How To Stain Wood – A Step By Step Guide


Why would you want to stain wood and what actually is wood stain? You might be bored of the colour. The surface may be damaged or in serious need of a facelift.

Perhaps you’re changing your décor and your wood floors and furniture need to change to match. Maybe your decking needs refinishing.

Whatever your motivation, using a wood stain rich in pigments on bare or stripped-down wood changes the colour and also highlights the lovely grain.

Wood stains can be used to transform the look and feel of any room

If you’d like our expert advice on this, contact us on 01303 213838 to speak to our dedicated woodcare team. Alternatively, you can always email us at 

You can also join our fast-growing community on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest; where we share inspirational photos, how-to videos, whilst giving expert advice. 

Why Should You Stain Wood?

Staining Wood is the optimal method for enhancing the look and feel of your wood, it’s a great way to revitalise any interior wooden surface – giving it that subtly fresh feel with a dash of colour. 

Light coloured stain for a contemporary style

As well as embellishing the complexion of your timber, wood stain also helps preserve the grain of the wood. 

If any of your furniture, floors or even decking (more on that later) are looking worn, harnessing the range of colours available with stains can go a long way to impressing your family or friends at a modest price point. 

What Wood Can You Stain?

Well, any wood – nothing’s off limits. It’s more common to stain interior wood, so if you’re looking into that – we’d definitely recommend you do this. 

Stain is thinner than paint and doesn’t mask the visual appeal of wood, which is why it’s a popular option on interior timber; it prevents your wood from losing its visually appealing aesthetic, which is probably why you bought it in the first place. 

Although there are still some things to consider when choosing the perfect stain for you. Dark wood won’t work well with light and bright stains, your best bet with dark timber is to pick a wood stain that is also dark.  

Otherwise, your dark timber will manipulate how the brightly coloured stain looks and won’t look how you anticipated.

However, you can stain all sorts of exterior wood too, such as your wooden garden furniture.

There are some wood stains on the market that can be used on decking too, such as Cuprinol Anti-Slip Decking Stain

Cuprinol garden decking and furniture

However, it’s important to note that wood stains don’t offer great protection against weathering, foot traffic and just about every other potential misfortune your timber might have to go head-to-head with. 

So, we would thoroughly recommend applying a preserver underneath your wood stain top coat, take a look at our Top 5 Decking Preserver Product Guide for more expert advice. 

What Type of Wood Do You Have?

Before you go anywhere near an interior wood stain, deck stain or just about any other stain, you need to know what type of wood you’re dealing with.

Is it a softwood or hardwood? They behave differently, and the application process and end results are different.

How do you tell them apart? Softwoods include pines, firs and cedars. Hardwoods include oak, walnut and birch.

Woodlands at dawn

In between you have a few oddities. Box, for example, is a surprisingly soft hardwood and fir is a very hard softwood.

The long and complicated list doesn’t stop there, though. There are thousands of tree species and within each species there’s dozens of variations.

In short, no two trees are the same – be mindful of that when trying to get your desired finish. 

Softwoods tend to have an uneven grain, often with patterns or blotches, and in some cases can stain unevenly.  

You might want the grain to stand out from the background and dye darker, since it’s a great way to enhance the wood’s beauty.  

If not, you could try a special pre-stain conditioner which sinks into the wood fibres to give an even base.  

Wood conditioners are bigger in the US and have mixed reviews. Manns Classic Pine Stain is specially formulated for pine and other soft grain woods. Manns also make a range of wood stains for hardwoods

Hardwoods tend to have a neat, even, finer grain. You can use any stain you like on hardwoods, but you may need multiple coats to achieve the same effect as you get on softwoods.  

Hardwoods are also generally stronger and are more durable than its softer counter-part. For interior hardwoods, we suggest you take a look at Manns’ Classic Oak Stain

Types of Wood Stain 

Wood stains are designed to penetrate the wood rather than sitting on top it, this is what helps give your timber that natural look and feel post staining.

There are two types of formula’s in the wood staining world that you need to be aware of, water-based and solvent-based stains – each with positives and negatives.

Wood stain application


Water-based wood stains deliver an even colour and won’t absorb unevenly; they smell less and dry faster, usually within a couple of hours.

You can clean with ordinary soap and water instead of solvents, you also get a broader colour range. It’s best to apply water-based products with a synthetic brush. 

There are plenty of positives and negatives to water-based stains. One of the big positives is that it is environmentally friendly, as it is nearly entirely made up from water.

Of course, this is also a drawback in protection and effectiveness, as water doesn’t have many protective or visually appealing properties. 

Water-based products typically contain a low or minimal V.O.C, which stands for volatile organic compounds. The lower the V.O.C, the less nasty smelling toxins and chemicals in your stain.   

If you’re looking to spruce up your hardwood floors, take a look at Manns Classic Oak Stain.

This stain is rated with a very low V.O.C, comes in over 15 colours and is available in sample pots. So you can be 100% certain you’ve got the perfect colour for your timber.

Once you’ve used the handy test pot, use the Wood Finishes Direct Calculator to work out just how much is needed to avoid wastage. 


Solvent-based wood stains, such as Morrells Light Fast Wood Stains are commonly used by professionals.

This is because they are fast drying as this stain only taking 30 minutes to completely dry and is easy to apply.

They are also ‘Light Fast‘, meaning that they are fade resistant, making them perfect for areas that are exposed to direct sunlight.

Solvent-based wood stains typically reach the higher end of the spectrum in regards to V.O.C’s.

There are several precautions you should take when handling any type of stain regardless of its V.O.C. However, take extra measures when using high V.O.C products, especially indoors.

This is due to the fact that they have a much stronger smell and can affect the air quality.

If high V.O.C’s already affect you such as petrol, we’d suggest you look at the water-based alternative if you’re a budding DIY’er.  

A popular exterior use solvent-based wood stain is Sadolin Extra Durable Wood Stain. This contains pigmented (coloured) varnishes that are ideal for softwood and hardwood projects, including doors and windows, for extra long-lasting protection.

It doesn’t have the most varied colour range in the world, but delivers quality finishes and enhances your woods final look.  

Before You Start Staining Tips

Every piece of wood is different. Every tree is unique, even within the same species.

Minimalist lounge with wooden flooring

So our first tip is this: Always do a test area first.

Make sure to trial your interior or exterior wood stain product on a small, hidden area of wood to make sure things aren’t going to go pear-shaped and you end up with an inadequate finish.

