Beginner's guide to staining wood

In one of the previous posts, we did look at an introduction to wood stains, the different brands available, cost and the basic application procedures. From this post on, we will look at, in detail, how to approach applying wood stains to your wooden substrate. We will delve into the various materials and supplies required, surface preparation techniques, the actual application procedure of stain and the top coat.
Complete guide to wood staining

For the purpose of demonstration, I will use a spare sheet of One Side Teak. I will use both sides of the sheet to lay bare how stains work and enhance the look of the substrate.
Staining wood tutorial
How to stain wood - A beginner's guide
The following are the topics that I will discuss in detail in the forthcoming posts. Each of these steps is important and critical to the effectiveness of the staining process.
  • Step 1 : Sanding the wooden surface
  • Step 2 : Understanding sealers and why they are required
  • Step 3 : Applying Sealer as a pre-conditioner
  • Step 4 : Applying the wood stain
  • Step 5 : Applying a top coat (Varnish)

Materials / Supplies required

  • Sand papers (Grit 80, 100, 120, 150, 220)
  • Muslin cloth (Ask for Gada Thuni if you are in Chennai) 1 meter
  • Thinner 500ml
  • Sanding Sealer 500 ml
  • Wood stain 100ml
  • Rag Cloth
  • Wood Polish 
The details of the brands, cost etc… , I shall discuss in the individual posts.

Wood staining in India
Materials required for staining wood

Some safety precautions

  • Using a mask is mandatory. Sanding can send in dust particles and staining can send strong fumes through your nostrils.
  • Cover your eyes to protect from the dust irritating your eyes.
  • Use gloves because it is very difficult to remove stain off your fingers.
  • Work in an open, well ventilated space
That said, shall come back and take you through each of these individual steps in the coming days / weeks. Meanwhile, do remember to leave a comment and enter your e-mail address below just so you do not miss the rest of the posts in this series.

- Somu

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  1. Thank you for this post. I've a wooden loom that I want to finish and your posts are very informative.

    1. Hi Josie, thanks a lot for dropping in. I sure do hope that the posts turn out to be informative. Will look forward to your continued support and feedback :)

  2. Great articles Somu. Keep posting them. Would it possible for you to add the costs involved along with the article since for new hobbyists it will be useful.?

    BTW, need your suggestion for building a Inverter cabinet. So, can you suggest some plywood type that should handle heat, acid & water to certain extend?

  3. If you have a wood floor that looks unfinished, you may want to stain it to make it look more polished. If you do not know where to begin, this article will tell you how to stain wood floors.

  4. I absolutely love your work...not just the outcome of the wood - which is the EXACT look I am wanting to create

  5. Thanks people!

  6. i am so happy that someone finally has started a blog like this. i have great interest in home decor, especially refurbishing old furniture and giving a whole new modern look.. but had no help. i have so many questions to ask.. i will mail you my query on your id. thanks! really appreciate your effort behind this blog and educating us.

    1. Hi Smriti, thanks for writing in. Home decor should be lots of fun right ? Do write in with your questions. We will be happy to answer as much as know answers to :)

  7. Thanks for ur post, and add videos its most help and easy understanding...

  8. More seasoned pet stains may have leaked into the wood and the sub- flooring, which implies you have to sand the wood to figure out the degree of the harm. Sand the stained hardwood flooring Dust free sanding of wooden floors until you achieve a point that is not stained or on the off chance that you discover the stain is excessively profound.

  9. Well written, i really like your work and Wood polishing

  10. I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites blog site list and will be checking back soon.

  11. Go ahead. Believe it will be useful for homemakers.

  12. Go ahead. Believe it will be useful for homemakers.

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  14. Hi Somu Padmanabhan,
    Your post are fabulous and I say this after viewing numerous videos and other blogs. Your brief, crisp and optimum description of each step has made my DIY projects much simpler and enjoyable ......... thanks a lot.

  15. Great Post Somu. I am a Military Veteran. Working with wood as a hobby for the past seven years.Nice to know there are many people here in India working with wood.

  16. Hi,
    Great blog. Keep it up. One question. Most Plywood and block-board sheets have a lot of manufacturer markings on them. I would like to polish the Veneer that is one the sheet itself. So any idea as to how to remove those markings?

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