Wood stains: types and scope

Wood stains: types and scope

Wood products are very popular. However, like other materials, wood is a favorite habitat for mold, mildew, and harmful insects. To increase the service life of wood products, protective coatings are used – stains, which have not only an antiseptic effect, but can also give color to the wood..


Wooden products are distinguished by their strength and durability, but at the same time they are susceptible to unfavorable natural factors. Today on the building materials market there are a huge variety of special tools with which you can protect a wooden surface from possible damage. The most popular and affordable remedy is stain. It is known to many as a substance that changes the color of the product. But this tool has many other wonderful properties..

The main difference between stains and paints and varnishes is that the components of the stain paint the wood from the inside, while maintaining the pattern of the product. And when painting with paint or enamel, an opaque film forms on the surface of the product.

The properties of wood stains directly depend on their component composition. Even with self-processing of the surface, this tool will have certain useful properties..

The main properties of wood stains:

  • a change in the color and texture of wood, while the drawings are not completely painted over, but the product takes on an interesting shade;
  • protection of home furniture from pests, rotting without changing the texture and pattern;
  • increasing the service life of wooden products several times, while the tool is much cheaper than varnish or paint;
  • deep penetration into the structure of the tree;

  • products from inexpensive wood species covered with stain will look more expensive and more sophisticated;
  • lightening of wood – this property is usually used before painting the surface;
  • moisture protective function;
  • the ability to combine colors.

However, not all stains have these properties. In order to choose the right tool for repair and construction, it is necessary to study the composition and instructions for use. Stain can be used to treat not only wooden surfaces, but also chipboard, plywood, parquet.


Different manufacturers of wood stains differ in base. Each composition has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is necessary to choose a stain based on the desired results and timing..

Water stain

Water stain is usually sold ready-to-use. It happens liquid and powder, which is pre-dissolved in water before application. The final shade depends on the percentage of powder and liquid. Before surface treatment, the composition is filtered to remove undissolved particles..

The main advantage of water-based stains is that they do not emit a specific odor, therefore they are usually used for treating indoor spaces..

The aqueous composition emphasizes the advantages of wood, hiding defects in the fibers. This stain dries for about 14 hours..

The disadvantages include the appearance of roughness on the surface after processing, as a result, the wood is more susceptible to high humidity.. To fix this problem, you must:

  • sand the treated surface after the impregnation has completely dried;
  • spray the surface with water and leave for a while, then you can apply the composition.

Alcohol and nitro-stains

Alcohol or a solvent is added to the impregnation composition. Sold in ready-made liquid or powder form, which must be dissolved before use.

After processing, the coloring components are absorbed into the wood, only the alcohol evaporates. Therefore, the stain dries no more than half an hour. Fast drying of the composition provides for a quick application to the wood in order to avoid the appearance of unevenness and stains on the surface. It is not very convenient to apply alcohol stain by hand, therefore it is recommended to use a special solvent.

Oil stain

Oil stain is a composition with the use of special oils. Thanks to them, this type of coating is considered the most environmentally friendly, since it does not emit harmful impurities into the environment. Therefore, it is widely used to protect wooden furniture..

Advantages of oil stains:

  • fast drying – about 3 hours;
  • deep impregnation of wood;
  • reliable protection against moisture;
  • long-lasting color of treated wood for many years.

Acrylic stain

Acrylic stain is produced in liquid form. A varied palette of shades allows you to get any desired impregnation tone. The acrylic composition does not have the disadvantages of other types of wood stains, therefore it is considered the most expensive option.. Main advantages:

  • fast drying;
  • without smell;
  • free of toxic emissions into the environment;
  • smooth surface coverage;
  • reliable protection of wood from high humidity.

Wax stain

Wax stains have appeared relatively recently in the field of protecting wood materials. The impregnation is a non-aqueous composition that, without penetrating into the wood, forms a protective film on it. Therefore, wax compositions are most often used for outdoor work. They are painted as a base for paintwork..

A soft, dry cloth is required to use this stain. Thus, during processing, the appearance of stains and a decrease in moisture resistance are excluded..


Since the stain has good absorbency, the degree of porosity of the material should be taken into account when calculating the consumption. On average, for processing 15 sq. m, one liter of impregnation is consumed. You also need to know that impregnation colors different wood in different ways. For example, oak stairs will turn dark brown after staining. At the same time, the pine or maple surface will turn yellow..

Conifers do not absorb stain very well. In order to avoid uneven coloring, you will have to soak them in several layers, as a result of which the consumption of material will double. Therefore, it is recommended to remove the wood resin from the base of the part in advance..


The stain has not only a protective function, but also gives the surface a noble shade. Since the structure of the wood is heterogeneous, some areas impregnate the composition less, and others more, due to which, after the composition has dried, the natural patterns of the wood are emphasized on the surface..

Today, wood stain can paint wood products in any shade, but the most common is the “woody” color scheme. Their name corresponds to a specific type of wood. If the shade you like is not on the shelves, you can get it yourself by mixing several shades.

When choosing a protective agent in a specialized store, you must ask the seller for samples of the product covered with one or another shade of stain. Since each manufacturer produces different shades of impregnation with the same name, it is necessary to consider in detail the provided wood samples.

