Staining Furniture

Here is a tutorial on how to stain furniture. It is really easy to do and can be a lot of fun. Plus it is a lot cheaper than buying new.

The first thing that you want to do is get all your supplies. Here is a list of things that you will need.

1. Some plastic to lay down under the piece of furniture.
2. A one inch foam brush
3. A two inch foam brush
4. Some art brushes that you can get from Wal*Mart or a dollar store.
5. A tin bowl to put paint thinner in.
6. Paint thinner.
7. The color of stain you want
8. Varnish
9. A quart of flat beige paint. If you get white paint and you have a light stain, you end up putting about ten coats of stain on the wood to get rid of all of the white. I also recommend that you use flat paint, as it is hard to paint over glossy paint.
10. Sandpaper, I used 120 fine
11. A sanding block.
12. Liquid sandpaper
13. A sander
14. Gloves

Just a note if you are going to stain on bare wood, then you do not need the beige paint. You can just sand and begin staining.

Here are the steps to begin staining:

1. Prep your piece of that you are staining. Make sure that it is clean and dry.
2. Make sure you have your sandpaper all ready on your sander. Begin sanding the the wood in a circular motion. It is okay if you don't get all of the old paint or stain off. Just make sure that there are no loose pieces.
3. After using the sander, get the sanding block and go over the wood to make sure that it is nice and smooth.
4. If there are any part of the wood that you were unable to get to with the sander or sanding block, then use liquid sandpaper. Make sure you are wearing gloves. Shake the liquid sandpaper bottle, then squirt some on a rag. Make sure that you are going in a circular motion with the rag. Sometimes you need to repeat this step a couple of times.
5. Once you are done sanding, wipe the wood off to get rid of any sawdust.
6. Lay out your plastic on the ground, with your wood on top of it.
7. Depending on the size of the piece you are doing will depend on what brush you use. I recommend using the foam brushes because they don't leave behind little bristles. Apply your first coat of beige paint. You might need to use one of the little art brushes to get to hard to reach places like corners.
8. Let the first coat of beige paint dry. Look over your piece and if you can see any of the wood underneath it, then you need to apply a second coat of paint. I usually let each coat dry about an hour before applying another one.
9. After applying however many coats of paint, you need to open the stain and stir it really good. Taking your foam brush dip the tip in the stain. Make sure to wipe off any extra stain.
10. Apply the stain to your piece of wood, by using long strokes. Start at one end and go to the other end. Example, going from top to bottom on a leg, or using one stroke to go across the table.
11. Make sure you go the same direction the whole time on top of the wood. If you go in different directions then you will have a mess.
12. Take your time, staining should take you a while.
13. After you have applied your first coat, make sure to clean the brushes off in the tin bowl with the paint thinner. Also make sure that you are using gloves during this step as the paint thinner can burn. Then rinse the brushes out with water.
14. Let the stain dry for a couple of hours. Then look at your piece to decide if you need another coat. If you do repeat steps 9 through 12. Let dry a couple of hours.
15. If you used the stain that includes the polyurethane then you can skip this step, if you didn't then you need to open up the varnish and stir. You apply the varnish the same way you apply the stain.
16. When you are done with the varnish, throw the foam brushes away long with any art brushes you used, because after so many rinses with paint thinner the brushes begin to fall apart or they won't come clean.
17. Let the varnish dry overnight. Check it the next morning, by touching a small surface. You are checking to make sure that there are no sticky spots. If it is still sticky, then that means the varnish is not dry.

Remember to have fun.

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