It is very beneficial to have water-proof wood, as unwanted moisture can lead to fungal growth and wood rot. This is your guide to sealing your stain after you create your color layer on your project. Some soft woods, such as the less expensive pine you buy at the box stores can become blotchy after you stain them. There are very specific steps for staining and sealing exterior wood. If you’ve just put in a new deck, you’re no doubt itching to finish the job by sealing it. This can be anywhere from 2-6 months after you assemble the pergola, depending on your local climate. Dash. The piece of wood I’m working with for this tutorial is unfinished. Step 2. I'm surprised the wood is rough again after staining, but it can happen. Remember, you put the stain on unfinished wood, so you need to seal the stain to protect it. The right stain can be a stunning, simple, design addition to your exterior space. Do you sand after staining wood? No spam; unsubscribe anytime. Whether you stain, paint, or seal, it is extremely important that you protect it. This photo shows the wet stain on the deck floor. When you rub stain into wood, it brings out the grain pattern and gives the wood a more dramatic look. The process is easy, and you will love the results following this guide. Again, watch for side drips! See Also: Minwax ® Interior Finishing System. Immediately wipe it off with a dry cloth. There are two ways to go about it. First, let’s talk about how sanding can affect wood when you do it between coats of stain or right before a coat of stain. See Also: How to Choose the Best Wood Finish Spray. You need to select a high-quality furniture grade product in order to be successful. Have a piece I want to to change to a white washed look..your piece is beautiful!! Another issue is that stain doesn’t offer any protection against the elements. Saturate the wood with stain by brushing a liberal coat quickly over the entire surface. I recommend sealing signs that will be kept outdoors, or exposed to the elements on a regular basis. So if you want to learn how to stain and finish wood, sit down and start taking some notes! Here are the pros and cons of leaving your stain coat as it is without any sealer. If the piece is strictly artistic, like a carving, no varnish is really necessary unless you prefer that look. Stain quickly by following the right steps. Stains do a great job of highlighting the natural beauty of the wood grain. Most hand finishes can be applied with a rag or with a brush, but the real trick is applying a thin coat. If you’re worried about applying a sealer coat to your project, don’t. Whether you choose to stain your wood project or not, it is important that you protect the wood with a clear finish, such as polyurethane. The final step in staining wood is to wipe off any excess, so the process leaves nothing behind. Even water will make a dark spot on unproctected wood. Moisture and humidity can still affect your peace negatively, even though you might like the color. Check boxes below for what you want to see—I won't send you anything else. Many of the bubbles will also pop as the finish dries.

Need some guidance on how to properly seal your deck after staining? You’ll have to maintain your decking from time to time. Most clear finishes are available in gloss, semi-gloss and satin sheens. You can use an electric sander, a handle hand sander, or even just a piece of sand paper. It will bubble as you brush it on. After Staining Wood do You Have to Seal It? Join My Woodworking Facebook Group. Select a stain that won’t raise the grain of the wood or you’ll have to sand the floor after applying the finish. The key is to apply a thin base coat to partially seal the wood before wood staining. Before we get right into it, you should know the following, if you’re looking to stain and seal brand new wood on your deck: There are two main schools of thought on the best way to stain a new deck. The right stain can be a stunning, simple, design addition to your exterior space. Stains Explained . then, make sure you have plenty of lint free rags on hand, and wipe off the excess stain after applying. I receive Commissions for Purchases Made Through the Links in This Post. After the stain has dried, it’s time for the first finishing coat. On the other hand, if you’re just doing some academic learning right now, apply a stain to a scrap, and allow it to dry really well. If you are looking to stain your bare wood, you don’t not have to seal the knots with a primer, heavily saturating the knots with stain will do. