Oil stains are the most widely used and available stain on the market today. These are one of the easiest stain to use because the linseed oil binder allows plenty of time to remove the excess before the stain dries. You can identify oil stains by their thinning and clean-up solvent: mineral spirits.
Many oil based stains today contain pigments and dyes, but some will only contain dyes or just pigments. Make sure to check your can to find out which one it carriers. You really don’t want to be using a oil stain with pigments only on tight grained wood. Where you would prefer them with large grain wood.
When choosing your stain make sure it suits the environment that it is put in. For exterior applications make sure to choose a stain for exterior uses, since they can contain mildew blockers, and fade resistors. Semi-solid and Solid stains seem to be more prevalent in the exterior category, while clear and semi-transparent stains are more for interior applications.
The advantages of oil based stains are:
- Required more time to dry, which allows a more even coat
- Penetrates the wood deeper than other products
- Does not tend to raise the grain of the wood
- Extremely Durable
- Thicker seal for wood
- Less long term maintenance
To apply oil based stains your first step is to prepare your work space. You should have a well ventilated space and a room temperature between 70 to 75 degrees fahrenheit. This will ensure the greatest possible drying and working time. Spread newspapers around your work station to prevent wrecking your work bench and preventing dust and debris from flying up to your project. Now lets begin the process of staining.
First step is to make sure the wood is sanded to your preferred grit. Make sure there is no oil, grease, dust or debris on the surface.
Second take a slightly dampened brush and wet the wood.
Thirdly apply the wood stain to the surface. Make sure to follow the grain of the wood. Now you might find that a lint free rag works the best for large flat surfaces. But a brush might better suit ornate or intricate carved areas. Take care to coat the wood evenly.
Let the stain soak on the wood surface for the amount of time the manufacture dictates. Wipe it off once the proper amount of time has passed. Still wipe in the direction of the grain. Let the stain dry for an hour and review it once the time has passed.
After the hour is up, you find that the surface is patchy, or you desire a deeper color. Apply a second coat of stain and follow the same steps as above.
Once you are happy with the coverage the stain is providing, allow it to dry for 24 hours before applying a clear coat to it.