How to Choose the Right Wood Stain

Apr 19, 2023Richard Weager

If you’re looking to stain your wood furniture or outdoor decking, choosing the right wood stain is crucial to achieving the desired look and maintaining the quality of your wood. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of wood stain, factors to consider when selecting a wood stain, and tips for applying it to your wood.

Types of Wood Stain

There are different types of wood stain available in the market, including oil-based, water-based, and gel stains. Each type of stain has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to choose the one that best fits your needs. Oil-based stains are known for their durability, water-resistance, and ease of application. Water-based stains are eco-friendly, quick-drying, and provide good coverage. Gel stains are thicker and provide a more uniform finish.

Transparent vs. Solid Stain

When choosing a wood stain, you must decide between transparent or solid stains. Transparent stains allow the natural grain of the wood to show through, while solid stains provide a more opaque finish. Solid stains are ideal for hiding imperfections and providing a consistent colour, while transparent stains enhance the natural beauty of the wood.

Water-based vs. Oil-based Stain

Another factor to consider when choosing a wood stain is whether to use water-based or oil-based stain. Water-based stains dry quickly and have a low VOC (volatile organic compounds) content, making them eco-friendly. Oil-based stains are more durable, water-resistant, and easier to apply.

Choosing the Right Colour

Choosing the right colour for your wood stain is essential to achieving the desired look. The colour should complement the type of wood you’re staining, the overall design of the space, and the level of contrast you’re looking to create. Lighter colours will make the wood appear lighter and brighter, while darker colours will provide a more dramatic look.

Choosing the Right Finish

The finish of your wood stain is another important consideration. Matt finishes provide a non-glossy, natural look and are ideal for rustic or traditional styles. Satin finishes have a slight sheen and provide a more polished appearance. Glossy finishes provide a high shine and are ideal for modern or contemporary styles.

How to Apply Wood Stain

Before applying wood stain, it is essential to prepare the surface by cleaning and sanding it. Apply the stain in the direction of the grain using a brush or roller. Allow the stain to penetrate the wood, and then wipe away any excess with a cloth. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying and recoating, and be sure to clean up any spills or drips immediately.

So: choosing the right wood stain is essential to achieving the desired look and maintaining the quality of your wood. Factors such as the type of stain, colour, and finish should be considered when selecting a wood stain. By following the tips provided in this blog post, you can select the right wood stain and apply it correctly to achieve beautiful and long-lasting results.

Explore our range of natural paints:

Colour swatches showing the wide range of natural paint colours

Wood stain can be used on most types of wood, including softwood and hardwood. However, it may not be suitable for certain types of wood, such as pressure-treated wood or wood with an existing finish.

The durability of wood stain depends on factors such as the type of stain, the quality of the wood, and the amount of exposure to sunlight and moisture. In general, wood stains may last anywhere from 2-5 years before needing to be reapplied.

Yes, wood stain can be applied over old stain, as long as the old stain is not peeling or flaking. If the old stain is damaged, it should be removed before applying a new stain.

The number of coats of wood stain to apply depends on the type of stain and the desired level of coverage. In general, one or two coats of stain are sufficient for most projects.

Yes, wood stain can be used on outdoor furniture, as long as the stain is specifically designed for outdoor use and can withstand exposure to the elements.

No, wood stain cannot be used on painted wood. The paint must be removed before applying wood stain.

Yes, wood stain can be used on previously varnished wood. However, the varnish must be removed before applying the stain.

Yes, wood stain can be used on pressure-treated wood, as long as the wood has been allowed to dry for at least 6 months after treatment.

It depends on the type of wood stain used. Some stains have a built-in sealer, while others require a separate sealer to be applied after staining.

Clean up after applying wood stain by using mineral spirits or soap and water to clean brushes and other tools. Dispose of any rags or other materials used in a safe and appropriate manner.

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