Home » Home Improvement Tips » How to Stain Soft Woods with Varathane Premium

How to Stain Soft Woods with Varathane Premium

Whenever you want to replace old parts throughout the house, a quick stain can instantly improve the look of your vintage items. Alexi Parry from I’m looking for Alexi shows you how interior coloring can be simple and effective for any DIY interior project.

When I started coloring projects without knowing it, I was doing everything wrong. I made basic beginner mistakes and I wish I did some research first! Now I’ve learned the hard way how to dye properly with a lot of trial and error and a lot of research. And now I’m bringing all this knowledge to YOU! If you read this article you will probably get stains – yay! I hope this tutorial is helpful for you to learn how to dye!

If you prefer video tutorials, I share these beginner steps AND some intermediate / advanced steps on my YouTube channel. Give it a try when you’re ready to learn a few additional coloring tips (I also created the perfect recipe for the most beautiful stain color ever when I say it myself)!

How to color soft woods with Varathane Premium

Step 1: sand your wood lightly

First and foremost, you have to grind your projects. This is a crucial step to ensure that everything else goes smoothly when sanding. I recommend that you at least grind your wood 120-150 grit sandpaper, but you can certainly go higher (if you have the patience!).

Step 2: dye your wood

  1. Before you start this step, I strongly recommend testing your desired stain on a leftover piece of wood from your project – make sure it’s the same type of wood! Do this because removing stains is a great pain if you don’t like the color. Be absolutely sure that you are dyeing with the right color! I chose a nice one dark walnut Mix color.
  2. Use a rag or brush when dyeing and paint the stain in the same direction as the grain.
  3. With these Varathane Premium stains, let the stain sit on your wood for 2-3 minutes to achieve a single-layer color. It may look a little “darker” if you leave it on for longer, but Varathane Premium stains have been specially developed for single-layer staining, so one layer should be all you need!
  4. Wipe the entire stain vigorously with your disposable rag. Do not leave additional stains on your project, otherwise it will feel sticky.

Step 3: Let the stain dry for 1 hour

Before sealing your project, make sure there is enough time to dry completely. If you live in a humid place, this wait may take longer.

Step 4: seal your wood

How to color soft woods with Varathane Premium

It is recommended to seal the wood, especially in projects where there are signs of wear. For the plant stands that I color, I choose it Varathane Spar urethaneThis is a water resistant sealant in case I spill water while watering my plants.

  1. Use a brush and as few brush strokes as possible to seal your wood. This will prevent bubbles from forming.
  2. This urethane has a milky color and dries clear. Allow each layer to dry for 2 hours, lightly sand it between layers with high-grain sandpaper and add 3 layers.
  3. Let the urethane cure for at least 24 hours before using it!


How to color soft woods with Varathane Premium

I hope this has helped you understand the basics of staining your wood projects! Don’t forget that I share MANY more tips on coloring projects in my YouTube video. Give it a try, let me know what you think with a comment, and good luck coloring!

Related Posts