announcement

Update: Check new design of our homepage!

Wood Stain Colors

Wood Stain Colors

Here's an explaination about what are wood stains, how to choose a stain color, and the steps for applying it.
DecorDezine Staff
Last Updated: Oct 18, 2018
wood
A wood stain is made using a pigment which is mixed with a carrier that can be resin, alkyd or oil, which helps the color pigment to attach to the surface. Wall paints are made in such a way, that they help to paint an opaque film on a surface. 
While wood stains only contain the pigment and a solvent, the small portion of the carrier allows the stain to sink in the openings left as the wood dries. So, wood stains provide a transparent tint to the surface, and makes features like grain and other imperfections of the wood surface visible.
paint
There are water-based and oil-based color stains available. The oil-based use resin, linseed oil, or lacquer as a carrier ingredient. While the alkyd stains contain the water soluble carrier agents, and when the solvent evaporates some of the pigment gets cured into the binder. 
Different wood stain colors dry at different speeds so it is important that you read the instructions carefully on the before using it. Here are some tips that will help you to select the right stain colors for furniture, and tips on how to mix wood stains and apply them.
Opacity of Woods
Simple Room With Hardwood Floor
Make sure you select a wood stain for the color and not to protect the wood, because a varnish or polish will be finally needed for sealing the wooden surface. Shop for a semi-transparent or transparent stain color if you wish the grain colors of the wood to be seen. 
paint
If you wish to hide the wooden surface, then opt only for an opaque stain color. For outdoor painting job, you need a micro-porous protective wood stain. For indoor painting job you will need a stain which fades when exposed to the sun for a prolonged period.
Water-based and Oil-based Color Stains
paint
Try to avoid the water-based stains, as they are powdered and need to be mixed before application, also they are difficult to find. The drying time for these stains is about 12 hours. 
On the other hand, the oil-based wood stains are premixed and are identified with the kind of wood they will match like oak, cherry, cedar, etc. However, don't rely on the name because different woods have different capacity to absorb the stains. The oil-based stains dry within an hour's time.
Mixing Stains
Painting skateboard in shop
Some wooden objects are more porous than others and will soak stain better than other woods. So always do a test by applying the stain with a paintbrush on a section of the wood before coating the entire wood surface with stain.
Select an appropriate stain color by understanding the shade of the wood stain color. Pour the base stain into a plastic container and then add the secondary stain and mix it with a wooden spoon. Make sure you don't add more than 3 stains together.
After mixing do a test on the wood surface. If you think the wood stain color is not the right shade, then change the proportions of the base and secondary stain, till you get the desirable wood stain color.
Applying Stains
Staining a deck for winter
To protect your work area, lay down newspaper sheets. Sand the wood smooth and get rid of the debris with a vacuum or brush. Wet the wood with a large clean paintbrush, so that the paint will spread evenly.
Then start applying the wood stain with a clean rag or paintbrush, you can use a spray gun if you have the alcohol-based quick drying stain. Wipe off the excess stain with a paper towel, let the stain dry, and apply another coat if required.
These were the important tips that will help to select, mix, and apply the stains. So, keep in mind the given tips and select the appropriate stain colors.