Staining woodwork is one of the best ways to add elegance in your home. Staining allows the natural beauty of your woodwork to shine through, and preserves it from age and damage. Most homes in the U.S. have beautiful wood features that should be specially cared for. It may seem like staining woodwork in your home could be easy, but to get the best results, it’s better to leave the job to a professional painter.
Know the Type of Wood You are Staining
There are several factors you need to consider when staining woodwork. It’s crucial that you know the type of wood you’re staining before you begin. Depending on the type of wood it is, your painter will have to choose an appropriate stain to match.
Typically, it’s much more difficult to stain softwoods than it is to stain hardwoods. The softwoods are white pine, alder, spruce and fir. These woods have a more open cell structure and tend to absorb stain at a faster rate, like a sponge soaks up water. The hardwoods are oak, poplar, cherry and walnut. These woods will be easier to work with because the stain won’t soak in so fast.
Remember, it’s much easier to make wood look darker than it is to take a dark wood and make it lighter. It’s best to have your painter start with a lighter stain and then if a darker color is needed, they can apply it to complete the look.
Proper Sanding is Essential
Professionals have the expertise to sand the wood down so it becomes super smooth. There are probably three different grits of sandpaper needed – 100 grit, 150 grit and 220 grit. Your professional will also select the right type of sandpaper for the wood you have. Aluminum oxide sandpaper has a brown abrasive which self-sharpens as you use it. Red garnet sandpaper has an orange abrasive which starts to round off as you sand. Either one works well, but if you are looking for a highly desirable burnished finish to the wood, your professional may want to use red garnet.
Use a Wood Conditioner After Sanding
Your professional should be using a wood conditioner to prepare the wood for staining. These conditioners look clear and are brushed directly onto the sanded wood. For softwoods, a wood conditioner is essential because it will fill the pores in the wood cells to block the stain from soaking in so fast. The wood conditioners are very easy to use and the drying time is fast, so your painter can stain the wood within a few hours after applying the conditioner.
Make sure your painter tests several pieces of your wood before they begin staining. This is the best way for you to figure out how deep or dark you want the depth of color to be. At J. Canabe, our color experts can choose the right type of stain for your woodwork. We’ve helped our loyal customers enhance the beauty of the wood in their home – contact us today to learn more about our services.