Our second tip is: Remember your wood stains act the same way to wood as a pair of sunglasses would to you.

Your exterior stain for example will add an extra layer of UV protection every time you apply one. However the more you add, the darker your wood gets.

If you keep adding stain layers, eventually you won’t be able to see the wood. If that was your sunglasses you wouldn’t be able to see anything, find the perfect balance for protection and visibility.  

How to Stain Wood in 8 Simple Steps

1. First, remove any dust, stickiness, polish, wax, paint, grease or dirt by either sanding, using a wax and polish remover or a paint and varnish remover. White Spirit and Methylated Spirit are also great de-greasers and wood cleaners.

If you’re cleaning your decking and a stiff brush isn’t cutting it, take a look at Ronseal’s Decking Cleaner and Reviver.

This product is perfect to use alongside their Ultimate Finish Decking Pad Kit, for an easy application and extra pad to apply your stain with. For more information, take a look at How To Stain Decking for a Flawless Finish.

Staining wooden floor

2. Next, sand the old surface to provide a clean, fresh surface for your wood staining product.

You might need to resort to coarse paper then work your way up to finer (120 – 150 Grit) sandpaper to finish, or dive straight in with a light paper when there’s less preparation to do.

This is a vital stage because wood stains won’t give an even result if the surface is mucky.

If you leave the surface too rough, it will absorb more stain and give a darker finish and the smoother the finish, the lighter the colour. Experiment on scrap wood or a small area on the real thing first.

3. Wipe down your beautifully sanded surface with a damp cloth to remove any debris.

4. Put on your rubber gloves and stir the wood stain thoroughly. The colour pigments are usually heavier than the solvent or water carrier so tend to be more concentrated at the bottom of the tin or container.

Make sure to stir the wood stain periodically during the application process, especially after breaks to ensure a more consistent finish.

5. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the tin or container to the letter, applying the stain with either a sponge, brush or lint free cloth.

6.  Use smooth, continuous movements, following the grain rather than working against it and applying the wood colour evenly.

7. Leave it to dry according to the instructions. As a general rule, the longer you leave it, the darker the tone.

You can always wipe small areas off and put back after you’ve checked on the progress. Bear in mind it’s much easier to apply more stain rather than try to remove it because you’ve gone too far. 

Always remember to never rush between coats, doing this risks completely destroying your wood – there’s no point rushing the easy waiting stage.

8. When you’ve achieved the right depth of colour leave it to dry again, as per the instructions. 

Expert Advice

“Take care when sanding wood. Wood that has been sanded evenly will produce an even colour. Poorly sanded wood is likely to produce a more patchy, uneven finish” 

Wood Stains and their Colours

The beauty of coloured wood stain is the sheer variety of shades and tones. Everything from clean, crisp white wood stain for contemporary living and working spaces to subtle grey wood stain, dramatic black wood stain and a multitude of other beautiful wood stain colours.

We stock a vast range of coloured wood stains, including the glorious Osmo Country Colour.

Which is available in opaque, satin-matt and a host of beautiful shades including blues, greens, greys, reds, oranges and more.

But, just be careful when staining a lighter wood species, such as pine. As using the incorrect product can cause your wood to darken way beyond what you wanted.

Blue wood stain

Luckily, there is a vast range of products specifically designed to work its magic on your lighter coloured wood to enhance its beauty – rather than destroy it.

A reason for these specifically designed stains being so successful is because they contain a very small amount of white pigment, which in-turn helps retain the natural finish and feel of your wood. 

A great option for this is Manns’ Classic Pine Stain, this water-based interior stain comes in over 25 colours, which helps tailor the product to your desired look.

However, we wouldn’t recommend using these types of products on dark woods as they can leave the timber with a milky appearance.  

For a detailed and in-depth guide on wood colour, check our Essential Guide to Wood Colour article, running your through every detail of how colour actually affects your wood – filled to the brim with our bank of knowledge. 

The table shows a varied selection of wood stains and their features, to help give some guidance towards the best stain for you.

Expert Advice

“Ignore the names given to colour names and go by the visual appeal of the wood colour. Compare a medium oak colour swatch from 6 different companies and I’m pretty certain that they will all be different” 

Wood stain dos and don’ts

How do you remove coloured wood stains? This very much depends on the type of wood being stained and the stain used. If it’s purely a water-based stain that has been freshly applied, then Woodleys Wood Stain Remover is your first stop.

Old and worn dark stain on wood panels

Spirit-based wood stains should be removed by scrubbing with cellulose thinners, methylated spirit or white spirit.

It can be tricky to fully remove a stain and it may be necessary to sand the wood back if the removal process doesn’t fully work.

Many shop-bought wood stains contain a stain and sealer (type of varnish) as an ‘all-in-one’ product. The only way to remove these is by sanding the wood back.

Stainable wood fillers are available but many ‘off the shelf’ fillers will not accept a stain.

Fillers that have been specifically designed to be stainable can often be over-coated with wood oils and varnishes.

Although these fillers will take a stain, the final colour may still differ from the surrounding wood, so it’s important to do test areas and comparisons before starting the main project.

Osmo Interior Wood Filler is a popular choice among DIYers. The water-based filler is ideal for interior restoration and renovation projects.


Always use the best quality products you can afford, for the best durability and finish.

Take care when applying a water-based varnish over a water-based stain. A solvent-based finish over a solvent-based stain or an oil-based finish over an oil-based stain.

This is because if the first coat of the finish isn’t applied gently, it can re-activate the stain and drag the colour. Which results in an uneven colour and patchy finish.

For example, using a solvent-based varnish over a water-based stain, or a water-based varnish over a solvent-based stain, this isn’t a problem.


Never leave hinges, handles, knobs or pulls on, since wood finishing products can change the colour of the metal.

Don’t let un-absorbed stain sit on the wood for any length of time. It’ll only peel off and won’t give you a darker finish.

Never apply a finish before the stain is completely dry. The solvents will damage the stain’s finish.

Staining Your Decking? 

If you’re staining your decking and need a bit more information before tackling the mountainous task, take quick read of our How To Stain Decking for a Flawless Finish article.

Stained garden decking

Giving you a step-by-step guide, with product recommendations and our usual expert advice.  

You can also check out our Common Mistakes to Avoid When Staining Your Decking article.

Which goes through all the regular slipups made when staining your garden timber, so you can take on the challenge like a professional. 


