How to Stain Knotty Pine Lumber

Knotty pine lumber is one of the most popular types of wood that is used for construction. The wood has large knots that gives it a striking natural beauty and it can be used for various types of projects. Also, the lumber darkens with time and many owner's enjoy the enhanced beauty of the aged wood. It is important to properly maintain the lumber because if the wood is stained periodically, the natural pattern of the wood becomes more apparent. When you paint, you should also follow the stain with the seal for a longer lasting stain. Here is a simple guide to help you stain efficiently.

Materials Needed

  • Newspaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Damp cloth
  • Sandpaper, medium grade
  • Orbital hand sander
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Dust mask
  • Wood conditioner
  • Paintbrushes
  • Wood stain
  • Tray
  • Clean cloths

Step 1 – Preparation

Begin your project by lining newspaper along the edges of the pine lumber. This is especially important if you are staining surfaces like floors or paneling. Secure the newspaper with tape to ensure that stain does not splatter onto the adjacent materials.

Next, use a damp cloth to clear dust, dirt and grease from the wood. This cleaning will ensure that you have a smoother finish on the wood.  Allow the wood to to dry before you continue the staining process.

Step 2 – Sand the Lumber

Wear a dust mask for the sanding process to avoid inhaling dust or debris. Next, attach a medium grade sandpaper to your sander. Use the machine to smooth rough spots on the lumber. The sander also helps to open up pores on the wood and facilitates the proper absorption of the stain once it is applied. Clear the dust from the lumber with a lint-free cloth.

Step 3 – Apply Wood Conditioner

Apply wood conditioner before you begin to stain the lumber. This will help to ensure a uniform appearance once you apply the stain. Use a paintbrush to apply a thin coat of conditioner onto the lumber. Brush the conditioner onto the wood in the direction of the grain. Wait about 3 to 4 hours for the wood to dry before you proceed to the next step.

Step 4 – Apply Stain

It is normal for the wood to raise in certain areas after the conditioner is applied. Use your sander to smooth the raised areas down and provide a clean and leveled finish.

Next, pour stain onto your tray and then onto the lumber. Apply the stain in the direction of the grain. It is best to apply a light coat to enable the proper absorption of the stain. Allow a couple of minutes for the lumber to absorb the stain, then use a clean cloth to absorb the excess stain. For additional coats, follow the procedure as outlined. It is best to work in sections where furniture is involved. Apply the desired coats for each section before you proceed to another area to eliminate lap marks. Allow the furniture to dry overnight for the final coat of stain to dry.

Step 5– Sealing and Finishing

Brush a light coat of polyurethane onto the lumber in the direction of the grain.