Staining Wood Tutorial

My first attempt at staining wood (the x-large doors my Father in law hung in our home). This was intimidating to say the least, but the overall result turned out better than expected. Below you will find a step by step tutorial on how to stain.

 The Supplies
  1. Rubber gloves- ones you use for hair dye, washing dishes, really anything to protect your cuticles.
  2. An old rag- to apply the stain with.
  3. Stain samples & wood stain

This is the wood trim that our carpenter installed after the new windows were in. I’m not sure what kind of wood this is, which means that each stain will look different when applied in contrast with the wood that surrounds the windows.

Basically, it’s a guessing game.

Judging by the samples at the home improvement store, and the names of the stain, I choose 3 that seem to be a match.

Traditional Cherry, Black Walnut, Merlot
 When the stain first goes onto the rag, asses for yourself if the colors match. I started with the Traditional Cherry and the color was almost spot on so I applied a liberal amount.

The next stain I applied was black walnut. I knew immediately by looking at it that it didn’t quite match so I dabbed a tiny little bit just to make sure. Remember, each stain looks different on different kinds of wood. I didn’t have a sample board to test on, which would have been optimal, and thus had to test on the finish wood.

I then applied a small amount of Merlot (not pictured) and walked away to let the stain dry. It usually dries a bit lighter, like paint.

After I had chosen Traditional Cherry as my winner, I applied the stain in light coats. You want to make sure and use longer strokes so that the stain doesn’t pool and dry leaving streaks. I applied 3 coats, let it dry over night and then applied 3 more coats the following day.
After another night of drying I applied a few coats of clear polyurethane to protect the wood from little sticky fingers.


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