Pine is an inexpensive wood that is great for woodworking projects and log homes. It can be tricky to stain, and attempts to duplicate the look of antique pine can often be disappointing. When not done correctly, it is easy to end up with blotches and “grain reversal” that make the wood look unnatural. However, with a few quick tips, you can get a deep, rich-looking color on your pine without losing the natural beauty of the wood.
Why is pine hard to stain?
Pine can be hard to stain for a few reasons. The grain on pine wood is uneven and dense, so stains do not penetrate the wood evenly across the surface. Additionally, the surface of pine wood has some seemingly random absorbent pockets that soak up stain easily, leaving the rest of the stain job looking blotchy.
Tips for staining pine
Before you get started staining pine wood, read these tips to know what to expect and how to avoid the most common problems.
Familiarize yourself with the process
If you are new to staining pine or this is your first time using any of the products you are using for this project, you may want to practice on a large scrap of wood. Not only will this help you familiarize yourself with the process of staining pine wood, but it can also help ensure you like the final look of the stain.
Fix loose knots
Pine can be a knotty wood, which can cause additional issues while staining. You can stabilize any loose knots by dripping a small amount of epoxy around the loose knot, into the gaps. Aim to only get it in the gap surrounding the knot, and not on the wood around the area, to make clean up easier.
Sand it well
A good sanding lays the foundation for a good finish, especially with a soft wood like pine. Use a sand block, and change the paper often to avoid gumming up the sandpaper, as dull paper mashes wood fibers instead of cutting them, which can lead to a muddy appearance.
Use water to raise the grain
Sanding can leave fibers bent over, so raise the grain prior to finishing to prevent a rough final surface.
Use a conditioner
Applying a coat or two of wood conditioner before stain will limit the penetration into the pine wood, making it so less dye will penetrate deeply. It partially seals the wood, which makes the stain application more even.
Find the right product
Using high quality products will make a big difference in your final stain job. If you are preparing to stain the pinewood your log home, contact the team at Lovitt’s Coating to find the correct product, or for expert advice on how to make the pine of your wood home look its best.
Finding the right stain
Finding the right product to stain your wood home or log cabin is important, as is finding the correct mineral spirit or stain thinner to fix any mistakes you (or someone helping you!) made along the way. Contact the team at Lovitt’s Coating to find the correct product, or for expert advice on how to make staining your wood deck or home easy.