How to Apply Wiping Wood Stain

Staining is a popular coating choice for small DIY projects and larger flooring jobs carried out by professionals. Stains really add to the beauty of wood and learning how to apply wiping stain to wood is well worth the extra effort. Wiping wood stain is a challenge if the task is not approached with care, and it’s important to use the proper techniques. In this article, we will explore wood stain choices and application techniques in more detail.

What Is Wipe On Wood Stain?

Wiping Wood Stain

A wipe on wood stain is a good choice for both wood and certain non-wood surfaces, such as finished wood, unfinished wood, fiberglass, and even metal. A wipe on stain is usually oil-based, it’s thicker than a penetrating stain, and it works best on certain woods, including birch, cherry, pine, and poplar.

The dense texture of a wiping wood stain is similar to a gel stain product, and it will sit on the wood surface with no penetration. This makes wood stains less prone to blotching; the application will add tone to the wood, and yet absorption may not occur.

In What Situations Would You Use A Wipe On Wood Stain? 

When you use a wipe on wood stain, the process is very fast and can be as effective as a spray application without the associated spray gun cleaning problems. The only real drawbacks are wiping into tight corners, carvings, and other recesses. Brushing stains are fine for certain applications, but a wiping stain is superior on large flat surfaces.

Most stains, including water-based stains, lacquers, and dye stains, are all rapid drying options. So, they tend to dry too quickly to brush them on and wipe them off, and this can degrade the finish.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Wiping Wood Stain? 

When you’re learning how to apply wiping stain to wood, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider:

Wiping Stain Advantages:

●      There is more control over the final stain color.

●      The surface is more resistant to blotching.

●      A Wiping stain is a versatile option that can work on fiberglass, composition, and metal surfaces.

●      There is no need to strip away old finishes to apply a wiping stain.

Wiping Stain Disadvantages:

●      As an oil-based stain, it tends to take longer to dry fully.

●      The stain can hide the wood grain because it sits on the surface with little to no penetration.

9 Steps To Applying Wiping Wood Stain To Finish Your Wood Project 

There are nine steps to follow when you’re applying a wiping wood stain:

1.    Thorough Research

apply Wiping stain to wood

Before you begin, make sure you understand the relationship between the wood you want to stain and the available stain options. Another important consideration is the different cloths that can be used to apply the stain.

2.    Gather Your Materials

Applying the stain is a quick process, and there is no time to look for something you forget after you begin. Gather the materials in advance: sandpaper, a tack cloth, rubber gloves, clean cotton rags (an old T-shirt will suffice), a leak-resistant drop cloth, and your chosen wood stain and sealant product.

3.    Preparing the Space

You need a clean and clear space to work, and these areas should be isolated to give the stain sufficient time to dry. Lay down the leak-resistant drop cloth in this area to prevent staining to the surfaces.

4.    Testing

Apply the wood wiping stain to a discrete area on the wood to see how it sits on the surface. With experience, this will help you to evaluate how many coats you will need to apply to the surface.

5.    Sanding and Cleaning

The wood should be sanded to make the surface smooth and slightly absorbent to make the stain application easier. When the sanding is finished, take the tack cloth and remove any dirt, dust, and smaller wood particles that may be on the surface. Use rubber gloves to keep the sticky tack cloth fabric away from your skin.

6.    Apply the Wiping Stain

A brush stroke finish is not desirable; to avoid this apply the wiping stain with cloth wipers and follow the wood grain. This will make the grain stand out, and you can get a more natural look. Wear the rubber gloves to keep the stain off your hands.

7.    Drying, Cleaning, and Repeating

When the first coat is complete, let it dry for around five minutes and use a clean cloth to wipe away the excess stain. Then let the wood dry fully. Remember that stain dries fast, and this process will not take long. When the surface is dry, use the tack cloth to remove any dirt or dust for the next application.

Apply a second coat in the same direction and use the same amount of wiping stain on the cloth. Apply successive coats until the wood matches your desired tone and color. If you want to seal the stain, it’s important to remember that this will darken the color.

8.    Sealing the Stain

A sealant may not be necessary, depending on the finish that you want. If you want a glossy finish, add a coat of sealant when the stain has dried. Be careful; some stains have a polyurethane sealant mixed in with the stain already, and an extra coat of sealant may be unnecessary.

9.    Drying

Let the stain and sealant dry, and keep the remaining stain in a cool and dry place. This will ensure that you have the exact same finish for future applications or touching up.

FAQ’s– How to Apply Wiping Wood Stain

Is it better to brush or wipe on stain? 

Brushing is an effective technique, but it’s slow, and it can lead to blotching issues. If you want to cover a larger and flatter surface quickly to account for the drying times, wiping is a better option. Wiping wood stains are less likely to cause lap marks, there are fewer color problems, and you don’t need to clean a spray bottle.

Do you have to wipe off wiping stain? 

Wipe on wood stain

Yes, to get the best results, it’s important to wipe off excess stain after each application and before the drying process begins. Apply a generous coat of wood stain and wipe evenly to ensure that the color and tone are even and smooth.

Should you wipe wood with water before staining? 

You can wet the wood, wipe the surface to raise the grain, and apply the stain as normal when the surface is clean and dry. This optional step may improve the finish, but re-sanding with 180-220 grit sandpaper may remove most of the stain, and more applications may be required to reach the desired color and tone.

How to Apply Wiping Wood Stain- In Conclusion

Learning how to apply wiping stain to wood is easier if you follow the tips in this article. But, there is no substitute for patience, planning, and experience. If you’re struggling to get the results that you want, examine your stain, wood, and cloth choices carefully. Good preparation and a methodical approach are often the main difference between acceptable and exceptional finishes.