staining plywood stairs, Shaker Storage & Shelving Shop Resources Collection, © 2020 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved, Making a Seat at the Table: Heidi Earnshaw, Making a Seat at the Table: Kate Davidson, Free Woodworking Downloads From Lee Valley, I Can Do That! ​The process for staining oak plywood and other hardwoods is the same as the process for staining regular plywood, with one or two small exceptions. Next stain choice: each of these come in either liquid or gel form. Usually you use a simple brush to stroke it onto your plywood surface. 36″ x 10-1/2″ Unfinished Oak Interior Stair Tread and 42″ x 10-1/2″ Unfinished Oak Interior Stair Tread are the two sizes the kits come in so we ordered seven of the 36 inch and six of the 42 inch after measuring both sets of stairs and determining the crazy size differences. Make sure your pressure treated plywood is completely dry before sealing it. Check out the video series on Refinishing Wood Stairs. See more ideas about flooring, home diy, home improvement. Apply Stain. If there are a lot of nooks, crannies, and angles, then sanding the wood down can take awhile. We have put together a comprehensive guide to help you understand which plywoods to use and how to stain plywood. Brushing the stain and not wiping off the excess may work somewhat, but spraying is best. Applying subsequent coats will help to darken the coloring, along with potentially applying additional richness to the color and grain. This is something I’ve written about many times. The upstairs flooring is plywood (otherwise I would have taken off that carpet too), but thankfully the stairs were real wood. ​When staining these hard woods, you don’t need to add any wood filler to their surface because they are generally without blemish. ​Before applying a second coat, examine the plywood for both coloring and dryness. On woods with large, open pores, such as oak, mahogany and ash, increase your pressure to work the stain into the pores. ​Do not sand between coats of stain. Confused yet? The key is to make sure that the stain you are adding is darker than the stain that is already on the plywood. The stain dries pretty quickly and you can walk on new stain by the end of the day or after about 4 – 6 hours. Stain can be applied with a bristle brush, a foam brush, or a cloth. This, however, … But I highly recommend it because it helps to create a lovely smooth finish. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality. Water base stains for birch plywood can give you some of the best results possible, particularly when used in combination with pre-stain conditioner designed to be used with it. A friend emailed me with this question: “What do you use on birch plywood to get it to take a stain evenly without blotching? You won’t want to add stain to a plywood surface that hasn’t been sanded. Wood stains are probably most commonly used on pine boards and plywood. light scuff. The only sanding you have left to do is at the very end, once all the staining is done ​and you’ve applied a finish. ​High grade and hardwood plywood is already sanded pretty smooth. How to Stain and Finish Plywood Step 1. Learn how to strip and sand your wood floors. Wash off any sanding dust with a wet rag. With a water based stain, the drying time is typically only a few hours. As a matter of fact, one of the main reasons for selecting these types of hard plywood is because you appreciate the look of the wood’s exterior. SawsHub is a collection of DIY enthusiasts and woodworking experts. Learn about the team! While it can seem arduous to do the leg work involved in filling and sanding, the finished product will look a lot better as a result. With a water based stain, the drying time is typically only a few hours. Working with harder woods on your DIY projects can pose a few challenges, but often yields a much nicer result. Plywood is one of the most versatile and cost-effective building materials, and as a result, it is also one of the most popular. The use of plywood as an easy to install cladding material helped to keep costs (and environmental impact) to a minimum. At first, you should lightly sand your plywood for attaining a smooth surface. However, oil based stains will give you a better finished product, especially on a larger surface, and typically last longer (really valuable if your DIY project is going outdoors). After sanding, you’ll want to wipe the surface with a tack cloth. How to Choose the Best Stain for your Wood: There are two types of stain bases: oil and water. If you buy something through a link in our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Soak up a small amount of stain with a scrap cloth or chisel-tipped brush and transfer it to the piece. While faster and easier, you have a lot less control of the finished product. Sandpaper with a lower grit number will make wood rougher, allowing more stain to absorb and create a darker color. ​You can use this for a lot of your wood-specific home improvement projects. First, there are two main types of plywood: Hardwood plywood is always of a high grade and it is relatively easy to stain and finish. We’ll walk through the right steps for selecting plywood, but we haven’t provided any guidance on how to best cut your wood. What this means is that the soft plywood will take stain more in some areas than in others, causing dark and light patterns that can sometimes look unnatural. Never mix the two. Sealers are typically very easy to apply. My first solution was to not use birch plywood if the plan is to stain it. If you must sand the