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How To: Stain with SamaN Water Based Stains

Terra George All Blog Posts How To

How to stain your furniture using saman water based stains

I am so excited for this tutorial as we love solid wood furniture and love preserving the beautiful grain in wood.

SamaN water based stains are like no other stain you have ever used! SamaN Water-Based Stains are highly pigmented, inter-mixble, eco friendly, non toxic, odorless, fast drying, does not raise the grain or no need conditioners and my favorite part is that it only needs one coat and it won't leave lapping marks!

Before we get started I would like to show you a couple pieces we have done for our clients using SamaN Water Base Stains....

Solid fir desk top stained with tourquise and sealed with resin

Here's a solid fir desk top we built for a client and stained with SamaN Turquoise and Ray is working on the resin coat. 

Nesting tables stained with SamaN Mahogany and Dark Walnut

Here's our clients nesting tables we refinished and colour matched for her using 1:1 ratio Mahogany and Dark Walnut.

Solid fir counter top stained with SamaN White Wash

Here's a solid fir counter top we built and stained with SamaN White Wash.



 Now time to get started!

Step #1

Find your project and take a before photo!

Tall boy dresser

Here's a solid Birch dresser I am going to stain the drawers in SamaN Dark Walnut and the base will be painted in Fresh Air and will be updating the hardware.

Step #2

Choose your SamaN Stain...

SamaN Water Based Stains

OR custom mix your own colour!

Custom mixed Saman stains

HOT TIP: If your going to create your own custom stain colour the SamaN Graduated Kit is a MUST! You can mix a colour without any wastage and mess!

Graduated staining kit

Step #3

Time to prep your project .... if you're piece has a finish ie painted or stained surface you must remove the finish when using SamaN's water based stains. To remove the finish we recommend using Dad's Easy Stray Stripper.

Dad's Easy Spray Stripper

HOT TIP: Always make sure when stripping furniture to take the proper safety per cautions... ALSO if the piece has a painted finish and is 1978 or older there is a good possibility I may contain Lead. Make sure to Lead Test before you start.

 Lead Test Kit

Laquer thinner and steel whool

To prep the surface I used Lacquer Thinner, a couple steel wool pads and my stripping gloves.

Stripping furniture with laquer thinner

I was very lucky as this piece was previous finished using a lacquer so using lacquer thinner I was able to remove the finish without having to use stripper to expose the raw wood.

Laquer thinner

Make sure to wipe off the residue with a clean rag.

Drawers stripped using laquer thinner

Here's the drawers stripped using lacquer thinner.

Sanding drawers

Now its time to give the drawers a very light sand with my finishing sander. I used 120 grit sand paper then used 240 grit.

Sanded drawers

As you can see the light sanding smoothed the surface and its now prepped and ready to be cleaned!

Cleaning your furniture before staining

I used 15ml TSP ECO concentrate in a half full bucket of water and my 300 Brillo pad to  remove the dust from sanding and any left over residue.

Cleaning your furniture with TSP ECO

Here's the drawers cleaned.

Tack Cloth

Once the drawers are dry I took my Tack Cloth and removed all dust that was embedded in the drawers that I missed when washing.

Step #4

Staining... The fun part!!!

How to apply stain

I used my staining sponge from SamaN's Basic Staining Kit and massaged the stain into the surface in circular motion working the stain into the grain.

Basic Staining Kit

Wiping stain

Once the piece is fully stained I took the cloth from the Saman Basic Staining Kit and wiped the access off making sure to follow the grain.


Here's the drawers all stained.

What I love most about this product is I stopped many times while applying the stain to take photos and to talk customers and I was able to continue staining the rest of the drawers and it didn't leave lapping marks!

Step #5

Time to seal your project!

Top Coat Sealer

For detailed directions on how to seal your project click here.

Step #6

Enjoy and show off your masterpiece!

 Saman stained dresser

I sealed the dresser using Superior Paint Co. Semi-Gloss Top Coat (3 Coats) and sanded between each coat using the 600 Grit Sanding Pad for a buttery smooth finish.

Stained Dresser

Saman stained drawers

How to stain your furniture before and after



  • Always test your stain on a scrap piece of wood in same type of wood to ensure your colour is what your looking for as every wood takes stain differently.
  • If you are new to SamaN products make sure to practice applying the stain before your start applying it to ensure you get a feel for the product.
  • If you don't like the colour not to worry as you can apply another colour over top without having to strip the other colour off.
  • If you wanna have a rustic finish use a sanding block to distress to expose the raw wood.

Things You'll Need:

***All products listed are available to purchase at Superior Interiors Kelowna***

I hope I have inspired you to renew your solid wood furniture. Please take the extra steps for a professional finish. I do not ever recommended just sanding a finish off like you will see people doing this online because your sanding off the profile of your furniture and if you sand off your furniture you can risk damaging the the wood or veneer. Please preserve the wood and take the proper steps so when your furniture needs updating or refinishing you have preserved the wood and have something to work with.

Happy staining and refinishing everyone!!!

Re-New Re-Use Re-Love!


I love seeing your transformations... Wanna make my day??? Send me your before and afters using Superior products!











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