There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the right stain for your project. Use these tips to choose the right type of stain and end up with the color that you’re hoping to achieve. Stop wasting time and money. Get it right the first time by educating yourself on stains before you attempt to finish your project.
Use Scrap Wood
Testing on scrap wood is certainly the way to go. Use the actual wood that you’re using for your project. Sand it down exactly as you are going to sand down your finished piece. A finer sanding will produce a different color and sheen than a rough piece. Making sure that your scraps are identical to your piece will help you to ensure that you end up with the exact color and finish that you want.
Practice Different Staining Methods
When applying stain to your scrap pieces, try different methods to determine which one you will like the most. You can try rubbing the stain in with a soft, lint-free cloth. You may want to use a foam brush or a brush with bristles. Label your scraps so that you remember which method and stain you used for each practice piece.
Test Wood Conditioners
Soft woods can turn out blotchy if you don’t use a wood conditioner. Try using wood conditioners if you’re working with pine or other soft woods. Wood conditioner will also help your stain to turn out closer to the color on the front of the product. Wood conditioner affects absorption, so try staining pieces with and without conditioners before you decide on a method.
Check Out Varnishes and Lacquers
Once you determine the stain color, type and application technique that you want to use, it is time to test out clear coats and varnishes. A dry stained piece of wood looks dull and lacks luster and depth. Varnishing will bring out the variations in stain color and wood grain, giving you a better idea of what you want your final piece to look like. Again, make sure that each piece is labeled with the type of finish and application technique used.
Test on All Wood
If your project consists of several different types of wood, make sure that you follow the above procedures on each type of wood. You may notice that two different techniques, finishes, or even stain colors are needed to achieve a uniform look on your finished woodworking project.
About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc., which makes a high quality wood dowel and the best hardwood dowel on the market. They also create wooden balls, wood knobs, wooden toy parts, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning and can import from off-shore when necessary. Visit http://www.goodwoodinc.com for all of your wood product needs.