Old oak structures like furniture and decks could often use a new face lift. From cabinets to bookshelves, oak wood can be given new life through a stain. Luckily for first time DIYers, stains are easy to apply and can greatly enhance the look of oak wood. Stains also add a decorative, professional look to the project’s finish. Follow the tips below to successfully stain your oak.
Preparation is key to staining oak wood because preparation will determine how the stain reacts and how good it looks on the wood. It is important to use a 100- grit sanding sponge to evenly flatten all surfaces of the lumber. Be sure to sand any tight corners and to double check your work, as imperfections and missed spots will appear very visible when the stain is applied. Once the oak is smooth and flawless, wipe it with a clean dry cloth. If you see any missed spots or places you want to touch up, simply go back and re-sand them before again wiping the piece.
When it comes to the actual stain, you want to choose a stain that compliments your oak and is easy to apply. Stains come in a variety of colors and bases, though, so it helps if you do your research before selecting a type of stain. Pigment stains are easy to apply, but they do tend to obscure the grain of the wood. Penetrating stains, on the other hand, are absorbed into the wood and allow more of the grain of the wood to show. The color stain you choose for your project will vary based on the look you desire from your piece.
When applying the stain, be sure to do so in a even manner. Use a new, soft- bristled paintbrush to evenly coat the wood. It is important to follow the grain of the wood as you stain. Also, be sure to use clean, dry rags to wipe away any excess stain from the wood. If you fail to do so, the excess stain could run, causing unattractive streaking. Repeat the process of saturating the wood and wiping away the excess stain until you have achieved the level of color that you desire.
Before using your newly updated piece, be sure to let the stain dry overnight or for at least 10 hours. After your oak has fully dried, reevaluate the wood to make sure you are satisfied with the result. In order for your stain to last for years to come, it is usually beneficial to apply a sanding sealer and varnish. To do so, simply brush the sanding sealer onto the oak with a new paintbrush. As you follow the oak’s grain with the paintbrush, apply the sealer evenly.
After the sealer has dried, sand the surface lightly yet again. This will dull and smooth the surface. Again, wipe the oak clean with a dry cloth to remove dust and debris. As the last step, apply the varnish of your choice with a clean paintbrush, and then allow the varnish to dry for at least 10 hours.
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