Many homes have beautiful woodwork and a lot of times this wood is primed and painted, but sometimes they look better to stain. An example is the woodwork surrounding windows, or even baseboards or doors. These areas can be beautifully stained to set the decor of the room, adding warmth. Many want to know what tools are needed and what types of stains and to use the addition of a top coat or not. Below is some advice on staining wood.
Advice For The Type Of Stain
To make the stain go on nice and even use an oil-based stain. When using this type, make sure to have windows opened for good ventilation. Protect your hands with rubber gloves. If for some reason you can't open your windows wear a respirator. Water-based stains may not be as vaporous, but they tend to be uneven when dry. Avoid using varnish stains.
Prior to staining wood, sand the wood till it is smooth and even. Wipe it with a lint free clean cloth. Test a small bit of stain on a wood scrap to make sure it is what you want.
Take a lint free clean cloth to apply the stain to the wood. Work in small portions, because you want to make sure you wipe it clean before it completely dries. Do not overlap areas.
Applying The Stain
The good thing about oil-based stains is that they take a little longer to dry. You may be able to stain the entire area before wiping off the excess. The intensity of the color depends on the amount of time you leave the stain on without wiping. If you want a deep rich color, leave it on longer. If you want a lighter color, wipe it off fairly fast. Normally it dries overnight.
After the stain is dry you can apply the finish. There are oil-based varnishes and water-based polyurethanes. Oil-based varnishes works well on woods that will have sunlight exposure. To help the finish soak into the wood use two parts varnish to one part paint thinner. Apply the first coat and allow it to soak in.
Once the first coat of varnish has cured, wipe it down with an extra fine steel wool, gently. Be careful to not scrub the edges more than the flat surfaces. This helps to give the surface a smooth and satin finish. Then apply up to two more coats of varnish. Wipe it down thoroughly. Once it's dried, wipe it again with the extra fine steel wool. Apply some paste wax and once it's dry, wipe it with a clean cloth, and it will leave behind a nice even satin finish.
The surface, after this, will just need occasional dusting, try to keep it clean and dry and the finish will last nicely for years.