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Give a new look to your wooden furniture

Enhances the natural grain of furniture without finishing with stain. Stain adds color while letting the wood grain show through. It’s an easy way to give new, unfinished furniture a professionally finished look.

When preparing new wood, wear gloves while unwrapping furniture to prevent oil from transferring from the skin to the raw, unprotected wood. Remove any grease stains with a little mineral spirits. Untreated wood slightly dampened to increase the grain. Sand to a smooth finish. If this process is not done first, the moisture in the stain will cause an uneven surface. Color stains come in a limited range of shades. Test the stain on an inconspicuous part of the furniture first. Let dry and check the effect. The color will be affected by the type of wood. The more coats applied, the stronger the color will be. Stain penetrates the wood rather than covering it like paint, quickly cleaning up spills or drips before they soak in and create unattractive stains of color. If necessary, disguise them with another layer of dye.

After wetting the wood, rub with good quality sandpaper for a smooth finish. Always work in the direction of the grain; crossing it will leave scratches. Sand again between each coat of stain. Apply a small amount of stain to a soft cotton cloth and rub along the grain. Working through it will create uneven areas of color. If you use a brush, keep a cloth handy to remove loose bristles and drips. Be careful not to overlap the stain, which will darken the color. Work in sections, masking areas where overlaps may occur. Let the first section dry, then cover it before staining the adjoining area. Stained wood is porous and may absorb water or show marks from spills or sticky fingers. Finish the piece of furniture with two coats of clear varnish to seal and protect it. Matte varnish suits a country style, while high gloss is more compatible with formal or modern settings.

Instead of using natural wood stains, experiment with colors to personalize your furniture and give it an individual look. Use different colors on shelves or drawer fronts for bright furniture for the kids. This is also a good way to use up various leftover dyes from other projects. Stain the ready-to-assemble pieces and let them dry before assembling. For ready-made items, cover the areas next to those where the first color will go. Apply the first color. Let it dry, then remove the tape. Mask the first color and apply the second. Repeat with each consecutive color. Turn a simple headboard into a piece of folk art. Using a muted color, apply one or two coats of tint depending on the depth of color desired. When dry, rub with white wax to enhance the wood grain.

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