How To Stain Wood Furniture

Woody Jackson | Last modified on January 27th, 2022

There are many reasons for staining your wood furniture, such as changing the color, giving it a new finish that feels different than before, or simply just fixing the damage. Whatever your reason may be, there are several ways you can do it without sanding first.

How To Stain Wood Furniture

If you want to stain your wood furniture but don’t want to remove paint or varnish first, then this article is for you! There are many different reasons why someone would want to stain their wood furniture, and in this article, we will cover four proven steps to stain wood furniture with no fuss.

Why Stain Wood Furniture?

There’re some reasons you need to stain wood furniture:

To Change The Color

If you look at today’s market, you can find much different colored wood furniture that they are offering, and sometimes it may cause a problem if you need to change the color of your wooden piece. If you want to set it aside and make some changes to its color, staining it is probably the best way to do it.

Why Stain Wood Furniture: To Change The Color

Adding A New Finish

When your furniture piece already has a good finish and perfect color, but after some time, the finish starts to fade away and creates an unattractive look, then staining your wood furniture is probably for you. Staining your item again can renew its first finish and bring back that beautiful look.

Why Stain Wood Furniture: Adding A New Finish

Repairing The Damage

Sometimes you do not really have the time and money to replace your wood furniture with a new one. If this is the case with you, then staining it can also help you save some money. You will be able to repair anything that’s damaged on your furniture by simply repainting it. This process will totally cover and hide all the damages that are present on your furniture. It can make it look brand new again!

How To Stain Wood Furniture: 4 Proven Steps

Following these steps, you’ll make your wooden furniture perfectly stained easily.

Prepare The Surface

The first thing you will need to do before staining your wood furniture is preparing the surface. For the stain to fully absorb and stick into the wood itself, you will need to sand it first. 

How To Stain Wood Furniture: Prepare The Surface

Using medium grit sandpaper, sand your piece until all the old and loose paint has been removed. Ensure that it is smooth as possible so that your stain will be able to act on it properly. Afterward, wipe the piece clean with a wet rag to remove all sawdust that may have been created while doing so.

How To Stain Wood Furniture: Prepare The Surface

Apply Stain

Now, it’s time to apply the stain. Using a small brush or rag, apply stain into your piece and make sure that all of it is covered. Apply the stain in a circular motion for it to properly absorb into the wood. Make sure that you do not leave any spots or streaks while doing so. 

How To Stain Wood Furniture:  Apply Stain

Wait for about 20 minutes before wiping the excess with a clean piece of cloth and let it sit overnight. Never use steel wool to wipe off your furniture piece after using stain, as this will remove all the stains that you have applied before and possibly damage your wood furniture as well.

Seal With Varnish

After waiting for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight, you can now seal your wood furniture with varnish. Make sure that you use a good quality varnish to last longer and do not change the overall look of your piece. Use a small brush or rag to apply it to your wooden furniture and ensure that all surfaces are well covered. Do not forget to wipe the excess off immediately after.

How To Stain Wood Furniture: Seal With Varnish

Let It Dry

After letting it sit overnight and drying it for 24 hours, you can now take the final step in the staining process by simply wiping all of the excess stains with a clean piece of cloth. As mentioned earlier, never use steel wool to do so, as this will remove some of your stains and damage it.

To get the best result while doing so, make sure that you wear some rubber gloves not to get any stain onto your hands. Now that your wood furniture has been completely stained, you can be proud of that!


How Do You Apply Stain To Wood Furniture?

Apply stain to wood furniture using a brush or a cloth with circular motions. Apply the stain following the grain of the wood because that is where it will be most absorbent. This should be done over two coats; as with all other finishes, you want to create a thicker film than what you started with.

How Do You Stain Wood For Beginners?

Different stains can be used for other wood types, but if the wood is hardwood, it is wise to start with a water-based stain like Minwax Polycrylic. Be sure to follow the instructions on your specific product. Another option is polyurethane which takes a few days to dry. Before applying either of these products, make sure you sand down any rough areas and reapply them in thin layers.

Can You Stain Wood Without Sanding?

Mostly no. In order to start with a good stain, the surface must be sanded down to bare wood. If you use an existing stain, excellent finish particles may have been deposited on the surface and have made it impossible for any new paint to adhere. Sanding will remove these particles or at least make them less noticeable, so they don’t block your new paint from sticking properly. 

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