The aftercare is fairly straightforward, but make sure to check the product information first in-case there is any specific aftercare requirements for the stain you’ve purchased.

Just make sure you regularly clean whatever wood you have stained. If it’s decking you’ve been staining though, a suitable decking cleaner will help get you back on track rather than deck stain in most cases – unless it’s in a really sorry state.

We’d love to hear from you 

For more information and advice, feel free to contact our dedicated support team at  01303 213838 or email us at

Join our fast-growing community on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest; where we share inspirational photos, how-to videos, whilst giving expert advice. 

A guest post by Kate Goldstone


  1. Some 14 years ago the bare floorboards in the living room were covered with Sadolin Extra Durable Wood Stain (Exterior, Semi-gloss, Jacobean Walnut). We’ve walked on the planks every day for 14 years, and the finish hasn’t worn at all.

    I was intending to buy more of this product and use it on the bare floorboards in the bedroom.

    But I now see, on the Sadolin Extra Durable Wood Stain tin that was left with us, that it says ‘not suitable for use on floors or decking’. Why does it say this? Is there some reason I shouldn’t use this product? If so, what should be used instead?

    • Hello Martin,

      Sadolin recommend that Extra Durable Woodstain is not used on decking due to its high surface build and shiny finish. This product is likely to wear quicker than a dedicated decking stain or oil and could pose a slip hazard. It is also not recommended for interior use and so I can not recommend it as a product for your flooring. That said you have had it on the floor for a number of years and are happy with it and so there is no reason that you can not choose to use it again.

      If you would like an alternative product to look at and you are not planning on removing the current finish then it would need to be a varnish, such as Manns Extra Tough Floor Varnish, although a test area would need to be done to ensure that the two are compatible. I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  2. Hi Sam,

    We have some Beaver & Tapley cabinets and shelves in teak finish and wish to change the colour to something similar to Beaver & Tapley’s burgundy oak finish. Presumably we would need to give the wood a light sand but then what product(s)/brands would you recommend to darken the colour and produce a similar satin-like finish – a wood oil, a wax or something else? Any advice you could give would be most welcome. Many thanks, Andrew

    • Hello Andrew,

      Unfortunately I can’t get onto the website. But what I can recommend will depend on the the current finish on the furniture. Unless you are planning on sanding back completely. I would recommend looking at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Tints. These will colour and protect in one. If you are able to let me know what product is currently on there I can advise further, or if you would like you can call and talk to one of our advisers.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  3. Hi,

    We have a brushed oil engineered oak floor which is showing signs of wear. We also want to change the colour from its current orangey-honey tone to a darker french oak type colour (similar to this:

    Is this possible if we get the floors sanded professionally first? What preparation / products do we need to use to achieve this colour and also protect the stain from wearing off? A flooring company recommended installing Karndean/wood-look flooring on top of our oak as he thought any stain on an already oiled floor wouldn’t last but it seems criminal to cover up real wood with fake!

    Many thanks, Isabella

    • Hello Isabella,

      I would recommend you take a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Tints. These are available in sample sizes and if you have a inconspicuous area that you can do a small test on, I would expect this to go over an existing oil with out any problems. Especially if it has not been oiled for a while. The test area will show you if the colour is right for you and also if the oil is suitable for use over the existing finish and is absorbed in to wood.

      If you find that the oil does not work over the top then you are faced with having to sand back the existing finish and then reoiling. The Tints are great because two thin coats will colour and protect. I hope that helps and if you have any questions please do let me know.

      We also have some great videos on our YouTube Channel with hints and tips.

      Kind regard Sam.

  4. Hi Sam, I hope you can help me

    I’ve had some wooden window beading replaced and they have done it a with a light coloured soft wood. The rest of the surrounds (hardwood) had already been stained to a dark mahogany and I’m now struggling to get the new soft wood to match the darkness. Its had 3 coats but it is still very light and no where near matching the existing. I’m happy to sand back and start again but is there anything you can suggest to remedy this.
    Thanks in advance

    • Hello Tony,

      As you are already discovering, colour matching can be difficult. If you haven’t already you could have a look at the Manns Classic Pine Stain. It has a wide range of colours that can be intermixed or lightened by adding water.

      And also when you add a top coat product such as Osmo Polyx Oil or Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish. This will enhance and slightly darken the colour. The colour of the wood you are applying to will have an effect on the end result colour that you will achieve and this is why test areas will be important, but the water based stains will wash off with warm water if the test areas are not to your taste. I hope that helps and we also have some great videos on our YouTube Channel, and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      Kind regards Sam.

  5. Hi,
    I had some internal pine wooden shutters made a few years ago. They were treated by the joiner that made them however they are now becoming discoloured by the sun. We want to keep the wood with a natural colour, what would you recommend for coating the shutters and keep that natural pine colouring.

    • Hello Sue,

      Are you able to tell me what they are treated with currently as this will determine what you can use over the top. Or if you are planning to strip back to bare wood then you could have a look at the Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra. This will protect the wood and enhance the grain of the wood.

      It may help bring out some colour in the wood but a test area should be done first to see. If it does not produce the desired colour then you could have a look at the Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain which will protect and colour at the same time.

      I would also recommend a first coat of the Osmo WR Basecoat as this will protect from mould, mildew and rot. Test areas are strongly recommended and please do let me know if you have any further questions.

      Kind regards Sam.

  6. Hi,

    I recently sanded the whole of my pine upper floor (4 rooms) and then applied 2 coats of Dark Teak Manns Pine Wood Stain and 3 coats of Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish. I did one room at a time. Although the house is old the pine floorboards are just 40 years old and all in the same condition. In between every coat I lightly hand sanded the surface before the next one and made some attempt to remove the dust with a wet cloth.

    The problem is that only one of the floors has the dark consistent finish that I was looking for and the other floors not only have slightly different darkness, but also, in bright sunlight they have a very pronounced green hue. I suspect that this is caused by me the leaving some of the dust on the wood and/or too much sanding between coats to remove raised grain areas.

    Is this possible ? Do you have a product that I can simply apply to give the impression of a more consistent darkness and take away the green hue ? Perhaps a dark teak stain varnish ? If so does this need to be water based too ? Please do not suggest sanding everything down again because this is not an option !

    • Hello Mark,

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I would be happy to take a look at some photos if you are able send them in to me. I wouldn’t expect the Dark Teak to create a green hue to it as the base colour for this is red. But at this stage the only product that I can really recommend to go over the current treatment is the Ronseal Diamond Hard Coloured Floor Varnish. A test area would need to be done to ensure compatibility. But I am happy to help further if you could get in touch via our contact us page

      Kind regards Sam.

