How to Perform Pine Staining Without Blotches

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  • Author Ryan Dube
  • Published April 24, 2009
  • Word count 455

When it comes to pine staining, many amateurs quickly realize that unfinished pine can be a very difficult wood to stain, often ending it blotches or streaks of dark and light areas. Whether the project involves bookshelf, furniture or cabinets staining, the method to avoid blotching and streaking remains the same. The following article will provide you with some tips and tricks involved in pine staining unfinished wood.

The first step to achieving a good stain is by lightly sanding the surface of the wood in order to remove some of the uneven surface hardness inherent in most manufactured products. By sanding, you remove much of the uneven surface texture that results in the cutting process during the manufacture of furniture or other wood products.

The next step in pine staining is to treat the surface of the wood so that it evenly absorbs the pine stain. This is especially critical when you're performing cabinets staining because the face of most cabinets face the kitchen and need to look even and professionally done. The best method of treading pine wood is by applying wood conditioner, which creates a perfect wood surface where pine staining will result in a perfectly even absorption of the stain.

Finally, applying stain to pine wood is almost an art in itself. Even with wood conditioning, it is very easy to apply too much stain, or to unevenly apply the stain which will still result in uneven discoloration of the wood. The best approach is to avoid pine staining too heavily by using a damp cloth or sponge brush that allows you to carefully apply the stain evenly along the surface of the wood. Always avoid treating the process of pine staining like painting - painting involves a great deal of uneven application, but multiple brush strokes repair that. With staining, you can not use multiple brush strokes, but instead must evenly apply the stain the first time, and this is where a sponge brush can help.

An alternative to pine staining that many professionals take is to avoid staining the wood altogether. Many people instead use different oils, shellac, or very diluted stain. For example, boiled linseed oil or walnut oil stain often applies much better than standard pine staining. Certain shellac products, such as amber shellac, looks especially nice on pine and is very easy to apply. Amber shellac applies a nice honey color to pine wood.

Regardless of the approach you take, it's important to look at pine wood as a stain "sponge," so careful pine staining should always be practiced to avoid uneven or excessive stain application throughout the entire project. Doing so will result in a very beautiful finished project that you can be proud of.

For more advice and tips regarding pine staining, visit

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