Staining adds color to
wood. It is used to accentuate wood, to enhance the
grain pattern, to change the appearance of wood, to
make it look like another type of wood or to emphasize
the finer points of furniture. Staining noticeably
changes the way the wood looks; therefore always do a
spot test of the stain before beginning to apply it on
If you cannot get a scrap of wood that
your furniture is made of, then apply it on a spot on
the furniture that is not visible to the eye. The
three components that make up stain are pigment, dyes
and a carrier.
The carrier is the component that decides
whether the stain is oil based or water based. If the test patch
of stain looks blotchy then you will have to apply a conditioner
to the wood. Apply generous amounts of the required type of wood
conditioner, either water based or oil based, similar to the stain
you are using. Apply the conditioner about a quarter hour before
staining. Use a staining pad, brush or rag to strokes that are
alike. Remove extra stain with a cloth. Letting the stain stay on
for a longer period of time will give the wood a deeper color.
After staining is complete let the wood dry overnight. If you want
a darker shade apply more stain. Once the stain dries up it may
look dull, but once finish is applied it will look bright again.
Stains have been made from minerals and plants
for many years now. Stains can be made at home as well.
Use the following method for homemade water based stains:
Soak iron nails in a bottle of vinegar for
many days. This will give an ebony stain. After the vinegar
has deepened in colors, take some out and test it. Wait for
the stain to dry to get the right color of the stain.
Soak equal quantities of ammonia, water and
chewing tobacco. You will get a brown stain. Test the stain on
piece of wood to see color.
For dark walnut stain, soak walnut husk in a
jar of water for many days. After the water turns dark pour
our and test.
Things you require to make homemade oil based
Strainer or straining cloth
Cleaned glass jars with lids.
Mix all these ingredients, while doing so write
down the how much of each ingredient you used, so that you can
make to same color stain later on if required. Otherwise it will
not be possible to make the stain twice.
Oil- based paints used by artist, tar used for roofing can be
used to make stains. Mix a small quantity of roofing tar into a
cup of turpentine and stir. Strain the mixture through a
strainer into a clean glass jar and store. Test stain on wood to
check color of stain. As homemade stain doesn't have the binding
agent it will take longer to dry.
In accent staining more than one color is used to stain to
enhance certain details of the furniture. Antiques have more
than one color as a result of age. To give your furniture the
same effect you can apply stain for varying lengths of time.
Wipe off stain earlier on one surface and let it stay for longer
on another surface. The furniture will be stained in different
shades and give it an antique look. You can stain your furniture
in a variety of colors like red, blue, green etc. These
non-traditional colors can be used on that portion of the
furniture that you wish to accentuate. Allow the stain to dry
for 24 hours before applying finish. While working with stain
wear protective rubber gloves and protective glasses until you
have finished all the work.