How to Stain Wooden Nursery Furniture

A nursery.
What You'll Need
A can of stain
Sandpaper or a foam sanding block
Foam brushes
Lots of lint-free cloths
A canvas, tarp or plastic drop cloth
Masking tape
A paint tray or a flat pan
Finishing layer (polyurethane or wax)

Staining old nursery furniture is not only economical, but also fun and easy. With some alterations, stains, and finishes, you can create a beautiful one-of-a-kind baby room. This home project requires creativity and patience, but the final results are worth it. Allot at least three days to complete this task.

There are many types of stains to choose from. Variations include colors, method of preparation, and oil-based or water-based stains. The oil-based stains penetrate the wood without raising the grain, but has a strong smell. The water-based stains are easy to clean with soap and water and are more environmentally friendly. To stain successfully, follow these steps.

Step 1 - Repair Damage

Even if you are not an expert, with some attention you can easily make small repairs to your nursery furniture by fixing it with some wood glue, hammer, and nails.

Step 2 - Prepare the Surface

When all repairs are ready, it’s time to prepare the surface. Choose your working place in a well ventilated, dry, and dust-free area, preferably in a garage or outside. This is to prevent ruining your fresh coat of stain and dirtying the house. If you have to sand inside, cover the other furniture. Put a large drop cloth or newspapers on the floor, and secure it with masking tape. Before you start, remove any hardware from the furniture you are going to stain.

Step 3 - Remove Old Varnish

Sand old varnish with medium-low grit sandpapers. Clean off any remains and gently smooth the area. Work with an even hand, along the grain. Move slowly around curved and decorative areas. On a large piece of furniture, you can quickly remove finishes by using a belt sander. Don’t sand too deeply. Finally, smooth the entire surface using medium-grit sandpaper.

Step 4 - Apply Sanding Sealer

Shake well the sealer and apply two thin layers with a paintbrush. The first application should be done with a small paintbrush and then wiped clean of any excess sealer with a cloth. Leave it to dry before you lightly sand it with medium-grit sandpaper. Finish it off by using a clean cloth to wipe the wood.

This process will help the wood absorb the stain more evenly. If reapplied after staining, the sealer will reduce the number of finishing coats needed.

Step 5 - Stain the Furniture

Work in sections, and study which parts need to be stained first. Turn the furniture and start with the bottom. Stain evenly with a foam brush. Allow it to penetrate and after wipe off excess stain with a clean cloth. Let it dry completely. Gently sand between coats with fine-grit sandpaper.

For a durable finish, use a clean cloth to apply one or two coats of wood finish (polyurethane or tung oil). You can also add a final coat to the furniture wood with wax, oil, or shellac.