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you through your wood sealing adventures with a great looking finish on the other side: Now that you know why it’s so important to apply a seal coat after staining a piece of wood, it’s time to get out into the shop and take action. To reduce blotching you need to apply a wood conditioner or sanding sealer before applying stain. If you have a piece that has stain on it right now and needs a sealer, start that process. A sealer is made to protect the wood and your art, but a good stain and paint will hold up for many many years indoors without any sealing. The average time is between 12 to 48 hours. In this case, consider applying a pre-stain wood conditioner, which seeps into the wood fibers to seal the material and prevent the uneven absorption that causes blotching. Westfarthing Woodworks LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Read about the differences between polyurethane and polycrylic. Wood staining is the process of enhancing the color of the wood to bring out the visibility of its beautiful natural grain. Stains don't do the same job as sealers, though. A sanding sealer can be used on bare, unstained floors, doors, furniture and cabinets prior to applying either an oil-based or a water-based clear finish. Allow the stain to dry 6 to 8 hours. Your project will also have a flat to dead flat sheen, which is not consistent with most woodworking pieces. Then run a damp cloth over the surface to see if the wood grain raises (creates a rough surface). Wipe off the excess stain using a clean cloth. If the stain begins to dry before you wipe it off, you're tackling too much area; this is more likely to happen using water-based stain. Follow the grain of the wood. I recommend sealing signs that will be kept outdoors, or exposed to the elements on a regular basis. If you're cleaning a wood deck or patio, your best option may be a power washer. Using Shellac to Seal Wood Use shellac if you are sealing indoor wood that won't get wet. If you use a gel stain, you can apply it without needing a conditioner. Put on rubber gloves and open a can of oil-based penetrating stain. For a darker look, you can do multiple layers of stain and sand lightly in between the coats, which are not a must. First, let’s talk about how sanding can affect wood when you do it between coats of stain or right before a coat of stain. Enjoy. Applying a topcoat sealer is not required, but a finish protects the stained wood from scratches and keeps it from fading over time. 1 0. When staining, you need to sand … Stir the stain well, then use a clean cloth to rub the stain into the wood in a circular motion. In  the second photo, I had completely finished sanding down the top, but I only gave a light sand to the body since I wasn’t staining that part–just painting it. The Resource for New Woodworkers With 1004 Posts and Counting! Choosing a Repair Product. Remember, you put the stain on unfinished wood, so you need to seal the stain to protect it. The technique of wetting the wood down before staining is called “popping” the grain. 5. Most stains should be sealed to prevent bleeding. Let the sealed wood dry completely, then sand the surface very lightly with fine-grit sandpaper. When you start staining wood, you should have a specific color target in your head. Try to apply as even a coating as possible. Sun, wind, rain and snow will wear down your art and deteriorate the sign. Brush on wood conditioner prior to staining. After installing your exterior cedar, you have about a two week grace period until the wood starts to discolor. If you want to hear from me, drop your email below! This post shares tips about how to stain and finish wood. When in doubt, follow the directions on your product. Stir the stain well, then use a clean cloth to rub the stain into the wood in a circular motion. Allow to dry for one hour. ... Wood Stain Colors You Will Love. Yes you will want to put a polyurathane topcoat on after you stain. See Also: 13 Helpful Tips on How to Stain a Wood Table. Choosing a sheen is a matter of personal preference. They spray nicer, they dry better, and they end up creating a surface that you can be proud of. Yes! Old wood that has been previously stained may need to be treated with stain remover before adding new stain. Brush on wood conditioner prior to staining. The last thing you want is to lock contaminants into the wood, where they can continue to wreak havoc after any sealants are applied. Below are before and after photos of a bench I used an electric sander to sand the finish off of. Water-based stains emit less odor and clean up with soap and water. It’s okay if you want to stain a finished piece of wood…you just have to sand everything off first! Sealer. Crafts. After you play with the piece for a little bit, apply a coat of finish to the top, and notice the differences. Then add another topcoat of varnish. This removes any excess stain. To avoid or lessen this effect you can use a wood conditioner. I’m just using polyurethane for this tutorial. Quickly brush or wipe on the conditioner, let it penetrate and wipe it off, just like stain. The color will last longer and the surfaces in contact will be protected if you topcoat. It may need two coats. It could be simple rattle cans with a good product inside. Not necessarily. Take a look at the piece, and get an idea for its properties without a clear coat. Do not use any tools without proper training, precautions, and supervision.). Another option that you have to apply a sealer over your wood stain is to use sprays. (This post contains affiliate links. Allow to dry for one hour. 5. Here is the piece drying on my workspace, aka my little