  7. Hi
    I have an old pine mantelpiece which was installed new about twenty years ago. It has now turned that old pine orange colour so I’d like to re-stain it to make it a darker, mid-brown colour. It has a matt finish and is not varnished. I have used spray polish to clean it but generally just dust it.
    Most of it is fairly flat but some parts would be difficult to sand as there are raised curves with a dip in between.
    Please could you advise me on what would be the best way to prepare the mantelpiece for restaining or colouring and which product I should use to stain it.
    Many thanks,

    • Hello Diana,

      I really need to know a bit more about the finish that is currently on the wood before I can advise further. Also as you have used polish on it there is a chance that some polish residue is left on the surface each time you use it. This could also effect any treatment that I can recommend.

      If you are not sanding back then there is a small test that you can do to get an idea of what is on the wood. Put a couple of drops of oil ( vegetable or Olive from the kitchen cupboard would be fine ) on a inconspicuous area and leave for an hour. If the oil remains unmoved it has a lacquer or vanish on it. If it moves or soaks in it is likely that you have an oil or wax on there.

      Once it is a bit clearer what is currently on there I can advice further, you can get in touch via our contact us page.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  8. Hiya.we purchased a solid handmade mahogany fire surround about 14 years ago.lately its got really sticky on the 2 side parts.which are ornamental and thicker than the rest of the surround.i have just put proper beeswax on them but to no avail.please could you advice as we love this piece and had it especially made.hope to hear from you soon.

    • Hello Bev,

      Would you be able to email me with some photos of the surround and the effected areas. I also need to know which product was on there originally and if you think heat could be having an effect. i am keen to help and look forward to hearing from you.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  9. Hi there, I’ve recently purchased furniture
    We have made a bed from a very light coloured pine and are hoping to stain/dye it to tie in with the furniture we have bought. Do you have any recommendations?

    Thanks very much.

    • Hello Elaine,

      You could have a look at the Manns Classic Pine Stain to see if there is a colour that would match. Test areas are very important because the wood you are applying to will have a direct effect on the overall colour achieved. Also when you apply a top coat product such as Interior Varnish. This will darken the colour slightly.

      I hope that helps and feel free to get back in touch should you have any further questions.

      Kind regards Sam.

  10. Hi, we’ve recently had our pine floors sanded and wiped them with a lightly damp cloth, left it to dry for half an hour and then applied a dark oil-based stain. We now have streaky circular marks. Is this likely from the water on the wet cloth or the sanding? Is there anything we can do about it before we stain the other rooms? Thanks.

    • Hello Michelle,

      If the floor was sanded in a circular motion, then this is likely to be the cause of the streaky marks that you are getting, the Oil will be highlighting these imperfections in the wood. I would recommend sanding in the direction of the grain with a belt sander before further application. You might find it useful to watch some videos on our YouTube Channel. This can guide you on the best preparation and application methods for your project. And if you have any questions please do not hesitate to let me know.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  11. I have a piano which needs a small veneer repair to one of the sides, on the corner. I have the unfinished veneer(burr walnut) ready to cut to size, but need to know what the best product is to stain and finish it. The current finish is described as ‘satin walnut’. I will need to build up the stain to get the right colour and finish. What would you advise?

    • Hello Mark,

      Thank you for your inquiry. I would have a look at the Manns Classic Pine Stain. This has a range of colours and they can be intermixed or lightened with water to try to get a close match. The Teak or the Medium Oak looks to be the closest colour but different screen resolutions can make it difficult to tell and the only real way to know will be with teat areas on the wood that you are treating.

      You can seal this with Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish, which will darken the colour of the stain slightly. I hope that helps and if you have any questions please feel free to get back in touch.

      Kind regards Sam.

  12. Hi, I’m in a bit of a bind and hoping you can help. Some years ago I purchased a few pieces of M&S Sonoma Dark furniture and it’s been great, so much so that I’m now looking to add a few more pieces. Back when I purchased it originally, each piece came in two colour options – Dark (for example, and Light (for example, It seems in the intervening years they’ve discontinued the Dark version of all this range, so you can guess my next question… how realistic would it be to buy the Light version of the pieces I want and then stain/dye/varnish/wax them to get a good match to my existing Dark pieces and, if so, which product(s) would I use? It doesn’t have to be an exact colour match as none of it would be stood side-by-side with the originals, but pretty close would be good as it’ll be in the same room. I should add that my DIY level is only semi-competent amateur, but I’ve never attempted anything like this before… I don’t even know what sort of finish is on the furniture (it doesn’t *seem* like varnish or, at least, it’s not shiny and years of use haven’t worn it through like I might’ve expected with varnish, and I’m not sure it’s wax either as dragging a fingernail over it doesn’t leave a mark… about all I can say with certainty is that water droplets sit on the surface rather than soak in and you can feel the grain of the wood if you run your fingertips lightly over it). Or, am I being way too ambitious and should leave this job to a professional, or indeed completely write it off as a bad idea and start saving as I’ll need to replace all my furniture if I want it to match? Many thanks.

    • Hello Graeme,

      Thank you for your inquiry. I have had a look at the links that you sent and the details of the furniture show that it has been treated with a Lacquer. This would need to be removed in order to try to colour match the darker furniture that you have.

      Colour matching for this product will be best achieved with a Water-based Stain but this needs application directly onto the wood and the lacquer will prevent this. Do let me know if you have any further questions, please get in touch via our contact us page .

      All the Best Sam.

  13. Hi, I have a cedar wood chalet that requires new decoration on the outside. It already has old brown paint that has weathered heavily and I have sanded the surface ready. I was thinking of using Sadolin extra durability in teak. Will this cover the old paint sufficiently or could you recommend an alternative ? Many thanks.

    • Hello Angela,

      Thank you for your inquiry, I can not recommend the Sadolin unless you are taking it back to bare wood. We would nearly always recommend taking back to bare wood to re apply a new branded product as no company will guarantee their product over another brands, as there could be formula and/or compatibility issues which may affect the durability or final finish.

      For a paint over a paint situation you may wish to consider a product such as Ronseal Garden Paint or even the Ronseal Ultimate Protection Decking Paint but test areas are strongly recommended before starting any project to assess compatibility and final finish.

      If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

      All the Best Ben.

