Choosing the Right Stain for Your Wood

Do it yourself

You want to know the real benefit of wood? It looks great anywhere in your home. From wood decks and patios to hardwood flooring and cabinets, wood adds depth and luxury to any space in your home. Although wood is relatively low maintenance, it is not maintenance-free. One of the easiest ways to refresh an old wood deck or tires hardwood flooring is to re-stain the wood. But what type of stain is best for your wood? Here are some tips for choosing the right stain.

Working Inside or Outside

There are three main types of wood stains: oil based, water based, and gel based. Oil based stains tend to be the most popular, but the vapors from these stains can be harmful to humans and animals. If you will be staining hardwood flooring or cabinetry inside your home, use a water based or gel based stain to protect yourself from the hazardous fumes of oil based stains. If you are working outside, the fresh air and open space will neutralize the risk of exposure.

Type of Wood

You can use any of the three major stains on virtually any type of wood, but some stains work better than others on certain species. For some specialty woods, like maple, gel based stains are ideal. Oil based and water based stains can make some specialty woods appear blotchy, which is why a wood conditioner is needed when applying these types of stains to certain types of woods.

Woodworking Skills

Finally, consider how handy you are. While oil based and gel based stains are relatively straightforward in terms of application, water based stains can sometimes require additional woodworking. That’s because water based stains can cause the wood grains to rise, causing the surface of your deck or floors to become rough. This will require you to sand down the wood for a smooth finish.

Some wood can’t be saved. For a fresh start, come to Southern Lumber. We have a huge selection of wood products to choose from, including specialty lumber for decks, patios, hardwood floors, vanities, cabinetry, and much more. If you have questions, contact us online or call us at (408) 297-9663. 

Stay in touch

Value Statements: