Putting a New Stain on Previously Stained Wood

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 20, 2022)

Putting a new stain on previously stained wood may seem like a large and difficult project, but it really isn't. Granted, it can take a bit of time and effort on your part, and you will get dirty, but it is something that anyone can do. To make sure that you do it right, simply follow these directions. You will be amazed at just how easy it is to do.

  1. Prep the work area. Putting a new stain on previously stained wood requires a bit more work than simply slapping a bit of stain on the wood. To do it properly, you need to first prepare the area that you will be working in. The easiest way to do this is by setting down a drop cloth so that you can catch any and all mess that you may make.
  2. Strip it down. When you have the work area prepared, you can begin work. Before you can put the new stain on your wood, you need to completely remove any stain that may remain. Do this by applying some chemical stripper to the stained wood. Before you apply the stripping agent make sure that you are familiar with the manufacturer's instructions, and that you follow them closely. Apply the stripping agent as evenly as possible so that there are as few discolorations as possible. Remove the stripping agent as indicated by the instructions.
  3. Sand the wood. Once you have finished stripping the stain from the wood, you then need to do a bit of sanding. This will help you to remove any stubborn bits that are remaining, while also creating a smooth surface to work with. If the wooden item is a larger one, then you may want to start with an automatic sanding tool, and then switching over to hand sanding for the finer areas. Continue to sand until you have removed any and all rough areas as well as the old stain.
  4. Choose the stain. If you have not already done so, now is the time to go ahead and choose your stain. Make sure that it is one that you can easily use, which means that you need read the instructions carefully. Beyond that, make sure that you also choose a stain that is complementary to your existing decoration scheme.
  5. Apply your stain. Take the staining agent, along with any necessary tools, back to your work area and begin applying the stain. Be as careful as possible to follow the directions from the manufacturer, or you can end up excessively darkening the wood.
  6. Soak and wipe. Once you have applied the stain, you can then go ahead and allow it to soak in. Typically these types of stains will need you to allow it to soak in for at least 15 minutes, but make sure that you follow the directions carefully. After your desired amount of time has passed, wipe off any excess with a rag. Continue to carefully remove the stain, changing out the rag as needed, until no more stain comes away.
  7. Varnish. When you have finished wiping away the excess stain, allow it to completely dry. This can take a few up to five hours or so, but you need to make sure that it is completely dry before applying the protective varnish. While you are allowing the wood to dry, make sure that you are familiar with the varnish instructions before you apply it. Apply the varnish when the wood is dry, either with a brush or rubbing it on with a sponge or rag.

Keep in mind as you are doing this project that you will want to work in a very well-ventilated area. You will be working with some chemical agents (the stripper, the stain, and the varnish) which can give off toxic fumes if you aren't careful. Furthermore, until you have done the process a few times you will want to make sure that you take your time to make sure everything comes out the way it should.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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