How to Stain Rubberwood

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Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper (both coarse grit and fine grit)

  • Lint-free cloths

  • Safety glasses

  • Protective gloves

  • Wood-sanding sealer

  • Wooden stirrer

  • Water-based stain

  • Paint brush or foam (sponge) paint brush


The method described here uses water-based stain. This is because water-based stain is easier to clean up and typically less pungent than oil-based stain, which makes this easier (and safer) for the average person to use. For extra durability and shine, apply a topcoat (urethane, for example) finish after the stain has completely dried. Stir the stain (frequently) in the can to keep the color evenly blended. A wooden ruler (or wooden spoon) works fine for stirring stain if you don’t have a paint stirrer on hand.


Always work in a very well-ventilated area when using stain—fumes can be harmful. Consider using a painter’s respirator if the project will take a lot of time or you are unable to keep the work area well ventilated.

Rubberwood sap is used to make natural rubber. This tree is also a source of quality wood that typically costs less than other hardwoods, is beautiful enough for furniture and other wood items. It accepts stain similarly to other hardwoods (which means more than one coat may be needed). The method for staining rubberwood is, therefore, the same as staining other woods, such as maple or oak. In addition, because of its natural pale hue, this wood can be easily stained as light or dark as you wish.


How to Stain Rubberwood

Step 1

Sand (by hand or with a power sander) the rubberwood with coarse sandpaper--remember to sand with the grain. Wipe off the wood with a lint-free cloth and then sand again, this time using fine-grit sandpaper. Make the wood surface as smooth as possible before continuing to the next step.

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Step 2

Remove remaining sanding dust with a lint-free cloth. Next, make sure your area is well-ventilated. Open windows and doors for air circulation.

Step 3

Use a clean paint brush to apply a thin layer of wood-sanding sealer. This helps stain to penetrate the wood surface more evenly. Let this sealer dry completely and then sand it lightly, with fine-grit sandpaper, before proceeding to the next step.


Step 4

Put on your safety glasses and gloves. Shake the can of wood stain. Open the can and stir with a wooden stirrer. Use a paint brush or sponge to apply the stain—remember that you should always apply the stain with the grain of the wood.

Step 5

Rub the stain into the wood with a lint-free cloth. Wait for five minutes to allow the stain to absorb into the wood.

Step 6

Wipe the wood down with a clean lint-free cloth to remove excess color. Next, let the stained wood dry fully. After this has dried, you can add more stain if it is not as dark as you wish.


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