Staining wood is an exciting and fun step in your refinishing process. Staining brings out and enhances the patterns in the wood grain and it unifies an overall color. At this stage your project piece begins to look more finished. Allow enough time to complete this task from start to finish to ensure continuity of color. You have the choice of using either water or oil-based stain, and each offers advantages and disadvantages.
Using oil-based stains creates more fumes and requires more care in use and clean up, but you will attain a richer color and added conditioning properties for dry wood.
Using a water-based stain eliminates most fumes and requires less care and clean up than oil-based stains. However, using water-based stain does require another step in the process, as you need to apply a wood conditioner to your furniture piece after staining and prior to applying your topcoat. This step, called a sanding sealer, can also be used with oil-based stains to attain a richer, more consistent color in your finished piece. For complete, step-by-step instructions for this DIY project, watch this friendly and straightforward video tutorial.