Things You'll Need
Thick cleaning gloves
Pre-stain wood conditioner
Whether you plan on staining furniture or your floors, you must be prepared for the task at hand. While staining is not difficult once you understand what it entails, your first foray into this type of project may seem a bit intimidating. However, by closely reading the instructions on your stain and knowing the staining process, you will find that staining is simple.
Introduce plenty of air flow into your work area. Turn on fans or open windows. Air flow provides adequate ventilation as you work on your project. Avoid staining in overly hot or stagnant areas of your home.
Put on thick yet flexible cleaning gloves and a face mask. This keeps your skin safe and provides extra protection against fumes.
Prepare the surface by removing any previous paint, dirt or finishes. Sand down the surface with the appropriate sandpaper. For example, if you plan on staining and refinishing a piece of wooden furniture, you would use coarse sandpaper. Coarse sandpaper features 40/60 grit, which works well in eliminating paint, dirt and finishes.
Dust the surface off thoroughly with a dust mop or rag and look for any cracks or holes that need filling. Fill the holes appropriately with wood filler. Follow the directions of the wood filler accordingly and let dry.
Sand the surface once more to get the filler flush with the rest of the wood. Rub medium sandpaper in the direction of the wood grain. Rub the sandpaper on the surface until the surface is completely smooth.
Thoroughly eliminate any sanding dust from the surface. Wipe down the surface with a clean, dry rag or dust mop.
Coat the surface of the wood with a pre-stain conditioner. Pre-stain conditioner helps even out your stain as you apply it and also helps eliminate blotchy areas on the wood. Dip a paintbrush in your pre-stain and coat the surface by running the paintbrush across the wood in a smooth, even stroke. Repeat as you cover the surface. Keep the paintbrush going in one direction. Do not flip-flop your paint brush while applying the conditioner. Wipe off any excess conditioner with a clean, dry rag. Let the conditioner sit for the appropriate amount of time per the instructions.
Apply the stain on top of the pre-stain. Dip a clean, dry paint brush or rag into your stain. Wipe off the excess stain from the paintbrush. Apply the stain in smooth, even strokes in the direction of the wood grain until you completely cover the surface. Let the stain sit for the appropriate amount of time per the product instructions. Wipe off excess stain with a clean rag. Apply a second coat as needed. Let the stain dry per the product instructions.
After staining your wood, apply a clear, protective finish. Protective finishes help prevent damage to the wood while also preserving it.
Always read the instructions of any staining product. Each staining product is different. Do not stain anything until you fully understand the instructions included with the product.
Check the temperature recommendation of your stain. Certain stains require application in a certain temperature.
Choose the appropriate stain and pre-conditioner. For example, some stains are oil-based while others are water-based. Use the correct pre-conditioner and sealant for both stain types.
Never stain wood indoors without the proper ventilation.
A.N. Pike has been a professional writer since 2006. She has worked for the "McKinney Courier-Gazette" and her campus newspaper, now freelancing for various clients. Pike earned her associate's degree in mass communications and journalism from Collin College.