How to Apply Wood Stain – Hand Application Using Water Based Stains

Today we’re going to demonstrate how to
apply General Finishes water based wood stain to a raw wood pine bench and how
to handle grain raise. The great thing about GF water-based stains is that it
is not necessary to pre-wet the wood. Pre-stain conditioner is also not needed. GF’s water-based wood stains are
formulated to condition most wood species. Our water-based stains have several
benefits over oil finishes. They give hard to stain woods such as pine, maple
and cherry deep vibrant color; not achievable with liquid oil based
products. They clean up with soap and water and they are ideal for spray
applications. Water-based finishes need a smoother surface than oil based finishes
but be careful not to over sand. You may end up sealing the wood and it
will not take a finish. Sanding is a progressive procedure. On unfinished
wood, start with a medium sand paper then progress to finer grades. The
grain in the wood will determine your prep sanding schedule. Prep sand closed
grain wood such as cherry, pine, maple, birch and alder with 150 then 180 grit
sand paper. Prep sand open grain wood such as oak, ash, mahogany and parawood with 180 grit and then 220 grit sand paper. Water-based stains dry faster than oil
so it is critical to plan your project section by section. Always have Extender
on hand to use if humidity is low, temperature is high, or you are working on a large project. Ideal conditions are seventy degrees fahrenheit and seventy
percent relative humidity. Just add 10 to 15% Extender to your stain to increase
open time. Today’s project is a pine bench that we have prep-sanded and dusted
with an oil free tack cloth. Ready to get started? Yep! I have a pine bench here we’re going to
work on today. A couple of things about the water based wood stain though. I’m
going to use a foam brush for application but you can see that the
viscosity is a little thicker than a liquid oil base which makes it easier to
control. A couple of things we just want to use a liberal amount of stain and I’m just going to put that over here and I will always start on the bottom sides. I’m going to dip my foam brush and
you can see that it’s not goint to run off so it’s easy to control. A little bit nicer to work with. I am going to apply a nice heavy coat. You want to use enough
stain so that you can actually write your initials in it. This is the good way
to control your dry time. You can see, you can put enough material on you can control it. It’ll give you a much easier wipe ability. What do you think Chris? Espresso, our favorite color. It’s been popular a long time. It’s a very popular color in today’s furniture. This is really hard to achieve with an oil based stain. That’s
why it’s been so popular. Get a couple more clean cloths here. I have a roll of
paper towel, the blue shop towels work nice because they come in a
box. Just come back and wipe off the excess, alright? What’s nice about that brush, it fits that whole side right there. That’s one application, one coat. I don’t have to keep applying
the product. See how quickly that covers that pine. For a long time people used to stay
away from pine because it was very difficult to to get a uniform stain out
of it but with a water-based stain it’s really made easy work of this. The key is don’t get too far ahead
of yourself. What’s nice about working with the water-based stains is we can get
a coat of stain on this afternoon and before the end of the day put a coat of
finish on top of it. I’m not using a lot of stain, I think you’ll be surprised at
how far the water based stains go because they are so pigment rich in
color, you will develop your color a lot faster and normally I’m going to apply
one coat of stain. If I have to apply a second coat of stain it will darken but
it’s usually not necessary. That’s one reason why these stains are
so popular is on hard to stain woods like maple and pine you can achieve a deep dark rich color. I have plenty of towels handy. See how dark that is? I think that is really nice.
You can take a bristle brush and just come back in and back brush it.
Feather it out, see I am not really pulling a lot of color off my brush I’m just using the brush to even out
anything that I miss with a cloth. Now on the top.. I have a tendency to dry brush my colors out. I like leaving more color behind. It saves me from having to put on a second coat of stain in most applications. So instead of scrubbing it dry I’m actually
going to let the color develop with the application of the stain. Then if I’m happy with my stain I will come back and just wipe off any excess that I have. You can
see I’m not taking a lot of color off, you know there’s not a lot of color on
my rag so I’m leaving most of the stain on the wood. That’s how you can achieve that deep, dark finish in just one application. Alright Chris how does that look? Like GF’s master finisher at work! Allow your project to dry 2 – 4 hours. If
it is rainy, humid or cold let it dry overnight. Ok Tom, we’re going to let this bench dry
for four hours and apply the first layer of topcoat. I really think you ought to
wash your hands! I will go wash up. Then we will show you how to knock down this grain to get a smooth finish. After the first layer of topcoat has dried, run your hand over the surface. It will feel fuzzy because water-based stains raise the moisture content of the wood. Don’t worry grain raise is normal. Tom will show you how to knock it down for a smooth finish. Alright here’s our
bench it’s all stained, we got the first coat of finish on it and you can tell
it’s got a little bit of roughness to it. I’m gonna take a 220 flexible sanding
pad, I like to break the edge on it so it’s not fully coarse. You can hear that
sand pad drag across the surface. I’m just looking for a light powder. I want to be
careful as I don’t want to go too heavy across the corners because I don’t want to cut
off my color. So as I come across, just pay attention to the edges. A soft sand is what we’re doing now. I’m gonna say sand paper is too coarse at this point in time. I
really like to work with a project like this by using my flexible
sanding pads from here on out. You can tell your finish is dry when it produces that nice soft white powder. I am now going to come back with my oil free tack cloth and I am just going to wipe it off for the next coat of finish. It should be smooth to the touch and if it isn’t and you have a little bit more sanding to do don’t be afraid you can cut a little bit heavier. You can
come back and catch some areas because we’re gonna put another coat of finish
on it and build our finish up with a couple more coats. That’s nice. Apply three to four layers of
topcoat. Let each coat dry 2 – 4 hours, sanding between coats with a 220 sanding pad. Here is the bench all finished with three coats of High-Performance Satin. Erin’s Tips: Never sand a stain. Wait
until after the first layer of topcoat. Do not use cotton rags for wiping off
excess stain. Paper or blue shop towels work much better. GF water-based stains
are for indoor projects only. Dry time to re-coat 2 – 4 hours. Our finishes are
engineered to be compatible with each other. Test to your satisfaction when using
with other brands. There you have it, a rich, dark espresso
water-based stain on raw wood. For design ideas check out designs.general Thanks for watching this video if you liked it please like,
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