Choosing Between Oil- and Water-based Stains

 

A wood stain is a type of paint that allows the pigment of your topcoat to soak properly into the crevices and pores of your project. Stains can be either thick or thin or can provide protection against ultra-violet rays. The greatest decision you have to make in regard to stains is whether you should use oil-based stains or water-based stains. As you make your decision you will want to keep in mind whether or you not you are painting wood for the first time or repainting, whether you want the natural shade of the wood to show through and whether or not your project is going to be exposed to the elements.

When you go to purchase your stain you will want to purchase high-quality stains. You may be hesitant to spend a little extra money for a brand name but the price will ensure a lifetime of quality.

So what about the decision between oil- and water-based? Here are the advantages of using a water-based stain:

  • Water-based stains can adhere to wood that has been previously painted with an oil-based stain.
  • Water-based stains allow air to move in and out of the paint so that the paint does not trap water and cause decay.
  • Water-based stains maintain quality of color longer.
  • Water-based stains are not nearly as flammable as oil-based stains.
  • Water-based stains dry relatively quickly and allow for a quick fix.
  • Water-based stains emit an odor not quite as potent as oil-based stains.

Here are the advantages of using an oil-based stain:

  • Oil-based stains are not easily penetrated by the elements.
  • Oil-based stains dry more slowly than water-based stains and thus maintain a more even finish.
  • Oil-based stains are far more durable than water-based stains and thus require far less maintenance.

If you are still struggling with the decision of which wood stain to purchase you may consider a hybrid stain. Whichever stain you use, just be sure to purchase quality painting materials and stick with your project until the end.

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