While going on with your home décor project, you might need to use softwoods. However, some softwoods and some porous hardwoods don’t give good stained results. The poor stained finishes are due to varying wood density and porosity. While some areas of the wood absorb a lot of stain, some absorb very little. Due to the lack of uniformity, the outcome might not be very appealing.
Some of the woods that are likely to behave in such a manner include maple, pine, fir, and cider. However, you don’t have to terminate your project since you can use a wood conditioner.
Using a Pre-stain Wood Conditioner
While working with bare woods, you can use a pre-stain wood conditioner. The conditioner will help achieve an even color on your wood. It penetrates through the wood and seals it, though temporarily. Once the wood is sealed, it will have an even rate of absorption; hence, the stain coat will also even out.
Although you can use a brush-on pre-stain conditioner, especially while using brush-on stains, you can as well go for gel stains. Besides being less prone to splotching, you can use them without pre-stain conditioning.
Pre-stain conditioners are available in water-based for water-based stain and oil-based for oil-based stains.
Preparing Your Wood for Conditioning
For the pre-stain wood conditioner to work best, you must ensure that your surfaces are sanded. Fill in any scratches on the wood before starting. Remove any traces of sawdust using a shop vacuum then wipe the rest with a clean piece of cloth. Working on a clean surface is essential to achieving perfect results.
How to Apply
All you need to apply your pre-stain wood conditioner is a brush and the conditioner itself. Alternatively, you can use a clean piece of cloth without compromising on the quality of results you get. Start by applying a liberal coat of the conditioner. At all times, ensure that you follow the direction of the wood grain.
Once you have applies the conditioner, let it rest for around fifteen minutes for maximum penetration. Go ahead and wipe any excess pre-stain conditioner from your wood. Apply your desired wood stain before two hours elapse after applying the conditioner.
If you are not fully pleased, you can apply a second coat of the wood conditioner. Once you are done, clean up your wood. You can either use mineral spirits or paint thinner.
If you are working on large wood pieces, it might be challenging to observe the two-hour rule. In that case, you can subdivide your project into smaller portions to ensure that you get the best from every piece.
Before using any wood conditioner, test your stain on a quite inconspicuous spot to check the degree. If it is too light, you can add an extra layer.
Why Staining Your Wood is Important
Many people associate wood stain to aesthetic value only. However, it goes beyond beauty.
If the wood is left outdoors without sealing, it is susceptible to rotting, which consequently poses the risk of collapsing. Although wood can rot due to many reasons, some of the most common causes include mold and termites. Staining your wood prevents it from spoiling.
Protection from Sun and Moisture
Besides rotting, moist can also cause the wood to break if it finds itself into the wood. Sunlight, too, can be damaging to the wood. However, by sealing your wood through staining, you significantly increase its lifespan.
Perfect Walking Surfaces
If you are planning to have wooden walking surfaces such as decks, make sure you do it correctly. Keep in mind that the area will be subject to a lot of pressure. The pressure is created by foot traffic. That rules out the possibility of using voc free paint since paint is less durable. The paint will start chipping off not so long after it has been applied.
However, staining your wooden walking surfaces will give you both elegance as well as durability. It is also cheaper.
Simple to Apply
If you compare wood paint to stain, wood stains are easier to apply and maintain. For stains, you don’t necessarily need a wood primer, hence slashing the application time by half.
When working on a wood décor project, ensure that you pre-condition it for protecting hardwood floors.