using sandpaper with 180 to 220 grit, smooth the wood.
Step 2: Varnish the Timber
Choose a transparent gel varnish to preserve the wood from water damage and uneven staining. Apply varnish to the wood using a rag.
The majority of the diluted varnish should have absorbed into the wood after 10 to 15 minutes. Apply a fresh towel to the wood and rub it down again. Utilize it to remove any varnish from the wood.
Allow wood to dry overnight. Wash the wood with dishwashing liquid and water. Apply an additional varnish layer to the dark areas.
Step 3: Drying the wood
In a mixing jar, combine wood color and water. Apply the dye on the wood with a rag. After 10 minutes, remove any excess dye by rinsing.
Allow two hours for the dye to dry. Clear gel varnish should be applied to any remaining dark patches.
Step 4: Applying Gel Stain
Using a rag, remove any excess stain. Allow the wood to dry for one day after staining. Apply additional gel stain as necessary.
Cover the wood with shellac or another finish, if desired. Allow the finish at least 30 minutes to thoroughly solidify. Whenever necessary, apply a second coat of finish.
Can You Stain Over Polyurethane?
Yes, polyurethane finishes can be stained, but only with gel stains. Gel stain, unlike traditional wood stains, forms a film over the polyurethane finish rather than penetrating the wood pores.
Does Wood Stain Deteriorate?
Yes, wood stain can go bad if it has been stored for a long time, after its expiration date, or if it has been exposed to air, severe temperatures, or inappropriate storage conditions. Manufacturers suggest a three-year lifespan for wood stain, but the real period may be double that. The manufacturer’s suggested shelf life is merely an estimate. Stains for wood will remain longer when stored at moderate temperatures in closed containers.
Can MDF Board Be Stained?
Yes! You can give your MDF furniture a vintage or contemporary look by applying a dark or light stain. However, because dyed MDF lacks natural wood grain, it will not be as polished and shiny as raw wood. Since MDF does not absorb stain well, you will also need to apply a layer of polyurethane to the damaged region.
Can I Stain in Fresh Wood?
No. Fresh wood is not on the list of the best woods for staining and it’s not suitable for staining since the new layer will not adhere properly. The dampness in the wood creates adhesion issues and promotes rapid peeling. Stain is ideal for revitalizing the exterior of your home since it penetrates deeply into new or “green” wood to provide a gorgeous, longer-lasting hue than paint.
Surely you have found a satisfactory answer with your question what is the best woods for staining and how to staining easily.
The type of wood you use will affect how your staining project turns out. Be sure to do a trial run on a scrap piece of the same wood before committing to the entire project. Use high-quality stain and follow these three easy steps for success. Thanks for reading at woodworkingskills.com and see you next time at articles!