Staining Rough Cut Lumber

A man stains lumber.
  • 2-8 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-25
What You'll Need
Large tarp
Large bucket
Warm water
Hard-bristled scrub brush
Pressure washer
Rubber gloves
Breathing mask
Staining solution

Staining rough cut lumber is a fantastic way to beautify its surface. While rough cut lumber can be slightly more tricky to stain than traditional lumber, it's a task that can easily be undertaken with a helpful instructional guide and a few basic staining tools.

Take the Necessary Precautions

Before proceeding to stain your lumber, you will need to take a few precautions. First off, make sure that you are performing the job in a well-ventilated environment. If the weather is agreeable, it is highly recommended that you carry out the staining process outdoors. In addition to helping protect you from the potent fumes emitted by most staining solutions, performing the job outside will ensure that accidental spills are no big deal.

When applying your staining solution, make a point of donning a pair of protective rubber gloves to help prevent the solution from coming into contact with your skin. Also, be sure to wear a paper breathing mask to protect yourself from the previously mentioned fumes. Lastly, make sure to lay out a large tarp, as this job can be a little messy.

Prep Your Lumber

Now that you've taken the necessary steps to protect yourself, you will need to prepare your rough cut lumber for the staining process. To start, you will need to give the lumber a thorough cleaning with the aid of a hard-bristled scrub brush and a bucket of warm water. If washing the lumber with a scrub brush strikes you as too tedious and time-consuming, you may want to rent a pressure washer. Keep in mind, however, that this tool should only be used outdoors. Once you've removed all noticeable traces of dirt, dust, and debris, allow your lumber to fully dry, and then use sandpaper to smooth out any rough patches.

Apply Your Staining Solution

After successfully prepped your rough cut lumber, you're now ready to begin the staining process. After putting on your protective gloves and breathing mask, pour some staining solution into a large bucket and proceed to apply the solution to your wood with a paintbrush. When performing this step, take care to apply the staining solution in a left-to-right fashion and use broad, even strokes. Also, make a point to promptly smooth out any blots or drips. Once you've applied your staining solution to one side of the lumber, allow it to dry for the amount of time specified on the solution's packaging, then proceed to apply it to the opposite side of your rough cut lumber.

When carrying out the staining solution application, it is strongly advised that you take a break if you feel yourself becoming lightheaded as a result of the fumes. These breaks should take place outdoors or in a very well-ventilated area of your home.