Biggest wood staining mistakes and misconceptions | Wood staining BASICS

Biggest wood staining mistakes and misconceptions | Wood staining BASICS

Achieving great results when staining wood is easy if you avoid a few basic mistakes. Hey, are you new to woodworking and don’t know where to begin? Building the BMW (Basic Mobile Workbench) is a great way to start! FREE PLANS ► No experience necessary and you’ll just need a few basic tools.


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  1. Nicole Sherry on May 31, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    Someone in here might know the answer to my question…
    I have a wood sign that we are using for our wedding guest book. I want everyone to be able to write on it with a sharpie, but I’m afraid the ink will bleed on the raw wood. Would you recommend just conditioning the wood? Or staining it? We really love the color of the wood natural, but don’t want the ink to bleed from the sharpies.

    Thank you in advance!

  2. Jolene Mechchic on May 31, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks for the video. It was great. I watched it while staining some small pieces of wood for two jewelry box projects. I also went to your portable workbench website and watched that too. it seems like another great idea, except with my living space, I think I would need to make it a bit smaller if I decide to make my own. Modifying the dimensions should be pretty easy though. Also other people’s comments were incredibly useful as well. Will definately watch more of your videos in the future.

  3. Jerry Richards on May 31, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    Professional finisher here for over 30 yrs.
    Yes it’s a great idea to use one product from start to finish. You may be able to get way with similar products mix together but why chance it.
    Today’s product is much more high-end and designed to work together.
    Do your self a favor and go to professional painter store especially the mom & pop ones there the best. there going to answer your questions and more including wich different products can work together .
    After that it store like Kelly moor paints Sherwin Williams. Then places like ace home depot ext.
    This color and finnish are wats going to make your work pop.

  4. Kacie Emanuel on May 31, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    So I’m currently in the process of refinishing my stairs. They were half carpeted, and half stained a dark wood. I removed the carpet and the carpeted part is more aged and yellow. I sanded the dark stain off. The problem is the steps are now two different shades. I’ve sanded the crap out of them trying to get them to match. But they don’t. What’s the best way to get them to stain the same color?

  5. First Name on May 31, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    I know for me, they don’t sell nice oak wood for example at my local Loews or Home Depot. They sell crappy pine which I an ugly color so staining is the only option.

  6. M P on May 31, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    whats the best wood protecting finish, or selant for boat decks? from my research i think epoxy is the best, but its expensive and not easy to apply. What do you recommend to get a good finish, well protected and not spend a fortune?

  7. ICXCNIKA on May 31, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    Oil over water based is fine, water over oil based is a NO.

  8. Patrick Carey on May 31, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    I like using the cheap foam brushes. Then I get to use the wooden handles as dowels, so I feel like I’m still getting some of my moneys worth when I trash the foam.

  9. nevet1212 on May 31, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    I would blame my shop teacher. Made a point to have pretty much everyone stain their wood working project

  10. Naomi Aldrich on May 31, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    This video was super helpful! Thanks!

  11. Sam Biscits on May 31, 2022 at 8:17 pm

    I built a large computer desk out of pine. I love the way pine looks, especially the knots, and I use a light staying, and then I apply polyurethane for about five coats. I used to use regular brushes, but I got smart use foam brushes now…

  12. Grant Baldwin on May 31, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    Very helpful, thanks

  13. James Taylor on May 31, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    I want to make a chess board out of cheap white pine but once it is assembled, the playing surface will be planed (skimmed on a CNC machine) by about 1mm to make it perfectly flat and all squares flush with each other. How can I stain/colour the dark pieces (prior to assembly) so that the planing process will not remove all of the stain but leave clearly delineated dark and light squares?
    I thought about soaking the intended dark pieces in stain, then drying them off. Do you think that this would work?

  14. Janiqua Qua on May 31, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    Cheers mate, I nearly made a terrible colour choice on my project

  15. Fate Leigngod on May 31, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    I love that bookcase you showed with the pine. Is there a vid about it?

  16. Sketti Boi on May 31, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    PolyShades Honey Pine stain & polyurethane in one is my favorute colour & favorite 2 in one I’ve ever used. Great on any wood ive ever used it on, hard, soft, dark & light. Need a good thinner for it though.

  17. 安柏林 on May 31, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    Hi Steve,

    What’s the wood species at 1:18? Thanks.

  18. willrichtor on May 31, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    Sand too fine and you burnish the grain and stain will not penentrate evenly. Heavy coats penetrate unevenly and too deeply. Multiple, even, very light coats yield much better results than flooding the area and trying to push it around where it needs to be. And a light coat of amber shellac provides a surface that will accept your stain uniformly across the piece, although without penetrating the wood. For the typical shades of stain on pine, amber or ruby shellac will almost always achieve better results just by themselves.

  19. Kahraman Ramazan on May 31, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    Talks too much shit and thinks he’s the only person who knows woodworking

  20. TJ Howard on May 31, 2022 at 8:29 pm

    Hey Steve,
    We are building a house. On our stairway, we have red oak hand rails and pine newel posts. If we use a dark stain like Minwax Carbon, would the wood type difference show up as noticeable??


