After Staining Wood How To Finish – Best Wood Finish

There are lots of prep works when it comes to finishing after staining wood. Homeowners are mostly curious about the way after staining wood how to finish. Applying wood stain is not hard, though it requires several consistent steps.

The first thing users need is a wood conditioner before staining. This application lets wood absorb well. This is particularly for certain kinds of wood like pine, maple, and other kinds of softwoods.

There are many benefits to utilizing conditioners. Choices include water-based conditioners and oil-based conditioners. Staining on wood with conditioner application can avoid the rising wood grain.

Protective Wood Finishes

Stained wood requires a protective finish to resist scratches, water, and sun ultraviolet (UV) light. If you aren’t using a product with a stain and sealer in one, you need a top coat to ensure it lasts. These protective finishes are sometimes called varnishes, although actual varnish is just one type of protective topcoat.

Choices of wood finish vary. There are various kinds of polyurethane to opt for. Oil-based polyurethane is a good option. It is easy to dry and delivers a light tint with the amber nuance.

Another favorable option is water-based polyurethane. It dries much quicker than the previously mentioned polyurethane. However, it is best to mix with acrylic for a faster drying process so applying the next coat is much faster.

Among those two choices, water-based polyurethane is highly favored. It doesn’t only dry fast but is good for any wood, whether softwood or hardwood. It is almost odorless as people find it more convenient to apply.

Cracks on Wood

Most of the time, homeowners are worried about cracks in the wood. Even minor scratches can be very bothering. When it happens, wood filler is the solution.

Applying the filler to any crack, scratch, or imperfection is very easy using a putty knife. Let it dry before sanding it.

The main benefit of wood finish is protecting stained wood from water, scratches, sunlight, and so forth. Many sealant products contain sealer and stain in one package, so it is the best option. But, using sealant without stain is still fine as long as users apply a top coat as the finish.

Other Alternatives of Wood Finishes

Finishing wood with Lacquer creates a glossy, clear finish. Fortunately, it doesn’t require too many coat applications. Besides, it is easy to dry. 

Unfortunately, using Lacquer may risk the wood losing its original color. This is particularly after several years. Lacquer is not as durable as other kinds of wood finish. But, it is still recommended on metal surfaces though it is important to avoid using it for coating floors.

Another choice of topcoat is shellac. This alcohol-based topcoat is good enough for enhancing the natural look of wooden furniture. Its major drawback is its low heat resistance.

This is why it is better to avoid placing hot plates above wooden furniture with a shellac topcoat.

Consider spar urethane for the most durable topcoat. Regardless of its long drying time, its final result is very durable. Besides, it can deliver excellent protection, particularly against water, moisture, and UV light.

No wonder this coating is the most recommended option for wooden furniture in the bathroom and kitchen.

Do you oil wood after Staining?

Linseed oil:

You should only use linseed oil finishing oil on bare wood or wood that has already been oiled. Any other finish, like paint, varnish, or wax, will stop the oil from getting into the wood. Before putting linseed oil on painted, varnished, or waxed wood, it needs to be cleaned or stripped down to the bare wood.

Tung oil:

Tung oil doesn’t mess up the stain. It bonds well and makes sure the finish is more durable and waterproof.

Whether the stain is new or has been there for a while, scuff sand the surface and then rub it with Tung oil. You can use pure Tung oil or a mixture of Tung oil and other oils.

Depending on the stain you use, the wood will absorb the stain differently.

Before Staining, shellac, Lacquer, linseed oil, or tung oil oiled wood keeps its natural look much better than wood that hasn’t been treated. The surface is sealed, so the stain can’t penetrate the pores and cracks.

After staining the wood, do you have to seal it?

If you’ve stained your wood pieces, you must ensure they are properly sealed. The first step is to make the stained wood as smooth as possible. You will want to eliminate any knots or bumps, so they don’t show when you seal them.

After smoothing the wood, put a layer of stain on it and let it dry. It is very important to let the stain dry completely after you put it on. This will make sure that the stain won’t change color.

After the stain has dried, you’ll need to put a coat of sealer on it. There are many different kinds of sealants that you can use. You’ll need to find a sealer that works with the kind of stain you used.

For instance, if you used a stain made with water, you will need to choose a sealer that is also made with water.

Do you need a clear coat on top of the stain?

Staining gives the wood a rich, deep color that brings out the natural wood grain but doesn’t protect it in the long run. Without a top coat to protect it, water, food, or sharp objects can easily damage the wood.

The clear coat keeps water and dirt from getting into the wood and keeps the wood from getting damaged. Most clear coats are made with oil and come in many different colors. They should be put on with something like a sprayer.