  14. Hi all.

    I have been staining/dying with Colron Wood Dye American Walnut – the solvent based product – and at the end of my last 500ml tin. I have now found it is discontinued and replaced by the water based dye. Do you know if the colour match will be the same as I need to finish quite a large amount of woodwork?

    Many thanks – Martyn

    • Hello Marytn,

      I would suspect that the two although similar will be varied in tone and colour. We do supply another Solvent-based Stain, where you may be able to find something similar. Test areas are recommended to get a true idea of the colour achievable. I hope this helps and if ther is anythong further that I can help with please feel free to get in touch.

      All the Best Ben.

  15. I want to stain a plywood ceiling in a small lobby between a kitchen and back door.
    I have tried yellow food dye on an off cut and the wood just soaks the dye up and leaves a dull yellow finish. I have also tried Fiddes Hard Wax oil on the dye and direct to the ply. Both dull.

    I want to have a bright yellow to give some light to the lobby but also want to show the grain. I have tried Mann’s Light Yew and Honey which are nor bad but again all lose their brightness.

    Is there any solution? I dont mind changing the colour as long as I can get a bright finish. Thanks

  16. Can you please advise me on staining a walnut table. The colour now doesn’t look good with all other furnishings in a living room. I’m not sure what protective coating has been applied to the surface of the wood. I think it might be a Danish oil in matt finish. Would I be able to stain it lighter or only darker or neither? Might the finished result turn out blotchy?

    • Hello,

      You can have a look at applying a Tinted Oil over the top. Going darker is much more likely to work than trying to go lighter and I would strongly recommend test areas first to ensure compatibility with the current oil on the table and also to ensure you are getting the colour that hope for.

      Wipe over with some White Spirit first to clean and degrease the surface. I hope the helps and do please let me know if you need any further advice.

      All the Best Sam.

  17. Hi we currently have our kitchen installed with all solid wood parawood flooring and we want to sand this down and then give it a grey colour.

    Can you recommend to me a product to use to give this a grey look, I would like to be able to amend the colour depth by applying further coats.

    • Hello Clive,

      Thank you for your inquiry, you could have a look at Osmo Wood Wax Finish Transparent which has a grey in its range of colours. This product would not offer enough protection for flooring but can be finished with a top coat of Osmo Polyx Oil or Osmo Polyx Oil Raw, but I would recommend a test area with both to see which will give you a better finish. The Raw contains some white pigment and may give a lighter finish, whereas the Clear may darken the grey slightly.Thin application is vital.

      It is likely that you will only be able to do one coat of each with this product and for an alternative there is a stain called Driftwood in the Manns Classic Pine Stain range and you can apply as many coats of this as you like before finishing with a top coat of the Polyx Oil. I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Kind Regards Ben.

  18. Hi, I would like to stain the floorboards in my front room in amber color. I have sanded them down. However the wood’s color is uneven. The middle part of the floor is darker as it was untreated and covered with rug in the past. The rest of the floor was varnished and after sanding down the color vary and even going to the bare light wood color. Is there any chance I could have an even amber color all over the floor? Which product could I use? Please advise.

    • Hello Marlena,

      It is possible but may not be easy. You will need to experiment a little to get the colours even. I would be happy to have a look at some photos of the colour difference if you are able to email them in. I can not give exact stains colours to solve the problem as screen resolutions and photos do not always give a true colour but I can guide you in the right direction. If you can send photos FAO Sam with a description again of the finish that you would like to achieve and we can go from there. Try to take the photos in natural light if you can to avoid any shine.

      Kind regards Sam

  19. Hi. I have a media unit finished in matte walnut veneer which no longer matches the room. It has also changed colour slightly due to sunlight and is now brighter than it was. I’d like to tone down the colour to a greyish brown shade and had considered a grey water based stain, but don’t want the appearance to be overall grey. Could anyone advise on the best product to use? Thank you.

    • Hello Jac,

      Making Wood lighter in colour can be difficult and you may be looking at bleaching, which is not something we offer as a product. Please feel free to send some photos in via our contact us page and I will see if there is anything that we can recommend for you project.

      All the Best Ben.

  20. Hi Sam

    I have just bought a solid Fir Wood table in a natural finish (is untreated). I would like to apply a clear non glossy sealant to protect against spills etc. I really do not know where to start. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I read somewhere that Fir wood does not stain easily. But is this the case with sealant too?

    Thank you


    • Hello Lina,

      Thank you for you inquiry, you could have a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil. This is a durable seal that will protect and nourish the wood, whilst giving a natural finish. It is easy to patch repair should it get marked or stained. I would always recommend a test area first and the Hard Wax Oil is available in sample sizes.

      An alternative would be to apply a Varnish that creates a seal on the surface of the wood, in opposition to the oil that soaks into the wood, and is slightly more durable than the Hard Wax Oil. But is not so easy to repair should the need arise. I hope that helps as a starting point for you and please feel free tolet me know if you have any further questions.

      Kind regards Sam.

  21. Hi, I’m theoretically refinishing a table from DARK mahogany to the lovely golden brown underneath. I chemically removed a lot of what seemed to be 100 coats of lacquer and stain. I used 80 by hand for the splotches left dark, then machine 120, then 220. It looks pretty good EXCEPT one of the leaves has a “board” of different, lighter wood (repair maybe?) and the stripes of grain remain stained gray. Think of thin dark gray “veins”. If they had stayed mahogany I wouldn’t mind, but to me it looks like it’s dirty. I’m worried it will look even more like dirt after I “finish” the table with wax/oil. A lot of sanding has made it a little better, but it doesn’t feel right to keep sanding and I need some advice please.
    I’m thinking I can
    A) continue to sand until all gray grain is gone
    B) finishe the table with a stain instead of just wax to make the gray look brown
    C) use colored wax
    D) stop sanding and wax as planned because it’s only a leaf
    Thank you for your input! HB
    PS Now that the area has been sanded more than the others, can I use a pre-stain conditioner to even out absorption before I wax?