plywood, lightly scuff the surface with 120-grit sandpaper. The best way to stain wood is to prepare the wood surface by sanding it with a sanding block or orbital sander. When it comes to staining, it is easiest to stain plywood that is untreated. So, in general, you get a lighter but more consistent staining result. However, this does not impact our recommendations. What if it’s too late; the project is already built? When I last wrote, I shared how we removed the carpet from the stairs and prepped for staining the stairs. If you’re using a gel stain, instead apply the first coat with a cloth, rubbing the gel into the wood evenly as you go along​. ​Here are the general characteristics of liquid and gel stains: To sum it up, many beginners prefer to start with a liquid stain because it very easy to brush on and wipe off. At this point, you have successfully prepared your plywood for staining. Your typical Home Depot will probably carry one or two varieties of hard plywood, but your selection will be limited. Use a pressure washer if the wood has tough stains. Using birch plywood is not a good choice if your intention is to stain it. These plywood surfaces should be sanded lightly using a 220 grit sandpaper. – Simple Woodworking Projects. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. How to Select, Stain, and Finish Plywood for Woodworking Projects, How to Stain Oak Plywood And Other Hardwoods, serious building projects that you want to last, often times the manufacturer hasn’t made any repairs, valuable if your DIY project is going outdoors, Working with harder woods on your DIY projects, Brad Nailer vs Pin Nailer: When to Use Each Nail Gun, How to Thin Wood Stain for Color Lightening, How to Rip Narrow Boards With a Circular Saw, How to Crosscut Plywood Using a Table Saw, How to Cut a Straight Edge With a Table Saw, How to Cut an Acrylic Sheet With a Jigsaw. ​Wood stains come in two types: water based stain and oil based stain. However, left without a finish, the wood can quickly weather away. Hardwoods such as oak, cherry, maple, mahogany, and birch are not typically found in cheap plywoods, but make for great pieces of wood for fine woodworking and furniture making. Generally speaking, here are the main characteristics of each: ​Many first timers opt for water based stains because of their easy application and clean up. And, with the right steps, you can stain the plywood for a gorgeous, finished look. No matter what type of wood you have, sanding is a very important step to do before staining. Step 3. Your DIY home improvement project may require the use of stained plywood. It took a few weeks to decide whether to re-stain them or just paint the stairs. Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. If your plywood has dents, holes, or splits, you can use a stainable wood filler​ to fill the gaps in.​ Be sure to select a wood filler that is both stainable and sandable. It is a thinned finish, say two parts thinner to one part finish. For lower grades of softwood ply, which is commonly what a lot of DIY homemakers use, you’ll want to consider sanding in several steps. Gel stain is particularly forgiving with splotch-prone woods like birch, cherry, maple, and pine. The general techniques for staining all varieties of wood or plywood can be applied for birch plywood also. Home » Uncategorized » How to Select, Stain, and Finish Plywood for Woodworking Projects. This guide focused on learning about the different types of plywood, and how to best stain them. The stain won’t penetrate on ​repairs with putty. Kate over at Centsational Girl has a great tutorial on how to add real wood to plywood stairs if you’re interested. As you are doing this, use a soft cloth to wipe up any stain that pools up on the wood. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. ​Let the first coat dry. Its best to plan this staining project well in advance if you’re purchasing the plywood to ensure its dry. Brushing will leave brush marks, and brushing back and forth will have an effect similar to wiping off the excess. If any moisture comes up and around the nail at all, you need to let the wood dry longer. Other than that, ​you also might want to skip sealing your plywood before staining. If you’ve ever stained birch plywood a dark color, the results were probably so blotchy and difficult to reverse that you vowed, “Never again!” Which is too bad, because if you could stain birch plywood a deep, reddish-brown color so it looked like cherry plywood, you could save a bundle on materials for your next project. Smooth and hardwood plywood are made with a veneer that disguises the crossbands of woodchip underneath. Start with 120-grit sandpaper on refinished pieces. Doing this may influence your choice of woods. Rubbing or brushing against the direction of the grain will help fill deep pores with stain. It’s like entering a treehouse carved from the trunk of a tree. ​Compared to hardwood, softwood ply can sometimes stain unevenly. In general, gel or heavy-bodied stains work best. Be conservative. Unless the wood is entirely new, you’ll need to clean the surface free of dirt or mildew before finishing, so the wood stain doesn’t trap any imperfections. But it shows well the radically different look achieved by spraying a stain and leaving it – that is, not wiping off the excess (right). The usual solution is to apply a washcoat before staining. Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: We have a townhouse with plywood construction. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons. These hardwoods accept stain very well, and don’t benefit much from the use of a sealer. If it is just a big sheet of plywood, then the process will be relatively easy. Using a lint-free rag, dip it into the can of stain and begin applying it to the wood. However, you can stain treated plywood too. Staining Birch Plywood: Is It Possible To Avoid Blotching? A hardwood or Grade A plywood probably won’t need much prep at all, but a lower grade will. You can test the treated plywood for moisture by pounding a nail into it. However, it is much more expensive, and sometimes defeats the purpose of using plywood as the wood of choice. A better solution is to spray the stain and not wipe off the excess. ​Before you get started on staining, ​make sure you’ve finished buying, measuring, and cutting all of your wood. While hardwood plywood can be as expensive as regular hardwood and has a beautiful wood grain that you probably wouldn't want to cover up with stain, smooth plywood's veneer is expressly designed to allow for staining and varnishing. The product sold as “wood conditioner” is a washcoat. Ready to refinish those tired old stairs? Apply a solvent-based primer to the plywood veneer, using long, even strokes with your paintbrush. Step 2. Though it’s troublesome to stain this one, some normal tips can work well for you. Nov 26, 2016 - Explore Susan Prevatte Carpenter's board "stained plywood floors" on Pinterest. Unseasonably warm weather convinced me to try re-staining them and I’m super happy with how they’re looking. You must work quickly with this method to avoid having it dry with a blotchy finish. Pick one and go with it. ​Those interested in DIY home improvement projects may be familiar with using plywood as a substrate or structural wood where the finish is not a factor. Once the wood is dry you can apply primer with a brush or roller. If so, lightly sand over the surface by hand with 400 grit sandpaper. Allow it to dry before staining. This step is essential to an even application of stain. Wipe it off to leave an even layer. Swatches are made to preview how a stain will look on 3MM laser cut plywood. Once you get the carpet up this is what you will see. ​Avoid wood putty, as it does not hold stain the same way wood filler does. Q: My childhood dresser is beautiful but the wood stain looks faded. This will ensure you have the right finished look. After sanding, wipe all surfaces with mineral spirits and inspect for scratches or sander swirls. Bob Flexner is the author of "Flexner on Finishing," "Wood Finishing 101," and "Understanding Wood Finishing.". So many home DIY projects involve the use of this type of wood, and in order to give it a finished look, most turn to stain. If you choose to use a powered orbital sander for this light sanding, be very careful that you do not sand through the thin, outer layer of the plywood. The higher the ratio of finish to thinner the better it blocks stain penetration into … ​For those interested in how to finish plywood, we put together this guide on how to stain plywood. Wash the pressure-treated wood with a deck cleaner, scrubbing the wood surface with a brush while wet. Next, wipe the wood down with a rag soaked in mineral spirits. If you’re using a gel stain, instead apply the... ​Let the first coat dry. Decide which amount of wood stain sealer gives you the desired look. I’d love to update it with fresh paint and new hardware, but I’ve heard that you can’t get good results painting over stain. Wipe the veneer surface down with a tack cloth. Rub stain over all three sections with a rag. For instance, plywoods in Grades A-C is readily available at your local home improvement store, and usually for a very reasonable price. Achieve rich, warm color without blotching in 4 easy steps. The wood treads were ready for staining when the stairs were completely smooth to the touch. For the face of the stairs we cut 1/4 inch smooth plywood (I think it was birch) and cut each piece to fit exactly. Softwood, on the other hand, comes with a letter grade as a part of the plywood’s grading system. Okay, I know I said there’s no sanding involved but it IS a good idea to do a very light … Doing a project like this yourself is going to shave a lot of money off what it would cost a professional to do the same job. This letter grade is uniformly given throughout the industry, and ranges from A (the highest quality construction grade) to D (the lowest quality). ​The degree to which you need to prepare your plywood for a stain depends on the type and grade of ply you have. If you have plywood that is already stained, you can add stain over top of this. This makes it a great option for your DIY project. The blue stuff is the carpet padding (yours … This will help the veneer to stain … It seems so commonplace that we may feel the need to make it appear more sophisticated by adding some color. Get the Plywood Ready. The product sold as “wood conditioner” is a washcoat. This can take up to several months. We were thinking of sanding both the flat and riser of the stair and possibly staining the flat, and painting the riser. 4 Ways to Staining Birch Plywood [without Blotaching]: 1. If you want to go with a darker color, gel stain on birch plywood is another option. When choosing a wood for a project, think ahead to how you want to finish it. Step Two: Stain​ Your Plywood ​For a liquid stain, apply the first coat, using long and even strokes. Save up to 68% on 7 issues of woodworking projects and tricks. If you’re using softwood plywood, the next step is to repair your wood, to the degree you feel necessary. After you climb the stairs surrounded by plywood stained black you enter a world of plywood. Once those are gone, apply a gel stain or equalize the wood density with a washcoat. Now open your wood stain … There was no skirting on the stairs, so we had to work with each stair individually to fit it tight to the wall. The second option is to rag the stain onto the wood. