How to Stain Unfinished Bathroom Cabinets

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What You'll Need
Soft cloth

There are a number of ways in which you can beautify your new, unfinished bathroom cabinets. Careful selection of stain is necessary. By choosing the right stain for the cabinets and applying it correctly, you can achieve a great look that will last for many years.

Step 1 - Choose the Correct Stain

Depending on the type of wood and its color, you must choose the most appropriate stain. If you want the grain of the wood to show, you can apply a clear stain. Darker woods require a dark-colored stain, whereas lighter woods can use any color. There are many different types of stains, such as organic, oil-based, water-based, acrylic stains, and stains with sealer. Consider the ease of application as well. Some stains must be wiped onto the surface, whereas others can be applied with a brush or sprayed on. Once you apply the stain, you must also apply a sealer, unless you have chosen a stain that includes sealer.

Step 2 - Prepare the Surface

If you have new, unfinished cabinets, it is preferable to stain all the parts before assembling them. Before applying the stain, you must have a smooth surface. Use rough sandpaper to smooth the wood. Sand the wood in the direction of the grain. Finish with a finer grain of sandpaper. Clean all the sawdust from the wood and wipe it with a damp cloth if necessary. Keep all the parts on a stable surface so that you can easily stain them. It is preferable to do the staining in a well-ventilated environment.

Step 3 - Apply the Stain

Read the application instructions carefully. Test the stain on scrap wood. Once you are ready to apply the stain, dip the brush in the stain and apply a light, even coat on the cabinets. If there is any overflow or excess, use a clean, soft cloth to remove it. Let the first coat dry and then apply subsequent coats as necessary.

Step 4 - Apply a Final Finish

Once the stain is completely dry, inspect the cabinets carefully for signs of raised grain. Raised grain is a common occurrence after staining. It may give an uneven look. You can very lightly sand such patches to smooth them. Take care to avoid removing any stain, because if you do, you will have to apply another coat.

Once the surface is smooth, you can apply sealer. Before application, ensure that the sealer is compatible with the applied stain. Apply the sealer with a brush and let it dry, after which you can apply more coats.