Our team at RealMilkPaint.com understands that staining wood isn’t always the easiest thing. We know how unforgiving a stain job becomes after sanding, application, and finishing – but fortunately, following these three simple steps will make the whole process much easier. We’ll share these steps in the hopes that all of your stain applications turn out picture perfect.

Step 1: Wood Preparation

Always sand your wood before applying stain. This goes for everything from a fresh piece of pine to a previously painted cabinet. Sanding and proper cleaning allow the wood pores to open up just a bit wider which makes the stain coat deeper into the grain. This deeper application is the difference between a professional looking project or a potential mistake.

Coarser grit sandpaper should be used for previously stained or painted projects. We recommend a 120 grit to start. Progress to finer grits until all of the previous application is gone. At this point, you should have a roughly unsanded veneer that would be identical to previously untreated wood. Use a truly fine grit, 220 or so, to open up the pores for stain. Don’t forget to clean your wood thoroughly after each sanding. We recommend a simple tack-cloth to ensure all the wood dust gets removed.

Step 2: Proper Stain Application

Always stir your stain before application. We also recommend consistent stirring during the application process, as well. High-qualities brushes, soft cloths, or staining pads should be used to apply the stain evenly. Staining pads assist novices in controlling stain amounts. Make it a point to remove any excessive stain amounts from the wood over the course of application. Use your cloth, brush, or pad to then rub what cannot be removed back into the wood. Your final wipe should be in the direction of the wood grain, which will boost the uniform look of your stain.

Step 3: Stain Protection

Once you have finished staining the wood, let it dry. Then, we recommend a clear coat of Pure Tung Oil over the top. This application will keep the stain from fading, and it also prevents nicks. Stir but don’t shake prior to application; you don’t want air bubbles in your coat. A high-quality brush should do for application.

By following these simple tips, staining wood will be easier than ever, and the results will look fantastic.