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to If you need to apply a lighter stain, then you’ll need to strip the original stain off of the wood first. The usual solution is to apply a washcoat before staining. Staining plywood stairs? Begin spreading the stain across the surface of the wood in eccentric circles or back and forth using smooth strokes. The poly is what takes longer and depending on what the … ​You’ll get the best staining results by using grade A plywood, but all types can be stained with a little bit of upfront work. This is typically fine, as you’ll usually be staining just one side for your woodworking project. ​For a liquid stain, apply the first coat, using long and even strokes. First, starting a lower grit such as 150, sand evenly across the side you’ll be staining. We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. We hope this guide has helped you to understand how to stain plywood, and we wish you the best of luck in your home improvement projects! You won’t need many tools for this project, and it is really easy to stain this kind of wood, once you get the hang of it. Pre-stain wood conditioner is an optional step when you’re staining a project. Once … To save time, it’s best to start off with Grade A plywood. This will leave an even coloring everywhere, even over the swirly grain. It reduces this blotching effect, but it also reduces the amount of stain absorbed by the wood. The higher the ratio of finish to thinner the better it blocks stain penetration into the swirly grain of birch and the less the blotching. This is pine, not birch. But also, the lighter the resulting color. Be sure to select the better side for staining! This removes the remaining wood dust that is left over from the sanding process. When staining Baltic Birch plywood with Minmax, I kept running into the problem of not knowing which color was Sedona Red and which color was Red Mahagony. Although water-based stains can be applied over an oil base, but only after 24 hours or longer to ensure the oil-based stain is completely dry … An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. I stained them, but wasn’t happy with them. Applying a sealer is not difficult, but by doing so, you’ll need to add more stain to your plywood. Or, you might be alright with a lighter colored final result. Once you’re satisfied with the color, you can wipe the wood with a tack cloth again and. The moisture in the sealer may raise the grain on the wood again, making it feel rough again. If you want a more accurate result, wetting … To find quality hardwood ply in a variety of different species, you typically need to go to a specialty lumber yard. But the look will be quite different from that achieved by wiping off the excess stain. It is a thinned finish, say two parts thinner to one part finish. ​​. ​. Paint the surface of the plywood stairs, both the tread and the riser, with a coat of all-in-one paint and primer. Choose the gel stain option if you want an easy solution straight from the can with predictable color. Copyright 2020 by - Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Contact. Some woodworkers claim that brush-on pre-stain conditioners are necessary whenever using brush-on or rub-on stains with certain woods, but that gel stains are much less prone to splotching and can be used without the pre-stain conditioning. Typically, pine is the cheapest lumber you can buy and its light color can make it seem like a blank canvas. 5. One great option is to test a sealer on an extra piece of plywood, and then apply a stain to see what the finished result will look like. Subscribe ». So I decided to make swatches I could use as a reference. Use a brush to apply stain with the grain of the wood in even strokes. For those looking to DIY their wood stairs, knowing how to stain wood stair railing or treads is going to be handy knowledge to ensure the job is done well and done right to increase the overall look of the wood stairs. Then, finish with a higher grit such as 220. The manufacturer will probably have made some repairs, but you might want to add your own as well. For the best stain results, you need to pull the loose dust and dirt off the surface. Why apply a sealer to your plywood before staining? However, with a oil based stain, you’ll need to let it dry overnight. Without it, your stain may appear blotchy or uneven when your project is finished. This means that you might find a sheet of ply that is Grade B on one side and Grade D on the other. The facings were painted white before installation, … Sand the entire plywood surface with 100-grit sandpaper. Blot the stain onto the surface of the wood. ​In either case, wipe the stain off before it dries on the plywood. Sanding the wood is the easiest way to do this, but stripping old stain can be laborious. Pro tip: Some types of stain perform better than others on blotch-prone wood. Staining pressure treating plywood offers you the best of both worlds: you get the convenience of the pressure treating while also getting the look of stain. Most sheets of plywood are different grades on each side. Follow the directions on the sealer container to ensure you apply it properly.

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