In addition to our impressive Benjamin Moore paint selection, Hammond | EBS stores also carry top quality wood stains and finishes. Stains can be more difficult to choose than paint is. When choosing the right stain you need to consider the type of wood you’re working with, the optimum opacity for the look you want, the wear and tear the piece will be subjected to, and the elements it will be exposed to. If this seems like a lot to consider, just come in and our helpful staff will be happy to assist you in the process. Can do, just ask!
Types of Stains and Finishes
The uses of exterior stain are almost unending. Nearly any piece of timber outside is a possible recipient of an exterior stain. From decking to window trim, to gazebos to furniture, and the list goes on and on. It’s with good reason, then, that EBS has a wide variety of exterior stains for you.
Interior stains are commonly used on wood floors, furniture, or cabinet doors, but have many applications outside of those few. The paint and stain section of EBS is sure to have the stain right for whatever project you’re planning to tackle.
A protective finish includes varnishes, polyurethane, and waxes, all of which can be applied directly to wood or stained surfaces. Clear finishes, or “topcoats”, help to protect wood against water damage, household chemicals and everyday wear. Protective finishes add a polished look to wood and improve its lifetime, a great final step of any project.
Cleaners and Sealants
Preparing your surface properly before staining is key to getting the best results. These products help to remove dirt and old stains from wood, as well as ensure that your new stain lasts longer by adding layers of protection.
Types of Stains
Water-Based – Water-based wood stains are quick-drying, easy-to-clean-up, and provide excellent color retention. Waterborne stains have less unpleasant odors and emit fewer VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) than their oil-based brethren.
Oil-Based – Oil-Based stains are known for giving a richer color to wood than water-based stains. Because oil-based stains penetrate deeper into the wood, they are also more durable than water-based stains.
PolyWhey – PolyWhey wood finishes are products made with whey proteins, a natural by-product of the dairy industry. These stains and finishes are scratch, chemical, and water resistant. They also dry quickly, do not yellow, and are easy to apply.
Features of Stains
Protection – Stains offer protection to wood surfaces from damaging UV light and moderate protection against rot and water damage. Polyurethane finishes actually form a non-porous protective coating that guards against water damage, splintering, and scratching.
Moisture & Mildew – Most water-based stains are mildew-resistant. Oil-based stains, however, can encourage mildew growth. To avoid this, look for the stains that specifically say that they are mildew-resistant. Both types of stains are usually water-repellant, but be sure to check each product individually.
Color – Wood stains are available in many, many beautiful colors and tones. They can be used to enhance natural beauty within the wood, or to adjust the shade of the wood to better match other accents.
Selecting the Right Stain for Your Project
Oil-Based or Water-Based In general, oil-based stains are recommended for most hardwood. They are more durable and penetrate better than water-based stains. Water-based stains do retain color well and can be used on woods with natural resistance to rotting. They also dry quickly and are prime choice for “quick fix” jobs.
Solid or Transparent – Transparent stains do not hide wood grains and natural color while solid, or opaque, stains conceal them completely. In between transparent and opaque are semi-transparent and semi-solid stains. Here, your decision will be based on the finished look you want, but it is also worth considering longevity. A general rule of thumb is: the more opaque the stain, the longer it will last.
Which Color is the Right Color – A stain often looks darker when applied to a large area, and it varies according to the type of wood it’s used on, and this color changes as light conditions change. We recommend testing a stain on a test board before applying it to the whole project.
Preparing Your Surface for Staining
- Make sure the wood is clean.
- Fill small holes and cracks with stainable wood filler.
- Sand the wood to smooth out filled areas, remove small scratches, and open the wood’s pores to better receive the stain. Often this is a two-step process, first with medium-grit sandpaper and the second with fine-grit sandpaper.
- Remove sandpaper dust with a vacuum attachment, a lint-free damp cloth, or both.
- Consider applying a wood conditioner, a pre-stain treatment that reduce blotchiness.
- Test your chosen stain on an inconspicuous spot before applying to the entire project.
To make things easier, everything you’ll need for the perfect finish is available at an EBS store near you. Some stores have limited availability, call ahead and ask if the products you’re looking for are in stock.