    • Hello Helen,

      Quite a dilemma for you, the extra sanding can have a affect on the absorption and finish that you will achieve on the the leaf in comparison with the rest of the table. And in all honesty it would be difficult for me to advise you correctly with out seeing some photos of the table. If you are able to get some photos taken in natural light both close up of the problem areas and from a distance and also the other areas of the table for comparison. Add a description as above with the email and mark it FAO Sam and I will happily take look for you and see if there is anything that I can advise.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  22. Hi we are having an oak back door fitted this weekend. The new frame is softwood and the sill is hardwood. We are using Osmo uv oil 429 on the door and osmo White 2101 on the frame but we’re not sure what to do with the sill. Being hard wood, it is darker than the oak door. Would it be best painted white like the frame, oil like the door or something different?
    Many thanks

    • Hello Angela,

      Unfortunately I can not advise you on colour choice as this is down to personal preference, but what I can tell you is that the oil applied to a hard wood could be more difficult the work into the wood. The close grain can make it harder for absorption to take place and so care to apply thin coats is required. You may find that the hardwood has a longer drying time but will still give great protection. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Kind regards Sam.

  23. I’ve been refinishing my oak cabinets. I started with gel stain and it was a mess so I re sanded it and tried again, still didn’t look right, chemically stripped then sanded and applied a min wax stain. It seemed as if the wood would not absorb the colour because my Mahagony looked somewhat orange. I was told I may have sanded too much and the grain is closed. What can I do? Please help.

    • Hello Tabatha,

      If you could tell me directly with the grit of the sandpaper that you used, and any other preparation that you have done, some photos and details of products that you have used. And what look you are trying to achieve and hopefully I can offer some advise. You can get in touch via our contact us page.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  24. Hello

    Major problem! We have just sanded back some old pine floorboards and treated them with Fiddes Wax Oil in Oak Lightening ( in an attempt to match them to the floorboards in the adjoining room, which are lovely old oak Georgian boards). They have come up a hideous, neon orange, looking like we have installed a cheap sauna! What to do? Can we stain darker over this wax oil, or do we, Heaven forbid, have to sand again? Any suggestions please.

    Thanks for any suggestion.

    Kind regards, Meryl

    • Hello Meryl,

      Would you be able to email me with some images and details of preparation and application method. I would like to help you to solve your problem as best I can, you can get in touch in via our contact us page and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

      Kind regards Sam.

  25. Hello,

    Firstly, your site and comments are brilliant – thanks so much for a wonderful online resource!

    I have a dresser which I’ve stained with an Indian Rosewood dye. I’ve just been given some new doors which aren’t as red as the stain I’ve used on my dresser and I wanted to try and even the colours out. I haven’t yet lacquered / varnished my dresser, so I’m wondering, if I use a stain on top that is darker brown and without a red hue, do you think this might dull the red on the dresser? It will save me a lot of time/effort if this is possible!

    Thanks in advance for any advice you may be able to give.


    • Hello Suzanne,

      Colour matching can be so difficult on wood and without seeing the wood and colours that you are referring to it is difficult for me make any suggestions. if you would like to send some photos in via our contact us page, we can take a look for you and maybe make some suggestions but ultimately you will need to carry out test areas. I am sorry I could not be of more help at this stage, but hopefully if you are able to send us an email we can offer some advice.

      Kind regards Sam.

  26. Hi I had my pine floorboards sanded and sealed 12 years ago and now theyre orange and scuffed how do I sand and seal them to a light oak colour please? its the whole ground floor of my 1930’s semi!

    • Hi Julie,

      The best thing to do is to hire a sander, if you have a large area to cover. You will be able to get advice on use and grit from a hire company or alternatively get someone in to do that bit of the job for you. Once you have prepared the floor you can think about application and what products you would like to use.

      For a natural and easy to maintain finish consider using Osmo Polyx Oil. Application of this product is easy to do, needing just 2 very thin coats. A varnish is more durable than an oil and creates a plastic seal over the surface of the wood. It is not as easy to repair should it become damaged where as an oil can be easily patch repaired and re applied when the floor needs freshening up. Here is a video about choosing and applying the right product for your floor. I hope this helps and if you have any further questions please let me know.

      Kind regards Sam.

  27. hi I was wondering if you could help me I have an oak effect display cabinet and I would like it to be walnut any advise please .

    • Hello Debs,

      I can advise a few products but I really need to know how you are going about this transformation. So if you are planning on sanding back to bare wood and what the draws are made of. We have a great range of colours in the Manns Classic Pine Stain that you could have a look at, bare in mind that you would need a top coat products that will also darken slightly when applied.

      The top coat could be an Oil or a Varnish and either of these will seal and protect the wood and stain, with the Varnish creating a seal on the surface and the Oil soaking in and giving a more natural finish.

      Please let me know if you have any further questions please let me know.

      Kind regards Sam.

  28. Hi,

    Please could you recommend me some products for finishing venerred oak mdf? I’m looking for a darker, shiny finish and sliky smooth to touch.


  29. hi there
    we have a wood floor and after sanding it down maybe 1/2 mm a different base wood came through a more reddish one. does this mean its not solid wood and perhaps engineered?

  30. We have a 1930s pine banister rail which we have stained with Liberon light oak wood dye and waxed with Briwax Antique Brown. It is probably less golden than unstained old pine. However, a new unit top next to it, made of new pineboard, was treated the same and ended up not golden at all. Do you have any advice about how to treat the pineboard (now restripped), so that it more closely matches the banisters?


    • Hello Rosie,

      Colour matching in the wood finishing industry is notoriously difficult, but not impossible. I would be happy to look at some photos and see if there is anything we can recommend for you. You can send some photos in via our contact us page. Try not to have too much artificial light shining on the wood and please bare in mind that we can only guide you in the right direction, you will need to do some test areas first to ensure you are getting the finish that you want – Sam.

  31. Hi,
    I’ve recently replaced my open fire with a boiler stove and have a chunky rough sawn redwood surround and mantle. I like the rough look and so dont want to sand it too smooth. Ideally id have had oak but with limited time i had to use what i could get my hands on. So, I’d like to colour the wood and any advice on whether stain, oil or dye would be more suited to a lightly sanded surface with wee pits etc – my concern is that colour will pool in the pits. Many thanks!

    • Hello Adrian,

      Many products will pool in to pits and gaps in the wood, but if you have a coarse brush for these areas you should be able to work the Oil/Wax out. Wax would be suitable to use, but you may find that an Oil would be better around heat and won’t come away when you lean on it.

      You may also find that the wood absorbs more of the product due to its slightly rough finish. It is always best to try a test area first. There are a range of colours in both these products. If you have any further questions please let me know.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  32. Hi
    I have recently moved house and the window sills in one room, which are stained in a mid oak, are badly scratched and gouged. I have given them a good sanding down and now have a smooth surface to work with. But the window sills are now several colours, with some areas of bare wood and some of a medium oak and some darker. Help! I’m pretty certain if I just apply a coat of stain it will result in an uneven colour with the bare areas taking up more stain than the rest. Is there a product I can use which would mean I end up with a uniform colour on them?