  21. Elaine Morrison on May 31, 2022 at 8:29 pm

    Q – Varathanes immediately turn raw sanded whitish wood that blasted orange colour. There was someone who managed to keep that white look and I’ve been trying to replicate it. The closest thing we can think of at the hardware store is a whitish stain then varathane. Trying a test piece now. Is this the answer or adding the white to the varathane? At the hardware store they advised the stain approach. As it was they added white to clear stain to do this. The test will tell. What say you?

  22. Justin Ayers on May 31, 2022 at 8:29 pm

    You can sand back pigment based stains since that sits on the surface. Only dye stains get truly absorbed into the wood, irreversibly.

  23. Becky Alter on May 31, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Awesome as always, Steve! Just made a new table for the patio and am going to try the spray lacquer you suggested in your other video. Looks like it’ll be beautiful and go much faster than other products!!

  24. Lisa W on May 31, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Steve, I’m thinking of re-staining my kitchen cabinets. I tried staining them but don’t like the color is there some type of stain remover I should use before trying again?

  25. Ronald MacDonald on May 31, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    Awesome video, thank you. Wish I would have watched it *before* I created blotches while staining my woodworking project and came here for help. 😀

  26. Jonjon Dalogdog Vlog on May 31, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    thats new ideas sir

  27. ryanmg02 on May 31, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    Oak looks like crap unstained all other hard woods look good unstained

  28. deborah schale on May 31, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    I’ve never stained or anything like this before, I’m scared of making a mistake because I’ve never even watched anyone staining either, the very 1st video I watch is yours about mistakes.
    Thank You for posting!

  29. Matthew Lawrence on May 31, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    Do you have any tips for removing dark oil based stain (no finishes) to repurpose old wooden items?

  30. Chuck Bowie on May 31, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    Incredibly helpful, thanks!

  31. shutup ack on May 31, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Awesome, awesome video from someone just getting into woodworking. Thanks!

  32. Rockboy8 Pebbles on May 31, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Don’t play with ouijii boards bro.

  33. Crossight Overclothes on May 31, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Why do you say the penetrating wood stain is not a real stain product?

  34. santiago sanchez on May 31, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Thanks for the video. Extremely helpful.

  35. Kris Wyatt on May 31, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    How do you get a smooth line between one color stain and another color stain? I want to keep the inside of my cabinets the wood color and just protect them but the outside will be stained a dark color.

  36. Charles Holmes on May 31, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    Great info. You would be the best neighbor to have, friendship would be immediate

  37. Emily Hammett on May 31, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    Do you have recommendations for staining rough cedar?

  38. kevin bray on May 31, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    Thank You, Sir! Well Done… Happy New Year 🤠

  39. Slickmac 1 on May 31, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    So many mistakes I could’ve avoided had I found this channel earlier. Thanks for the info and tips!

  40. The Foreigner on May 31, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    I’m guessing if I use a wood stainer with petroleum in it then the sealer should be oil based and not water based.

  41. kanedNunable on May 31, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    steve, the reason i stain is because the price of wood is so crazy now. im still paying 3x what i was for some stuff 3 years ago. so i have to buy cheaper wood and stain it to look nicer now sadly.

  42. Frafor GT-350R on May 31, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    I’ve got a friend who had a house built clad with white oak. The builders had loads of it leftover and they let me keep it. It’s great

  43. USCG veteran Christian gamer 1977 on May 31, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    Really a Ouja board behind you , that’s satanic what’s wrong with you don’t be surprised when you start seeing things in your home

  44. Ranjit on May 31, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    I’m redoing my deck railing, it’s 15 years old cedar, looks like brand new now, is behr 4500 a good choice to use? I’m in Calgary. It’s a deck plus transparent.

  45. 2nd_place on May 31, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    Just put danish oil on beautiful natural hardwoods. It penetrates and seals in the beautiful natural tone of the wood. Two coats 15 minutes apart and done. It’s that easy. The wood soaks it right up.

  46. Tim Henry on May 31, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    I’ve never stained any wood except some walnut. A long time ago I bought some stain. Wasn’t sure why. I bought walnut stain for walnut wood because I thought I was supposed to. Didn’t turn out well. It was dark as hell. Ugh. Haven’t bought any since. I thought it was required. Lol

  47. MrVladimir74 on May 31, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    Get that ouija. board out of your shop. You have no idea what those things do just by having it there. You give them the right to do as they wish because you brought it in.
    Get it out , and you’ll see how the atmosphere changes. That thing is demonic. If you have family, thing about them.
    God bless.

  48. William D'Alexander on May 31, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    I just built a 4′ x 8′ workbench,, the top is birch.. I want to seal it for protection, but I keep getting conflicting advice… I was thinking of using Danish oil, then using a clear poly once the Danish oil cures….

  49. ppmatt87 on May 31, 2022 at 9:01 pm

    Holy Fuck get to the instruction!

  50. Michael Rickert on May 31, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    I build bookcases and furniture out of red oak and I do not stain. I use an oil based wood filler and then polyurethane. Most wood workers stain red oak. Botching is a big problem with birch and cherry stains. For pine I apply mineral spirits for a natural look.