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.
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.
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.
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.
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.