From its home base in Hawthorne, New Jersey, Home Supply & Lumber Center has provided the materials, tools, and advice needed for home improvements for more than 35 years. Home Supply & Lumber stocks a broad range of high-quality stains and can help customers put them to effective use.
The process of staining wood begins with preparation of the surface itself. The wood first needs to be unfinished, as stains cannot be absorbed into a finished surface. Wood should be bare and prepared with sandpaper. Medium-grit sandpaper works best to begin, and fine-grit, 220-grade sandpaper finishes the job, leaving a smooth surface.
Experts recommend applying a thin layer of wood conditioner to the prepared surface before staining. After 15 minutes, the surface is ready to stain. Both cloths and brushes work well, although brushes often require a bit of extra pressure to work the stain into the open pores. This is particularly true for woods such as mahogany and oak, which have particularly large pores.
Once the wood is completely coated, immediately brushing off the stain will result in a lighter color. Those who prefer a darker stain may wish to leave the product on the wood for five to 10 extra minutes. Once the stain dries, a clear topcoat helps to protect the surface and create a more polished appearance.