  33. Hi I have dark stained polished mahogany banisters and wooden fire surrounds. Is there any way to lighten these so they look more comparable to an oak finish? I want to lighten the whole thing but if possible avoid just painting white?

    All advice welcome – thanks Dave

    • Hello Dave,

      Lightening already treated wood is very difficult and the best thing to do is remove all existing treatments so you are back to bare wood. Are you able to tell me if the wood is Mahogany or if the treatment applied is Mahogany colour? If the wood is then the natural red tint to it can be difficult to make more Oak like in colour but you could have a look at the Manns Classic Oak Stain. Choose some samples by the colours and not the names and do some test areas to see how these look on the wood, bearing in mind that a top coat product will also darken slightly. If you have any further questions please let me know – Sam.

  34. Hello,
    We have bought a new pine internal door. The other doors on the landing are older pine and thus darker (I think that they are untreated). What do you suggest I use to make the new door look similar to the old doors?
    Many thanks for your help.

    • Hello Emily,

      It may be worth you looking at the Fiddes Tints. These offer colour and protection in one and could be great if there is a colour match in this range.

      If not, you could have a look at our Manns Classic Pine Stain to achieve the right colour and then treat with Manns Premier Door Oil to seal. There is a wider range of stains and you can lighten by adding water if you wanted to. It is worth bearing mind that the Oil that you apply as a top coat will darken the stain slightly, so we always recommend a test area first. I hope this helps and if you have any further questions please let me know – Sam

  35. Hi. The picture at top is the same as my yacht. I think its a birds eye maple wood. I have heard about someone re staining this wood to a dark finish, but the picture is exactly what I would like to accomplish . Except its gloss finish. Does the gloss finish have to be sanded off before ? Is there a stripper that would work to remove the gloss ? Thanks

  36. Hi I bought some howdens oak veneered doors. just after I had hung the eighth door I noticed one of my kids had left a grease hand print on the first door I fitted! The doors have not yet had their polyurethane varnish, any tips on removing the grease off the veneered door before I apply the varnish?
    Thank you!

    • Hello Craig,

      You could try giving a wipe down with some White Spirit to see if this will remove the finger prints. I wouldn’t advice using cleaning products unless they are natural or PH neutral and even then I would try a teat area, as these could also mark the bare wood. If the white spirit doesn’t work then a light sand with a 150 grit sandpaper may be necessary. Hope that works for you.

  37. Hi Sam
    Many thanks for the comprehensive reply. Although I did apply the Oslo Wax stain very thinly, the mistake I made was not to wipe the stain off with a dry rag after application. It doesn’t seem right to be doing this but I have since done another floor and it appears to be drying much quicker and has given a much better and lighter finish. Kind regards Neil

  38. Hello Sam,
    Because of waterpenetration, I have patches of grey water stains on the bottom of my window frames (scandinavian pine, varnished light oak colour). Hopefully the penetration has been resolved. Am I right in thinking that only paint will hide the discoloration ? Considerable sanding has failed to remove it.
    Kind Regards

    • Hello John,

      The dreaded water stain ! It is worth trying to simply scrub the area with a wet cloth or sponge, luke warm water and maybe a small amount of soap, this can sometimes help get rid of the water marks, but this is not guaranteed and you run the risk of making it slightly worse. If this doesn’t help then yes your best option may be to use an Opaque finish to cover it up.

      I can recommend a couple of products that you might want to consider, the first is an Oil based product that gives a paint like finish but still maintaining the natural feel of the wood Osmo Country Colour or Sikkens Cetol TSI Satin Plus, which is an Interior lacquer with an opaque finish that would be ideal for your wood. I hope you manage to get the stains out but if not you will be able to get a great finish with either of these products. Just let me know if you have any more questions – Sam

  39. Hi Sam
    I have just treated 2 new internal solid oak floors with Osmo Wax Finish antique oak. The first floor I applied a liberal amount but felt it was much too dark so on the second I really brushed it out then wiped with a cloth to obtain the finish I required. Because it still felt tacky after 24 hrs I left it over 48 hrs but it was still tacky and stained my knees when I went to seal it with Osmo Polyx-Oil High Solid Satin Clear.
    I have 2 questions for you.
    1. Why did it take so long to dry and how long would I have needed to wait to fully dry out if I hadn’t sealed it?
    2. I think the fitter left some glue residue on the surface in places because when I went to seal it the stain came out of the wood where the glue had been. Other than sanding off, which I did before staining, is there anything else I could have done to avoid the patches?
    Overall, I am very happy with the finish of the second floor, it looks beautiful but am interested in your thoughts?
    I may consider sanding back the floor that is darker and starting again so any tips?
    Kind regards

    • Hello Neil,

      The first floor would have taken so long to dry because of over application. It is important that Hard Wax Oils are applied very thinly and evenly. If application is thin then the drying time should be around 10 – 12 hours depending on atmospheric conditions. Once it is dry you can then apply the second coat product, again very thinly. We do recommend once the last coat is added you should leave the area for around 24 hours to allow the product to fully cure.

      If the floor remains tacky to the touch you can remove some of the oil by wiping over with White Spirits. This will remove excess Oil that has not absorbed into the wood, but be careful not to over do it as you don’t want to remove it all. The Oil should then dry hard once the excess has been removed. If you are unable to achieve an even finish when doing this you may need to consider removing it all and starting again.

      Where there is residue of glue left on the floor, the Oil will be unable to penetrate the surface of the wood and so will sit on the surface of the residue, not doing what it is supposed to. You would really need to remove all of the remaining glue by Sanding or scrapping it off. This would be the only way to get an even finish as it will allow the Oil to soak into the surface of the wood like the surrounding areas. Hope that helps – Sam

  40. Hi

    I have mahogany windows that have gone silver on the outside. I am going to treat them with oil but would like to stain them back to a mahogany colour.

    Is this possible and if so can you recommend a product. I already have the oil, would it be best to mix a satin with the oil or stain first?

    Many thanks.

    • Hello Stephanie,

      Thank you for your inquiry. We don’t do an external stain as such because these tend to be ineffective for external use, we do have coloured Oils however which would be better for you to use.