The saturation of the shade directly depends on the type of wood, the original shade, porosity, texture and density. If conifers do not absorb the stain very well due to the presence of resins, then the deciduous species are saturated to the maximum. For example, if you cover mahogany and maple with impregnation, then the first shade will turn out to be much darker..

To give wood products a light shade, they do not need to be painted. The best option would be a brightening impregnation, which will brighten the surface and also emphasize the structure.

If there is a high probability of moisture getting on the bleached product, then it is best to stop your choice on wax, oil or acrylic types of impregnation. If water does not get on the processed products, then water impregnation is also suitable..

In addition to all, brightening stain allows you to get a vintage interior. To do this, after staining with a white water stain, the surface should be treated with a stiff brush. After staining with water stain, do not forget about the need for additional surface treatment with wax or oil stain..

Light shades of wood stains do not always give rich colors. There are also colorless types of impregnations that are necessary to protect wooden products from adverse environmental conditions..

Gray shades will help to avoid making furniture stand out from the overall interior. This color is recommended for use only in cases where walls and textiles are made in light colors. Gray color causes melancholy, in addition, wood in a gray shade will look dull and faded.

Psychologists say that the most suitable option for everyone is green stain, since it is this stain that causes positive feelings. All shades of green will be an excellent option for processing any interior items. Blue stains will help to make individual products more expressive, especially in combination with white and yellow shades..


Today there are a lot of manufacturers of protective coatings for wood. Among them, German companies are considered popular. Flamingo, Dufa and Caparol. Turkish manufacturers are also no less famous: Betek, Dyo and Marshal. They have an impeccable reputation for wood materials. Slovenian enterprises for the production of protective materials appeared relatively recently – Hellios and Belinka Belles D. O. O., however, they have already won the respect of many buyers.

Domestic company “Novbytkhim”, since 1994 has been producing a wide range of products.

The company has excellent potential, thanks to which buyers can expect the emergence of more and more innovative materials that will be in demand both in the professional environment and for independent work..

Products of a well-known manufacturer are no less popular. Liberon. The company was founded in the 19th century and specialized only in the production of paints and varnishes. Now the company produces materials for wood protection, paints and varnishes, tinting. The company’s products have only good reviews, so the manufacturer has gained a reputation as a reliable manufacturer. Among the rich assortment, the most popular products can be distinguished: fillers, wax materials, protective stains.


The method of application depends on the type of stain and the size of the product. For these purposes, use a swab, brush or paint spray. For processing a large surface, it is not recommended to use a brush, since there is a high probability that traces of its villi will remain, and it will also take a lot of time to process..

With a large area, it is more convenient to work with a spray. To do this, it is necessary to choose a lighter shade of impregnation, since the applied layer will be thicker than usual. At the beginning of work, do not forget to cover the untreated surfaces with a film..

For oil treatment, it is better to use a swab. You can do it yourself using foam rubber or cotton wool wrapped in cotton material.

If you still want to apply the composition with a brush, then for water-based and alcohol-based stains, you need to choose a brush with synthetic bristles. It is necessary to buy only a high-quality tool that will not leave fluff on the wood..

After choosing a suitable shade and tool, you need to make a test painting. This is done in order, to find out the required number of layers of stain for a particular shade. This requires:

  • take a small sample of wood material of the same species as the product to be painted;
  • grind the board in the same way as the main product;

  • cover it with impregnation and leave to dry;
  • apply the next layer on two thirds of the tree;
  • when the last layer dries, apply the stain on the remaining one third of the board;
  • compare color saturation and choose the optimal shade.

The stain is applied to an uncoated wooden surface: it can be a completely new product or a part from which the previous coating has been removed.

Dry wood needs sanding. During work, you must not press hard on the tree, you only need to move along the fibers. This will avoid the appearance of small defects on the surface. If before painting they will be almost invisible, then after treatment with impregnation, the defects will be strongly emphasized. The sanding process takes about 30 minutes, this is enough to obtain a smooth surface and open the pores for the stain to penetrate.

After sanding, it is necessary to remove fibers and dust from the product with a vacuum cleaner. Using white spirit or gasoline, degrease the surface of the part. At the end, you should spray the tree with water, so the impregnation will fit correctly. For even mixing of the contents, the jars are thoroughly shaken. Then you need to warm up the stain to an average body temperature, so the composition penetrates deeper into the structure of the wood, then moisten a brush or swab for staining in the impregnation. For the sprayer – pour the stain into a special bowl.

During the processing of vertical products, they move from bottom to top. If the composition runs off, the smudges will remain almost imperceptible. For processing horizontally, brush along the fibers, then across, and then along again. It is important to distribute the stain carefully and to ensure that it is applied evenly. In order to avoid streaks, the composition is applied as quickly as possible. Before applying the second layer of stain, it is imperative that the initial layer is completely dry..

After the composition has completely dried, the final wood processing process is carried out on the surface. With the help of washing, excess impregnation is removed, which remained without being absorbed into the surface. After this process, the product looks different: shine appears, texture. Washing is carried out with acetone using a volume brush as follows:

  • tilt the product slightly;
  • an absorbent cloth is placed under it;
  • dip the brush into liquid;
  • brush from top to bottom to drain excess impregnation;
  • continue actions until the appearance of surface homogeneity;
  • leave products to dry and then apply varnish.

For how to make a wood stain with your own hands, see the next video.

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