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3 Tips on How to Stain Wood Furniture

Have you every tried staining a piece of furniture before? The entire idea of how to stain wood furniture was very intimidating for me. Painting, not as much. But the idea of using something as permanent as a stain frightened me a bit.

I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be scary! It’s a great way to add life to an old piece of furniture and may actually be a lot easier then painting!

After finding this adorable little table for FREE online I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. The decision was made to learn how to stain wood furniture so I could use an outdoor stain and put the cute thing on my teeny tiny front porch.

I am here today to share with you what I learned on how to stain wood furniture. In an effort to help you avoid a few mistakes I made and save you the time.
How to Stain Wood Furniture - penniesintopearls.com - Easy step by step instructions and tips on how to stain wood furniture. Pictures and video tutorial on how to stain wood furniture.

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3 Things I Learned About How to Stain Wood Furniture

First things first
Before you start to stain your furniture you will need to do a little prep work. Really, all you need to do is get your sandpaper out (a sander will make this process a lot faster and easier for you!) and get off any finishes or paint from the wood. This is what mine looked like once I gave it a little sanding. 

How to Stain Wood Furniture - penniesintopearls.com - Easy step by step instructions and tips on how to stain wood furniture. Pictures and video tutorial on how to stain wood furniture.

If there is any paint or any type of finish on the wood, it will prevent the stain from soaking into the wood. When that happens the stain will set into the wood unevenly.

1. Use a rag and not a paintbrush
As you can see in the video I started by using a paintbrush. I quickly learned that with the brush method it was going to take a very long time. An alternative is use an old rag and rub the stain onto the furniture.

This is the method that I highly recommend if you want a quick way on how to stain wood furniture. If you are staining a flat surface you can pour a little stain directly onto the surface and quickly use your rag to evenly spread the stain across the surface.

If you have an uneven or vertical surface then you can poor some stain onto your rag and again, working quickly, rub the stain into the wood.

2. Work quickly
It is important to try and work the stain into the wood as quick as possible. If you let a puddle of stain sit for too long, the area where the puddle sits is going to stain a darker color the surrounding areas.

How to Stain Wood Furniture - penniesintopearls.com - Easy step by step instructions and tips on how to stain wood furniture. Pictures and video tutorial on how to stain wood furniture.

Another tip along the same lines is to watch out for drips. You can see in this picture above that I didn’t catch this drip fast enough and it set into the wood before I could wipe it up. Good thing I can just turn it around and use this side as the back!

3. The wood drinks up the stain
You are probably going to want and use a couple coats of stain. Especially if your piece of furniture is really old and dry. That old dry wood is going to soak up that stain. Keep reapplying the stain, waiting a bit between coats, until you reach a pretty shade that you love.

How to Stain Wood Furniture - penniesintopearls.com - Easy step by step instructions and tips on how to stain wood furniture. Pictures and video tutorial on how to stain wood furniture.

How to Stain Wood Furniture - penniesintopearls.com - Easy step by step instructions and tips on how to stain wood furniture. Pictures and video tutorial on how to stain wood furniture.

Do you feel like you are ready to go and try your hand to see what you know on how to stain wood furniture? I hope that this article has given you the confidence to go and try it out!

Find some small furniture piece for free on your local online classifieds and get your frugal fabulous DIY on! You will be so happy when you find out how easy it is to stain and how beautiful your furniture turns out!

Want some more DIY tutorials?
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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Katarina
    October 9, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    This is so gorgeous! I will share this article with my mom, she is crazy about taking care of furniture and decorating!

    • Reply
      Brittany Cooper
      October 16, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      Thank you so much Katrina for stopping by and let me know if you or your mom have any questions.

  • Reply
    Amanda || Growing Up Madison
    October 9, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I actually have my floors that I need to get done. Should be about the same thing.

    • Reply
      Brittany Cooper
      October 16, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Amanda! I would love to hear how your floors turn out! Tag me on Twitter @PenniesToPearls and keep me updated please! So excited to see!

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