Wood stain is a colorant and wood preservative. It consists of a dye or pigment that is dissolved or suspended in water, alcohol or another liquid. Some wood stains enhance the grain of wood; others may penetrate and fill in the pores between grains. Petroleum-based solvents such as diesel are used most frequently to stain and preserve wood for outdoor use. Diesel is an excellent wood preservative and the wood quickly absorbs diesel-based stain. It is easy to apply with a sponge or cloth.

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Diesel-based wood stain is a good preservative for wood fencing.

Step 1

Examine the wood article for staining and decide on the color. Roofing tar adds a walnut color to the stain and takes three hours to dry. Oil-based dyes do not penetrate the wood grain but bring out its features; these dyes are easy to use but also require some hours to dry.

Step 2

Place the container, diesel, linseed oil and dye or tar in a well-ventilated area. Measure out the boiled linseed oil and diesel in the proportions by volume of 1 to 10. Pour the diesel into the metal container followed by the linseed oil. Stir until the liquids are mixed thoroughly.

Step 3

Measure out the same amount by volume of roofing tar as for the boiled linseed oil. Add to the oil and diesel mixture and stir until all the compounds blend completely. If using oil-based dyes, follow the manufacturer's instructions for adding to the diesel and linseed oil solvent.

Step 4

Stain the wood using a brush, sponge or cloth. Dispose of the cloth or sponge or wash the brush with white spirit after the staining job is over.