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How to Select Wood Stains for Furniture

Updated on May 10, 2011


Do you want to buy new wood furniture, but can’t afford to? Tired of your old wooden chest? You can update these items with a fresh coat of a wood stain. A new wood stain will make your out dated, scratched and worn wood look new again. However, there are different types of wood stains to choose from according to the type of wood you are trying to stain. Use the guide below to help you how to choose a wood stain for your furniture and your home.


Gel Stains
Gel stains are simple to apply because they are perfect for vertical surfaces and will not run. However, gel stains are the most expensive and there are not a lot of colors to choose from.

One Step Stains      
The one step stain is great for door and window casings. It will not raise the grain and is the quick and easy to use.

 Water Based Stains
A water based stain is perfect for wood floors and children’s furniture because they are safe for the environment and your home. You can use more than one coat in order to darken the look.

Oil Based Stains
Even though the oil based stains are being replaced with water based stains the are still being used. Oil based stains are good for touch ups and re staining a surface. It will not fade. If you are going to use an oil based stain, make sure to open a window and wear a protective mask over your nose. The smell is not pleasant and you do not want to breathe in fumes.

Tips and Warnings

 Put old sheets or a painter’s tarp under the furniture if possible. If it is a non heavy piece of furniture, stain it outside to avoid getting stains on your walls and floors. This will also be a great idea if you are using an oil based stain. Tell the salesperson at the home improvement store what you are staining. They can assist you with finding the best kind of stain as well.


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    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Am getting ready to stain a piece of furniture and appreciate this overview.

    • profile image

      marellen 6 years ago

      Very good information. I'm always afraid to stain wood. So afraid it will leave streaks so I always paint it a different color instead.