Staining the wood on your home, furniture or hardwood floor is a pivotal part of caring for your wood surface. Not only does it protect the wood, but the wood stain adds to the beautiful color and characteristics of the surface. But how does staining wood help protect and color the surface? Learn more about staining wood – as well as a few tips to staining your wood surfaces – in our overview of staining wood below.

Why You Should Stain Your Wood

Wood stain is one level of protection for your wood home, log house or wood furniture. Wood stain helps protect the wood from ultraviolet light, which prevents wood surfaces from fading or losing their color. Additionally, wood stain serves as the first layer of protection for wood. Since stain soaks into wood to bond with the fibers in it, stains prevent other materials, such as moisture, from entering the wood. It can help wood become more resistant to water or other liquids, as well as deter insects, molds and mildews.

How Wood Stain Works

Wood stain is one way to help protect the wood from elements and damage. It is an important step in ensuring your wood home or log cabin will last for years to come. But how does wood stain work? Wood stain is a type of liquid paint that is used to color wood. The pigmentation from the stain soaks into the wood fibers and binds to wood. This is different from paint, which generally sits on top of the material it is applied to, instead of saturating it.

Wood stain can come in several forms: oil, resin or alkyd. All three forms act as binders which help attach the pigments to the wood. This is why stains are more protective than paint – they protect deep within the wood, instead of sitting on top of the wood.

When To Stain Wood

In general to protect your wood home, floor or furniture, you should stain the wood on a regular basis. This will help preserve not only the look of the wood, but also the durability and longevity. Smaller surfaces, such as tables and furniture, should be re-stained annually, while larger items, like log homes, should be re-stained about every two years. This schedule will depend on the type of stain and regular maintenance taken for the wood home or furniture.

If your wood surface is beginning to look drab or run down, it may be time to re-stain and refinish the surface. Possible signs could include split or cracking boards, discoloration, peeling paints, splintering boards, old or dry looking wood, or mold and mildew.

Softwoods, such as cedar, are much more accepting of stain than hardwoods, such as oak.

Tips For Staining Wood

Are you ready to re-stain your wood home or furniture? We have a few tips for you before you get started.

Have The Right Tools For Wood Staining

Different types of woods also respond better to certain application tools. Woods with large pores, such as oak, mahogany or ash, require you to increase your pressure to fill the pores with stain. Make sure you have the right brush or cloth to smoothly apply the stain. Wood stain application tools are available at Lovitt’s Coatings, along with expert advice from our team on application tools and techniques.

When Staining, Timing Is Everything

Stain becomes deeper and richer in color the longer it is left on the wood, so make a note of how long you leave the stain on your wood surface to ensure consistency. Never allow the stain to dry on the wood surface, as this prevents finish from adhering to the surface.

In addition, find the right time of day to stain your wood, especially if it is an exterior surface. Morning dews or evening condensation can get into the wood and prevent stain from adhering properly. Instead, find a cool, dry time of day, like mid-afternoon.

Test Your Wood Stain First

Test any stain you are considering on a small, inconspicuous spot to ensure you like the color of the stain and understand the application process. Remember, you can always apply a second coat for a darker, richer stain, but it is much harder to undo a dark stain once it is applied.

Stain Cannot Work Alone

Remember that stain provides some protection, but it cannot completely protect your wood surface from moisture, stains, scuffs and mold. You will want to finish the surface with additional coatings depending on where and how much protection is needed.

Ready To Start Wood Staining?

If you are ready to begin staining your wood home or furniture, come in to Lovitt’s Coatings. Our professional team can connect you with all the supplies you need to get the job done, as well as offer expert advice and tips. Contact Lovitt's Coatings today to get started.