A clear coat is put on, but the clear coat does not go deep into the wood. So, you can paint over the stain without worrying about ruining the color.

A clear coat is a coating on furniture so that food, drink, or dirt won’t stain the original paint. Most wood surfaces have clear coats put on them. If the clear coat is put on right, it can make a piece of furniture look brand new again.

Do I sand after staining?

After the first coat of water-based stain, you should sand to eliminate any raised wood grain caused by the water. After that, you don’t need to sand again. Gel stains and oil-based stains don’t need to be sanded between coats.

It is recommended that you don’t need sand wood that has already been stained. Instead, you should use one or more coats of clear coat stain, let it dry, lightly sand the finish, and repeat until you get the look you want.

Before applying polyurethane as a top coat, you should remove any old paint, varnish, or other finishes. This will help the polyurethane work better.

For a smooth coating, you’ll want to ensure the surface is as smooth as possible. To do this, sand the wood with a sanding block or an orbital sander.

Applying the Stain 

Applying the stain is as simple as using a brush. However, there are certain challenges when staining smaller pieces of furniture, like shelves. Leave it dry before wiping off the glut. 

Then, apply the next coat. Choosing a darker color for the second application is fine so the furniture may look different. However, some homeowners only prefer the one-time application to avoid unappealing coat excess.

After Staining Wood, How to Finish Protectively and Decoratively

For those who want to have an outstanding finish of wooden furniture, many coatings can enhance wooden furniture. Among those products include Danish oil and other similar products.

The best thing about wood is that it has a natural shine that will look even better after a few coats of stain. Unfortunately, wood can crack or get damaged due to extreme weather.

This is why the right choice of topcoats is highly recommended. This is to ensure that the stained wood looks better than before.

Restoring wood performance is as easy as using wood finish products. This is because wood is prone to scratches, regardless of the quality of the product.

Owners must prepare several tools for concealing minor damages like wood filler or wood putty.

How Good the Finish Sheen Is

When a topcoat looks sheen, then it is already applied correctly. But, rare homeowners know that a gloss finish may make the blemishes of the wooden furniture surface looks apparent. This is why it is better to use a semi-gloss finish.

Some homeowners decide to have matte finishes. They usually avoid the shiny look of their furniture. The advantage of less shiny furniture is that it doesn’t reveal flaws.

Choices of Colors

Some homeowners might want to change the color of their wooden furniture. It is best to choose natural color before staining wood. The look of the wooden furniture will be very satisfying when it can reveal its natural color and grain.

Yet, some people don’t like wooden furniture that doesn’t look natural. This is why a clear coat is their main option. Stain can give different colors to the wood though it might not be able to hide the grain.

Coloring wood is considered cheaper than applying a clear coat. So, it depends on homeowners’ tastes and budgets.

All in all, adding color to the wooden furniture may offer a different look to avoid monotony.

Finish After Staining Wood

After staining wood, how to finish perfectly? A stain is not the main protection for wooden furniture. It only provides a different hue to it. Regardless of its polyurethane blend, it is insufficient to protect the wood from spills, moisture, and UV lighting. All told, a wood finish with excellent quality is a necessity.

Few are still quite effective or give the exotic finish you crave in this modern world. What is the best finish after staining wood?


You can try waxing if you don’t mind spending a few days at a time waxing again and again. This isn’t a great choice that we recommend, but it has earned a place in the league of wax choices.

Wood Conditioner:

Conditioners for wood don’t give your wood piece a very long-lasting shine, but they are one of the options for wood finishes on the market today.

It could be a wood conditioner made of oil or water. But it works better as a pre-staining agent, making the Staining look better.

Varnish and Lacquer:

Don’t you think it’s strange to see stained wood covered with regular varnish or Lacquer to give it a shiny look? They are easy to use and don’t cost much.

Also, they last longer on wood, but if you only use them as your final wood finish, you might have to give up that deep sense of class.

Varnishes last longer and need less maintenance than oils, but when the floor gets damaged and worn, you’ll probably have to sand the whole thing again. Most varnishes last anywhere from 5 to 10 years.

polyurethane or polycrylic:

We recommend polyurethane or polycrylic as the perfect finish. It doesn’t matter if it is water-based or oil-based.

Many people have asked what the main differences are between polyurethanes and polycrylics made from water or oil. If you know anything about wood, most oil-based products smell bad.

Polyurethane and polycrylic made with water dry faster than those made with oil. This means oil-based polyurethane and polycrylic won’t drip as much as water-based polyurethane and polycrylic when painting over stained wood.

Because oil-based products are much thicker, you may not have to apply them more than once to get the surface you want. If you want a durable surface with water-based ones, you may need to put on more than one coat.