Bringing out the natural colors of woods

Each and every material of wood furniture comes with many types and unique personality. It provides differences through its colour, grain and texture where you can find in every type of woods which cater to your personal taste and decorating preferences of your cabinet furniture or house decorations. As time goes on, the wood materials will gradually darken or mellow due to aging, light and UV exposure. You will never notice the aging process until in a few years time, and only then you will be able to compare your cabinets against a brand new one. Below are some of the steps to enable you to bring out the natural colors of wood.

What you need:

Equipment for Sanding

  1. Medium grade sheets (00 to 120 grit) sandpaper (for removing rough area and old stain)
  2. Fine grade sheets (60 to 220 grit) sandpaper (for smoothing and touch-ups)
  3. A sandpaper block with 2-inch-by-3-inch-4-inch (for using on flat surfaces)

Equipment for Staining

  1. A bristle brush, synthetic brush or foam brush applicator
  2. Cheese cloth or rags
  3. Rubber gloves
  4. A plastic drop cloth (for protecting the floor)
  5. Paint thinner (for cleaning the brushes)

Equipment for Finishing

  1. A quality 2-inch or 3-inch pure china bristle brush
  2. Artist brush with firm bristle
  3. Fine grade sandpaper or a nylon sanding pad
  4. A fairly dust- free work area and well ventilated
  5. A painter\’s tack cloth


  1. In order for you to do the sanding method, you have to remove all hardware, excess glue, set nails and tighten screws. Then, sand the first wood by using medium grade sandpaper by stroking it long, straight lines with the grain that will bring out natural colour of the wood. For an even smoother finish, you need to sand it again by using fine sandpaper. After that, clean the surface off using a tack cloth or a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Your wood is now ready to be applied with wood patch, wood filler or sealer, to be stained or just clear finish.
  2. For certain type of woods may absorb stain very quickly such as pine, fir and poplar. That is why you need to apply a wood sealer on it before doing any staining method. Try to apply a light coat of sealer and make sure to wipe off its excess. Before applying a light coat of stain, make sure to dry it thoroughly.
  3. By staining your wood, it helps giving rich new colour to the wood and also enhanced its grain. Before applying the staining method, you can test the stain colour on hidden section or try it on unused similar wood to see the output. After you have confirmed the colour, make sure to clean its surface and then follow up with a cloth to remove all the dust.
  4. The next step is for you to apply the stain using a brush (foam brush applicator or cloth) to enable you to get smooth and even coverage. Leave the stain to set for at least up to 15 minutes where the longer the time you set it will make the colour much deeper. Wipe off the stain using a clean cloth while it is still wet and be careful not to remove too much from its corners and edges.
  5. Then, wipe across the grain so that the stain will work into the wood pores while the final wipe should always be with the grain. For getting more colours and the rich tone preferred, you need to repeat this process until you are satisfied with the end result. The stain must be left to dry for at least up to 4 hours before you can start applying the finish method.
  6. Finishing method can protect your wood for a long time and before you can start doing it, make sure to keep your doors and windows open for air ventilation, safety precaution and also allow for quick drying times. You have to stir satin or semi-gloss finishes carefully using a paint stick without shaking the can so that there will be no bubbles appearing in the finish.
  7. For even coats, use pure china bristle and apply it lightly. This will also minimize of possible drips and wrinkles when the finish dries. Then, you need to wet the workable area by applying the finish using brush-width strokes following the wood grain. To achieve a smooth and even finish, apply the final strokes from end to end of the piece. You also need to pick off dust particles using the artist\’s brush.
  8. Always apply a minimum of two coats to ensure better protection and allow for at least up to 8 hours for the first coat to dry, while up to 12 hours for the following coats. Finally, you need to recoat liquid plastic (polyurethane) at least up to 24 hours to get an optimal adhesion and the finished surface can only be use after 24 hours.

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