Water-Based and Oil-Based Color Stains
There are several advantages to using water-based color stains. Learn more about water-based and oil-based stains for your next DIY wood-stain project.
There are several advantages to using water-based color stains. For one thing, they offer a range and intensity of colors that oil-based stains can't begin to offer. For another, they can be used without the need for ventilation, since they produce no dangerous fumes, and cleanup is simple – just soap and water.
To use either type of stain, the first thing to do is to stir the stain thoroughly. In both, the pigment settles in the bottom of the can, so only a thorough stirring will distribute all the pigment throughout the stain.
Always test a stain first on a scrap piece of wood – the final color is never certain until it is applied to the type of surface to be stained. Apply the stain with either a brush or a rag, but a rag gives more control: it allows the stain to be rubbed into the wood instead of laying it on, as would be the case with a brush.
The correct method of application is first to rub the stain into the wood using a circular motion, then to wipe it with the grain to get rid of any marks. Keep in mind that a water-based stain will evaporate more quickly than will an oil-based one.
When working with pine, remember that this type of wood has a tendency to turn blotchy when treated with either type of stain, especially around knots. Therefore it's a good idea to use a wood conditioner first. The conditioner takes only about 15 minutes to dry and will make the wood accept the stain more evenly. Simply apply conditioner, let dry, then stain; let the stain dry for a couple of hours.
Stains add color but don't protect wood, so some type of sealant must be used. Don't use polyurethane, though: it always adds a slight yellow tint. Instead, use a water-based finish, which can be applied with either a brush or an aerosol spray.
Differences in Water-Based, Oil-Based and Latex Paints
Learn the differences in oil-based, water-based, and latex paints before starting your painting project.
Tips on Staining Wood
Follow this advice on how to properly stain wood furniture.
The Basics of Staining Wood
With so many staining products on the market, it may get confusing. Remember, staining is merely a means of adding color to bring out the grain pattern in the wood.
All About the Different Types of Wood Finishes
Natural wood finishes enhance rather than cover the grain of the wood. Learn more about the different finishes to help you choose the right one for your home.
How to Stain Wood Kitchen Cabinets
Home improvement expert Bruce Johnson shares some techniques for staining wood kitchen cabinets.
Tips for Adding Color to a Plain Bathroom
White is the usual go-to color for bathrooms in new houses. But here are some tips for bringing vibrant color into that plain bath, no matter what your budget.
How to Choose a Wall Color
Don’t be intimidated by color — picking the right shade is easy with these professional tips.
How To Select the Right Paint and Color For Your Home
Find all you need to know about selecting the right paint and color for your home.
Winning Color Combos in the Bathroom
These four tips on making over your bathroom show how to combine colors to create a fresh look.
Adding Color to the Kitchen
Seven simple solutions for livening up your most-used space
We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.More DIY Social
See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.
- Spring Home Maintenance Guide
- Spring Colors for the Garden
- Keeping Lawn and Garden Tools in Shape
- Flowering Bulbs Planted in Spring
- Quick-Growing Spring and Fall Vegetables