Staining Furniture 101 Part One

#1 - Oil/petroleum base stains

This series will answer some questions, save a few from mistakes, and offer some good information on a subject most furniture painters love to hate...staining furniture!

There are 3 types of pigmented stains and each comes in multiple colors that range from the replicating of a wood's natural hue to vibrant deep blues/greens, yellows/reds and everything between including black and white in varying shades. For the purpose of this series, I’m not going to go into powder pigments; there are only so many hours in a day.

**Oil/petroleum base stains contain pigment(s), resin, and solvent.

Typical dry time/time between coats: 6-8 hours *

Typical Cure time: 5-7 days *

Best application methods: natural brush, foam sponge or brush, cotton stain pads, lint free cotton rags

Pre-Stain Conditioning: Any water based/oil modified pre-stain conditioner. There are many on the market. Depending on the wood's density, I usually use one coat; two on pine and birch (soft woods) and woods or pieces greater than 100+yrs. You should allow 20-30 minutes between coats.

I generally stain within an hour after final coat of sealer/conditioner.

Mix: An oil/petroleum based stain can be mixed with other oil based stains.

Tint: Tinting of sealer/top coat can be achieved by an oil soluble pigment however it can be difficult to apply and obtain an even result.

Thinning: Can be thinned with naptha (faster drying time) or mineral spirits to desired opacity. The thinner, the more transparent.

Clean up: Mineral spirits or naphtha

Sealer/Top Coat: Any water based sealer/top coat may be used after minimum of 5-7 days *, Gels, urethanes, and oil based top coats can be used within 6-8 hours *. I use a sponge for application - no brush strokes.

*Temperature and moisture does impact.

A bit of me…

“You did what?!?” That’s usually what I hear when running into long missed friends, former business associates and acquaintances and explain that I actually did it; I left behind the success of the corporate world of finance to pursue my passion for antiques and have not looked back since.

The restoration of antique furniture has been a love of mine for decades now, and over the years, it has grown from a word of mouth hobby to an exciting and growing business! I’ve ventured into other areas of furniture of design and construction, wood working and painting. By no means am I the artist some are when it comes to decorative painting but there are so many who have graciously shared their talents and because of that, I’ve been able to add another medium of restoration. Like those wonderful finish artists, I’m an avid teacher and believe that knowledge is meant to be shared freely and by empowering others, you receive gifts that are immeasurable!

I now offer a full range of design and upholstery as well as custom surface and decorative finishes such as painting and European plaster techniques for homes and furniture and of course, my passion for the restoration of all things historic!

On a personal note, I’m wife to a beautiful and supportive husband (and should probably add very patient!), mom of three who are grown and of three fur-babies and they are all where my heart is made whole.

Peace and Joy,


Baciato Refinishing

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