How to Prep Wood for Stain | Wood Staining Tips
Proper substrate preparation and application mean greater longevity, better color, and better long-term performance.
Make sure it sticks
If you are changing from one stain product to another, make sure your new stain can be used over top of the old. Be aware that any product already on the wood that contains waxes, non-drying oils, silicones, or anything that forms thick layers on the wood, can interfere with the adhesion and penetration of any stain and must first be removed. Many surfaces that have had an oil-based stain applied to them must be maintained and restained over the years with another oil-based product. Contact Sashco for more specific guidance with your particular circumstances.
Cleanliness is a virtue
Starting with an absolutely clean surface means better penetration and adhesion of the stain, which means better longevity and a more beautiful finish.
Media blast, vigorously power wash or sand wood surfaces using an Osborn® brush or 60—80 grit sand paper to remove failing stains and loose, unsound wood fibers, along with surface contaminants.
Brighten Things Up
If mildew is present, apply Sashco’s CPR® in the brightener strength according to the directions, or apply fresh bleach in a 4 parts water to 1 part bleach solution. Allow it to sit no more than 20 minutes, and then thoroughly rinse.
Fuzz Be Gone!
For the best appearance after media blasting or power washing, remove felting (wood fuzz) with Osborn brushes, Sashco’s Buffy Pad system or 60—80 grit sand paper once the wood is dry. Remove all sawdust with a broom, compressed air or a leaf blower.
UV rays from the sun can damage cleaned wood surfaces in as little as 1 week; therefore, stain should be applied no more than 2 weeks after wood prep is completed.
Sunny with a chance of more sun: Plan to stain when the forecast is predicting clear, rain-free weather that will extend 1-2 days after the stain has been applied. If rain can’t be avoided, be sure to protect the stain from direct rainfall for 1-2 days after the stain is applied to prevent it from being washed off the surface.
Apply Sashco’s PeneTreat® to vertical wood surfaces for protection against wood rot and insects. Allow wood to dry at least 2-4 days. (Use a moisture meter to check it!)
Dry Is Best
Wood must be thoroughly dry before applying stains and other finishes. Use a moisture meter to be sure your wood is no higher than 19% moisture wp-content level (lower if you’re in a dry state like Colorado or Arizona).
Stay tuned for our next post, “A Better Way to Stay: Step 3 – Applying Stain.”
Osborn® is a trademark of Osborn International.