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Choosing the Best Wood Stain for Your Furniture

Freshly stained piece of wood furnitureStaining can change the look of your furniture for the better by emphasizing the wood grain and making old wood look like new—but selecting the right wood stain is not always easy. Before diving headfirst into your next project, consider the type of wood you are working with and think carefully about your preferred aesthetic so you can achieve your desired look the first time around.

Start with Wood Type

Before you begin the complex process of matching woods with stains, find out what type of wood you are working with—properties of each wood will determine the look of your final product. Highly porous woods absorb more stain, so they will darken in areas where the wood is more penetrable. Aged or stripped-down woods absorb stains better than newer wood or wood that has never been washed with solvents. Lastly, certain species of wood will take stains better than others—a medium-dark stain can look blotchy on maple but shines on cherry.
If you are wondering what kind of wood is easiest to stain, try harder woods like oak and ash, which absorb stains better and more evenly. Contrarily, cherry, pine, and birch are prone to blotchiness when stained, so you will want to proceed with caution while working with them. Sealing the wood first can help even out the tone. Of course, the best wood for staining largely depends on your taste and the amount of work you are willing to put into creating a beautiful product. Study your furniture’s wood type and choose stain wisely to create a look that speaks to your unique style and taste.

Selecting a Wood Stain

While considering color options, think carefully about the tones in your room, including wall color, flooring, light sources, furnishings, and other accent pieces. Determine whether your room has warm or cool undertones and if you want your stained furniture to match them. For help finding stains that match your style, consider these design tips:

  • Use a natural finish or darker stains for a contemporary look.
  • Reddish or red-brown stains are perfect for more traditional homes.
  • Stain the top of your table white and the legs brown to create a “country chic” look.
  • Mix and match stain colors for a more eclectic vibe.

Test Your Stains

The best wood stains and finishes for your furniture will make you fall in love with your desks, tables, chairs, and dressers all over again. Once you have determined your wood type and picked out a stain, test it out on an inconspicuous spot before staining the entire piece. You can test a portion of the bottom of your table or the inside wall of a bookshelf. Let your stain dry thoroughly before you decide if you want to use it on all surfaces.

Our Furniture Staining Services

Learning how to stain wood is tricky, which is why we are always here to help. With over a decade of experience helping customers refurbish their most cherished furniture, we are confident we can meet your specifications while preserving the integrity of your piece. Our specialized process ensures that your furniture is beautifully and safely restored. Contact us today to learn how our repair, stripping, prepping, and finishing work will revitalize your beloved furniture.