balcony: And that’s it! View in gallery. Couple of suggestions. it is better to do 2-3 light coats rather than one thick coat. If using a spray can, hold 8 to 12 inches from the surface and apply two or three light coats. Painting vs. Staining the Deck. It will retain its shape against moisture changes in the environment much better, and the color will pop. It is specially formulated to accept Minwax® wood stains. After the stain has dried, it’s time for the first finishing coat. Here are the top 4 grey wood stain colors you can use to refresh your exterior space. If you are using hand applied finishes to apply your sealer coat or your topcoat, here is some really good news. Wood decks can be built out of a variety of different materials, all of which have different levels of stain and color. If you get to skip all the steps of adding a clear coat, leveling the clear coat, and making it look nice, you do you kill quite a bit of time. Not only that, but it’s inexpensive and the learning curve is very low. When you abrade a wooden surface that has pigment or dye in it, that color will often transfer to the abrading surface. All you have to do now is to follow the guideline for solving that specific problem and come out victorious. Add a second coat if you’d like the color to soak in a bit more. It’s almost difficult to tell if the product was sprayed from a can or a professional spray system. Leave one section raw; wipe full-strength sealer on one section, and wipe half-strength sealer on the third section. Never brush new stain on old stain. for example a table top, desk top, or sides of a piece, etc. Thanks for signing up! Step 2: When you’ve finished painting the stain on, let it sit for 5–15 minutes to soak in, then grab your rag and gently wipe the piece down. Minwax® High Performance Wood Filler. The wood grain is so open that in one coat you should be able to get the look you want. It’s only important that you wipe off all the excess before the stain dries.If you let the stain begin to dry in spots before wiping off, you will get a type o… While wood stains add color and bring out the beauty of the wood, clear finishes protect the wood and enhance its beauty. You’ll have to … I receive Commissions for Purchases Made Through the Links in This Post. Gel stains also minimize blotching. If you plan to finish the piece with polyurethane, make sure the sealer is compatible. A sealer is made to protect the wood and your art, but a good stain and paint will hold up for many many years indoors without any sealing. There are a lot of recipes you can find online, but I’d recommend using coffee. If … Stain on its own is, to a degree, a sealer for wood. In order to make an informed decision, you need to know what will happen if you choose to seal your stain or not. differences between polyurethane and polycrylic, Miscellaneous: Drop cloth for work area, screw driver to open cans and stir, disposable gloves. Check boxes below for what you want to see—I won't send you anything else. The short answer to this common question in wood finishing is no. 4. Note: There are a number of finishes you can use. The wood on a new deck needs to dry thoroughly before sealing or staining. 1 decade ago. Then, beginning on one side of the piece, start painting the stain on in the direction of the wood grain. Applying polyurethane after staining is a little trickier, but the ability to sand out issues and apply multiple coats makes it pretty forgiving as well. Use your fingers to feel the surface before and after sanding to see the difference. 6. The conditioner works by penetrating and temporarily sealing the wood to even out the rate of absorption, thereby creating a much more uniform stain coat. Open and stir your polyurethane then brush a coat on. Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler . These aerosols just work better. Any stain you use to change the color of the wood must penetrate, so it goes on before the sealer. The long answer is yes. They work better, provide a flatter layer, and in general create less problems. If applying a polyurethane finish with a brush, apply one to two coats. Pro tip: An inexpensive turkey baster is a great tool for measuring small amounts of finish and mineral spirits. Start with Wood Stain Sealer and a Test Board. Thank you! To add another coat of wood varnish, prepare the surface as you did after the sanding sealer, including sanding the finish with extra-fine sanding grits, dusting the surfaces and wiping everything down with a tack cloth. On top of your time there’s an additional expense in product. Try to apply as even a coating as possible. Should you be sealing your wood before you stain, or after? Watch for side drips. DO wait 30 days before sealing a new deck. Isn’t it pretty? Then, using tack cloth, wipe down the piece to remove any small pieces of dust. Lv 7. If you’ve never finished anything before, do some practice on some scraps. Allow the conditioner to dry for 15 minutes. Topcoat/Finish. Second, over a short period of time, the oil will accelerate the bleaching process so that you get the weathered look faster and with