Applying a Wood Polishing Stain

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You should always try and stain your wood as soon as possible after doing the final surface preparation this will help ensure a better final finish. The longer you wait the bigger chances you have of getting a scratch in the wood and the better chances you will transfer dirt and oils from your hands to the work piece. If you do have to wait an extended period of time before you apply the stain it is a good idea to go over your piece one more time with some fine sandpaper. Whether your finishing a coat rack or a fine table the procedures for applying stain will be the same.

The surface should always be clean and dust free before you apply the stain. If you choose to glue up after finishing take care and use masking tape to cover up all your glue surfaces. As always make sure that you have plenty of space, plenty of light and a nice clean work area to do your staining.

Stain can be applied using several different techniques you can use a brush, a rag or in some instances you can even spray the stain on. If you choose to use a rag it is best to have an absorbent natural type fiber, old T-shirts work the best but you can also use a heavy duty paper towel. If your choice is to use a brush you can use either a natural bristle or a synthetic bristle brush. Foam brushes may or may not be good applicators depending on the solvents used in the stain. If you plan on spraying the stain on your project you'll need to set your gun up for a light viscosity if you have a thick pigment type stain you will need to thin it in order to make it spray properly.

If you are using a pigment stain make sure that you thoroughly shake or stir it up as the pigments will settle to the bottom, dye stains on the other hand do not need to be stirred as long as the powder has been fully dissolve but you may want to strain the dye before you use it. One word of caution if you have several different cans of stain that you plan on using it would be a good idea to put them all in one container and mix them thoroughly so that you have a uniform color

The basics of applying a pigmented type stain are fairly simple it is always a good idea if you can, to disassemble the project prior to staining, remove any hardware and work out a plan of attack for large pieces, you will want to at least mentally break them down into small workable areas. Other than that the application is really basic you can use a rag a brush or a spray gun, you can apply the stain in any direction you may want to have a brush on hand to help get stain into any cracks and crevices. If you are working on a piece of wood that is over your head like a crown molding for instance you may want to pick up some gel stain as this will be less drippy. Apply the stain to small manageable areas allowing the stain to dry for a few minutes and then wipe off the excess in the direction of the grain with a clean rag.

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