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)!
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
- 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.
- Use a rag or brush when dyeing and paint the stain in the same direction as the grain.
- 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!
- 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
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.
- Use a brush and as few brush strokes as possible to seal your wood. This will prevent bubbles from forming.
- 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.
- Let the urethane cure for at least 24 hours before using it!
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!