While wood staining can be a very appealing thing sometimes it's not necessary to always stain wood and it looks even better in its natural color. Here are some common mistakes when it comes to staining wood and how to make the right decisions in regard to it. Before applying stain to a wood ask yourself if it's necessary or if the natural color of the wood will be more appealing. The natural color for the wood being popped out by a clear coat creates a really satisfying look. The purpose behind staining wood is to reveal the natural look of the wood without covering it up and also enhancing it.
A wood such as Pine is seen as commonplace and needed to be stained since they're so ordinary. However, even Pine over time gives a rich yellow hue to it which is unique to its own beauty. But, since pine is such a cheap wood it can be fun and inexpensive to try different stains and see which one you like the best. Make sure your stain looks natural. You don't want it to have a strange color or just looks weird and gets rid of the God-given look that is has. Depending if you're going for a bold look you can pick colors that are more extreme or if you want to be more natural choose colors that are more subtle in nature.
Never forget to protect your wood with a clear coating over top of a stain. Stains are not protective unless they are combined with a protective layer. Most of the time a stain is just a stain and necessary for coloring and soaking into the wood surface. Such topcoats of polyurethane or Danish oil will be able to protect your wood against UV, scratches, and spills. Don't be deceived, staining is not a requirement for wood surfaces, however, a protective finish certainly is.
When you select a stain color going back unlike paint which is able to be sanded off. Stain soaks into the wood and is like a permanent mark that cannot be removed. Speaking of sanding, make sure to sand your surface of wood before applying any type of stain. Stain will only reveal any inconsistencies marks or scratches to the wood and make them look even worse. Start with the large 80 grit sandpaper and move down to a fine 220 grit in order to finish the job. Don't forget to remove any dust before staining. A vacuum can do a very effective job at accomplishing this.
Reading labels on any stain and its use for your wood is imperative to correctly apply the stain. You won't want to leave a stain surface wet similar to how you would leave a paint surface wet. Once wood has absorbed all the stain that it can possibly handle, the rest will tend to just stay wet on the surface of the wood. After staining be sure to wipe off any extra stain so that it won't stay wet. There are certainly a variety of ways to apply stain. 1 hack is to just use a t-shirt that works as a fantastic staining rag. No matter what when you're finished be sure to dry off your wood with a clean dry rag.
Prevent your wood from being blotchy and getting stains in places you don't desire them. Pine is a wood that this is most evident on because of its light color. Reduce blotching by adding a wood conditioner or sanding sealer. This technique allows for stain to be applied more evenly across the wood surface and into the wood. Apply a conditioner initially and while it is still wet make sure to stain your wood, generally within 2 hours. Check out Woodworking for Mere Mortals "Biggest Wood Staining Mistakes and Misconceptions | Wood Staining Basics" for more. Keep enjoying staining and polishing all your wood surfaces.