more uniform results The fully uniform weathered effect, though, will take between three and six months to develop. Required Tools for this Project New or untreated wood should be stained as soon as possible after you have completed construction. Open and stir your stain. Step 4: When the first coat of polyurethane dries, grab the #220 grit or higher sandpaper and very lightly do a quick sand over the entire piece. Do not use shellac with NGR or water-base stains. Note: We're using a wipe-on oil finish as the sealer. In terms of sealing finish, Ready Seal Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer product provide a smooth coat. One side effect is the stain color will be lighter than when used on unconditioned wood. Even with two coats, a simple scratch … You’re not re-sanding, you’re just removing any raised wood fibers (roughness). Strip Wood of Paint. One of the most common questions that we get around here is simple, “Do I need to seal my furniture with a protective clear coat after painting it?” When you demand an official answer, I. While this isn’t the end of the world, it is technically a negative. The higher the number, the finer the grade. I like to wait 24-48 hours to let the stain dry before sealing. This must be followed by a protective sealant, such as spar urethane, to ensure that the wood is not damaged by the weather. Removing all dried up and oozing sap is a must, especially when dealing with woods such as fir or pine. Treated wood should be allowed to leach out or weather before being stained. That depends what you consider finished. Make sure to read that last sentence carefully. With those you would be better off to stop at 120 or 150. Brush the stain. Sealer. Staining is done using a tinted coating which is a bit similar to paint. Do not use shellac with NGR or water-base stains. If the piece is strictly artistic, like a carving, no varnish is really necessary unless you prefer that look. Basically, conditioner will stabilize the wood to allow stain to penetrate more evenly. 3 5. Fills in wood grain after staining for a smooth finish. In general, applying a sealer to your stain after you’re finished is definitely the better of the two choices. Sand lightly with 220-grit paper. After this, let the stain dry for about 24 hours (up to 48 hours if you’re working in a super humid environment). It’s actually pretty easy to do this process. Not necessarily. 7. apply the stain in smooth light strokes. After smoothing the stained wood, apply a sealer coat of thinned shellac, sanding sealer, or other appropriate sealer. To test the wood to see if it’s dry enough to stain or seal: If you plan to finish the piece with polyurethane, make sure the sealer is compatible. It's time to answer one of those questions that confuses a lot of people. You may need to sand between coats of poly. The gloss level will affect the appearance of your piece, but not its durability. For more details, review my privacy policy. I was intimidated when I first started learning how to stain wood, but I actually think staining is an easier process than painting. Always wait for the stain to be completely dry before you want to apply any polyurethane sealer. Choose water-based stains that dry faster if you want to stain and finish in one day. This will smooth out the surface and get rid of the bubbles that didn’t pop when the first coat was drying. You don’t want to be trapped in a room with this stuff! People often use the word “staining” interchangeably with finishing or sealing, which technically isn’t correct. What it does is open the pores of the wood to allow it to take the stain evenly and deeply. The short answer to this common question in wood finishing is no. Wood stain is not typically food safe. Put on rubber gloves and open a can of oil-based penetrating stain. Work in manageable areas. Me too. This is Why You Need to Seal Wood After Staining, plus two easy ways to do it. And yes, staining is a fantastic way to add character and warmth to your project! Whatever you do, apply thin coats of finish. Two coats is often enough, but you can repeat step #4 and do a third coat if you’d like. In reality, you don’t have to do … Soft woods sometimes benefit from a wood conditioner [basically a drastically thinned sealer] That allows the hard and soft areas in the wood to stain a more consistent color. A stain is intended to darken or color wood by adding pigments, but stain does not protect the wood. Open and stir your polyurethane then brush a coat on. i personally like to start with the most noticeable sections first. Just make sure the existing finish is totally sanded down to the bare wood! (Tip: If you’re working with a smaller piece, you don’t need to use a brush. The type of clear coat that you use is very important, and not just any clear product will work. Shellac is … Since wood pores are irregular, use Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner before you stain to reduce the likelihood of blotchiness. It is designed as a base coat that will dry quickly, seal the pores, and sand easily with fine sandpaper to create an ultra-smooth foundation. //