top of page

Choosing Stain


Big topic. Let’s talk about choosing stain.

When you are choosing stain for your project, it can be a trial-and-error because it includes many factors, such as the type of wood, the desired color, the level of transparency or opacity, and the overall style and design of the project you're working on. Also keep in mind who you are making the piece for and what the overall purpose will be.

Here’s a step-by-step process to help you choose the best stain for your project:

  1. Consider the type of project you are making and how much use it will receive. For projects like dining tables that tend to receive a lot of abuse, consider if you want to stain it at all. If you decide to add stain, consider a deep penetrating stain versus a pigmented stain that is more likely to wear off with constant scrubbing and cleaning.

  2. Determine the type of wood you're working with: Different types of wood absorb stains differently, so it's important to identify the type of wood you're working with before choosing a stain. For example, hardwoods such as oak and maple tend to absorb stains more evenly than softwoods like pine and spruce which can have grain reversal with darker stains.

  3. Consider the desired color: Choose a stain that matches the color you want to achieve. Stains come in a wide range of colors, from light to dark, and some even have a hint of red, yellow, or other tones. Test the stain on an offcut from the actual wood you used to see how your finish reacts with the natural colors, oils and tannins in your wood. Also you don’t have to completely match the other wood in your house, but consider tones that are complementary.

  4. Determine the level of opacity: Stains range in opacity from transparent to opaque. Transparent stains allow the wood grain to show through, while opaque stains provide a more solid color. Choose the opacity that best suits your project and desired finish.

  5. Choose the right base: Stains come in either water-based or oil-based formulas. Water-based stains dry faster and are easier to clean up, while oil-based stains provide deeper penetration and longer-lasting protection. It is important to know that water based stains often have solvents like ethylene glycol and other similar active drying agents so make sure you know what you are getting.

  6. Test the stain: Always test the stain on an offcut from your project before applying it to the entire project. This will help you see how the color looks on your wood and ensure that you're happy with the end result.

  7. Apply the stain: Traditionally, to apply stain we use a rag or brush. Stain Pad’s foam core absorbs, holds, and evenly releases stain providing a smooth, consistent, streak-free finish with reduced need for reloading. The impermeable center membrane lets you apply finish with one side and use the other side to wipe off excess for perfect depth of color and a smooth finish. The outer layer won’t leave lint, fuzz or bristles in your finish.

  8. Allow the stain to dry completely before applying a protective finish.

By following these steps, you can choose the best stain for your wood and achieve a beautiful, long-lasting finish for your project, and using Stain Pad will heighten the quality of your work.

Can’t wait to see what you make,

-The MaKRS Team

To learn more behind the MaKRS brand and what we believe in, visit here. Also see my Pro Tips for using Stain Pad.

12 views0 comments
bottom of page