How to Stain Wood Bookshelves

What You'll Need
Tack cloth
Drop cloth
Clear coat spray

Wood bookshelves can begin to look dull and may become scratched. You can make them look shiny and new again by staining them.

Step 1 - Remove  Shelves

Most shelves simply slide out. If they happen to be screwed in, however, use your screwdriver to remove the screws and remove them. Go to an area where you have plenty of room to work and lay the drop cloth down on the floor. Place the bookshelves on the drop cloth and you are ready to sand.

Step 2 - Sand

Using  sandpaper, sand one side at a time paying special attention to any crevices. You will want to remove any finish that is on the pieces to get a good result. Sanding also smooths the surface by removing scratches to allow an even stain. When both sides are sanded, use the tack cloth to remove all of the debris and you are ready to apply the stain.

Step 3 - Stain

Using a paintbrush, apply the stain in long even strokes. If you have any runs or drips immediately blot them with paper towels to remove. Allow each side to dry before staining the other side. When both sides are stained, you will want to add some protection with clear coat spray.

Step 4 - Clear Coat

Spray the clear coat on allowing one side to dry before applying to the other side. If your shelves take a lot of abuse, you can add an additional coat on the top side. After both sides have dried, install the shelves back in their original place.