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Video:How to Stain Wood Furniture

with Grace Denoncourt

A good stain and varnish can add shine and luster to any piece of wood furniture. Check out these simple steps for staining wood.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Stain Wood Furniture

Hi, I'm Grace Denoncourt for About.com Home. Many stores offer beautiful pieces of wood furniture that just need to be stained to bring the luster out of the wood. Today I'm going to show you simple steps on how to easily stain your furniture, so it looks gorgeous every time.

Tools Needed to Stain Wood Furniture

For this project, you will need:
  • a painter's drop cloth
  • a pair of vinyl gloves
  • a few 1- to 2-inch foam brushes
  • fine grit sandpaper
  • a tack rag
  • a couple of soft work towels or rags
  • an oil-based wood stain
  • an oil-based satin varnish

Prepare the Work Area

To get started, clear the area where you will be working and lay down a painter's drop cloth to avoid leaving stain marks on the floor. Also, remember to open a window or turn on a fan so there is plenty of ventilation while you work.

Sand the Wood Furniture

Once your work area is set up, start by making sure that the wood is nice and smooth before staining it. To do this, take your fine grit sandpaper and lightly sand the surfaces and the edges of the area you want to stain.

Wipe Down the Wood Furniture

After sanding, take one of your work rags and completely wipe off the sawdust from the piece of furniture. Once the majority of the sawdust has been removed, go over every area of the furniture that needs staining with your tack rag. Make sure you remove every little particle with the tack rag before you start staining the wood.

Apply Stain to the Wood Furniture

Next, using your foam brush and stain, load your foam brush with stain just about halfway up the brush. Apply the stain to the wood in long, smooth, even strokes across the surface and edges of the furniture.

Avoid Dark Spots in the Stain

To avoid creating unwanted dark spots in the stain, try not to dab or overlap each brush stroke. If you do wind up with a darker area in the stain from overlapping, or have created a hard edge from overloading the brush, use one of your clean, soft rags to lightly blend the stained area with the rest of the area around it.

Lighten Up the Stain

After applying the stain, if you want a softer look to your stain, go ahead and use your soft rag again to very lightly wipe over all of the stained areas on the furniture. Allow the stain to dry.

Varnish the Stained Wood Furniture

Now it's time to apply our protective varnish. It's important to note here that whenever you apply a varnish to a stained or painted surface of furniture, you'll want to use the same base of varnish as you used for staining or painting the furniture. Just remember-- never mix oil and water.

So, with a clean foam brush, load the brush about halfway up the brush with your oil-based satin varnish. Apply the varnish with the same long, smooth, even stroke pattern that you used to apply the stain. Allow the varnish to dry before touching any of the surfaces. Wow, that's beautiful!

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