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How To: Stain Furniture using Superior Paints

Terra George All Blog Posts How To

Staining wooden furniture isn't just a matter of stripping off one finish and applying another. Preparing the wood takes both time and elbow grease, but it's vital to the success of your refinishing job. The finish is only as good as the preparation for it.

Do I need to Strip?

If you project is stained, sealed or painted your going to need to chemically strip the surface to remove the finish and allow the new stain to penetrate into the raw wood. Make sure to always follow the instructions of your stripper and always wear a respirator, protective eye ware, apron, long sleeves, closed toe shoes and professional grade stripping gloves.

Once your project is fully stripped you want to repair any damage and give it a light sand. Clean your wood thoroughly, and clean your work surface with a soft, lint-free cloth. This will ensure that no dirt, debris or sawdust clings to your finished surface.


Carol's Oak dining table stained with Galvanized Grey

Coffee tabletop stained with Barn WoodStained TV Stand using Barn Wood

TV Stand top stained using Barn Wood

Burlap stained table

Dining Table stained using Burlap

White washed table using Ivory

Antique bedside table stained using Ivory

Burlap stained tabletops

Livingroom set tabletops stained using Barn Wood

Oak table stained using Burlap

Oak dining tabletop stained using Burlap


Oak table top stained with Cast Black

Pine buffet cabinet top layered stains of Coco Brown, Greystokes, Cast Black and dry brushed with Bone White.

Pine sign stained with Fireball.

Pine sign stained with Sapphire Skies.

Fir harvest table stained with Little White.

Fir blocks stained with Burlap, Little White and Trainstation.

Pine trunk sheathing stained with Trainstation.

Sample board of pine stained with 1:2 ratio Superior Paints

and sealed in Top Coat.

How To: Mix a Superior Paint Stain

High Hide Stain (Very little grain will show through)

1:1 Equal Parts Superior Paint and Water

Semi Transparent (Medium Coverage)

1:2 Superior Paint and Water

Transparent (Very Light Stain)

1:3 Superior Paint and Water

Rusty Nail on fir from left to right: High Hide, Semi Transparent, Transparent and raw fir.

Black Mountain Black on fir from left to right: High Hide, Semi Transparent, Transparent and raw fir.

Midnight Hour on fir left to right: High Hide, Semi Transparent, Transparent and raw fir.


1. Pre soak:

Using a damp rag wipe down your piece with water this will open the pores of the wood and allows the wood to accept the stain.

2. Staining:

Once your pre soak is dry its time to start staining!

Dip the edge of your brush in the stain and apply a thin layer of stain to the surface of the wood. Always brush along the grain using long, even strokes. Work on one portion of the wood at a time instead of trying to stain the entire piece all at once.

3. Wipe off

Take your staining pad or clean rag and wipe off the access following the grain. 

Make sure to wipe off with smooth even pressure passes starting at one end of the piece to the other without starting or stopping. Wait for the stain to completely dry. If the color is not as deep as you would like, then apply additional coats or different colours of stains to to add richness to the piece until you achieve the desired result. Make sure to let each coat dry completely before adding an additional coat.

4. Top Coat Sealer:

Once you are happy with your stained project its time to seal it! I personally love Glossy for stained pieces it highlights the wood grain and richness your project.


-Make sure to practice on a inconspicuous area or on a scrap piece of wood (make sure its the same type of wood).
-When mixing your stain always make note of your ratio so if you run out you can always make more.
-If you have poor water quality make sure to use distilled water.
-For a rustic finish lightly sand the surface to highlight the wood grain.
-If you have forgotten to put the lid on your paint container and it's thick.... not to worry you can add water and mix well and now you have a new stain! You will never waste a single ounce of paint ever again!

Things You'll Need:

-Your Project
-Stir Sticks
-Container for mixing your stain
For inspiration check out our Pinterest Board of furniture and home decor stained with Superior Paint Co. Paints.
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