      The Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain comes in a Mahogany finish and will colour and protect your wood at the same time. We always recommend a test area first to ensure that you like the colour, and with this product you could do one coat of the coloured Oil and one coat of the clear. Or if you require more depth of colour then two coats of the Coloured oil wood be fine.

  41. Hi there I was wondering if you could help me I recently bought some oak vaneered doors from Howdens. I put a clear satin vanish on them (wicks own brand). But I’ve bought the oak vaneer skirting and archs so it matches. But my door casing is in pine can you recommend the right colour so the casing match my doors and skirting/arch ?

    Thank you for your time

    • Hello Jenny,

      Colour matching two different pieces of wood can be difficult but it is possible, with a bit of experimenting to achieve a close colour. However it would be better for us to see the wood you are asking about so that we can advise on possible colours from our range of Wood Stains.

      If you could send some photos in via our contact us page, we will do our best to help!

  42. Hello – I am staining pine stair treads and painting the risers. I’m looking for a dark honey colour but nothing orangey. I already have high quality Bona water based varnish which I will be using to seal the stairs. I was looking at the Manns Pine Stain as the colour range is big. Am I able to varnish using the Bona varnish once stained as it mentions oiling it? thank you.

    • Hello Leigh,

      Thank you for your inquiry, the Bona Varnish would be absolutely fine to use over the Manns Classic Pine Stain.

      It is worth noting that the varnish will darken the overall finish of the stain so it is worth doing a small test area to ensure that you are happy with the colour. And you can adjust the water based stain if you want to before applying.

      For instance you can lighten the colour by adding a little water or you can intermix with other colours to get an altogether different tone. And the more coats of the stain you apply the more depth of colour you will achieve.

      It would be great to see the finished project if you have time to send us some photos to share on our social media sites – Sam.

  43. Hello!
    I was wondering if you could advise me. I have recently installed a wooden staircase which is made out of pine. I love the colour as it is at the moment but would be happy go lighter. Im concerned that it could turn yellow over time if I don’t treat it soon. I had seen some pine stained in ‘white oil’ which looked lovely. But how easy is this? Is it available easily, in UK? Are there any other pearls of wisdom you can provide before I either make a mistake or do nothing at all! Many thanks!

    • Hello Alice,

      To keep it the same colour you could try the Osmo Polyx Oil Raw, which is designed to leave the floor looking as unchanged as possible. Or you could use a White Hard Wax Oil which will protect and colour at the same time. It is a great product to use and easy to apply, but you must ensure that it goes on thinly. And always do a test area first. We also have a Blog all about White wood finishes that would be worth you having a read of. Hope that helps -Sam.

  44. Hi, I have just had installed new pine PAR flooring and rough sawn vertical pine cladding. I’m trying to achieve a pale grey driftwood type finish on both, but after trying so many testers I’m really not getting anywhere. The PAR floor timbers are so smooth, they don’t seem to take any colour at all unless it’s paint, which I really don’t want to do, and the rough sawn timber can take a stain but I can’t oil as the surface is too rough to buff. Do you have any suggestions? I definitely don’t want any yellow wood on show otherwise it’ll look like a sauna!

    • Good Morning Hannah,

      It sounds like the floor has been sanded so much that the grain is closed and will not take any stain or treatment. The only way to solve this would be to sand the floor with a mid range grit sandpaper to open up the grain a little. The wood will then take some of the stain but you will sacrifice that ultimate smooth finish that you have. It may be difficult to match the floor and the cladding exactly as these are 2 different woods, however with a little bit of experimenting it is possible to get a close match. If you would like to send some photos in via our contact us page, so we can have a closer look for you – Sam

  45. Hi,

    I don’t know if your able to help. I have seen some oak veneer internal doors. I like the doors on the shelf so to speak but don’t quite like the colour on display. Do you need to varnish or stain the doors? Or is there anything else you would recommend to keep the colour that I like? Thanks in advance

    • Hello Chelsie,

      The first thing worth checking, because they are Veneered doors, is if the manufacturers recommend things not to use. If they don’t then you could consider a tinted hard wax oil such as Osmo Polyx Oil Tints or Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Tints. These products will colour and protect at the same time. It is always worth doing a test area first to ensure that you like the colour, as I’m sure you are aware the colours on screen are only a guide and tones may vary depending on the wood that you are applying it to. An alternative option would be to apply a Water-Based Stain and then an Interior Varnish to finish it. Hope this helps and feel free to ask any more questions – Sam

  46. Hi
    I have an old vono bed that has wooden head and footboards that need sanding and either staining or dying, not sure which would be better as am new to this. it also has (old) woodworm holes, how do i best tackle those? thanks.

    • Hi Nikki,

      Once you have sanded back the wood, if you feel that you need to fill in the holes then the best product to use would be Osmo Wood Filler it is easy to use and sand once dry.

      If you are looking to put a colour on the wood then you have a couple of options that will depend on the colour that you would like to achieve. The first product to look at will be a Tinted Hard Wax Oil such as Osmo Polyx Oil Tints or Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Tints both of these will colour and protect at the same time so you would just need two coats of the product and you are done. If there is not a colour in either of these ranges that you like then you could use a Water based Stain that will give you the colour and then a Clear Hard Wax Oil over the top to protect. Manns Classic Pine Stain has a wide range of colours and there is also an Oak range. And for the top coat Oil a good option would be Manns Premier Top Oil.

  47. Hi, I bought a prestained and varnished dining set in deep red, pine I think because of the uneven grain where I sanded it all off one edge.
    I wanted this in black but sanding it all off is quickly becoming an impossibility with a toddler in tow and tight timeline 🙁

    Is it possible that I give a rough sanding (enough to make it not shiny) and stain over it with a tinted wood stain in black?

    My concerns are:
    1) will the uneven sanding show if I give multiple coats since I want it really black??
    2) will the previous red colour seep through if I don’t sand it all off or use a conditioner ( can’t afford an electric sander for the former and want it ‘really black’ for the latter)
    3) how do I minimize blotching? I have certain mobility issues so cant be as quick or thorough but I really want to do this. Will multiple coats take care of the blotching?
    4) will rough sanding mean ugly finish? But as I understand fine sanding will prevent stain to soak through esp if I don’t sand the old stain clear.


    Incase u cant tell, I’m a first timer. And I decided to start with a dining set. Jeez.

    • Hello,

      It can be difficult when you are on a tight budget with both money and time to get these projects right. In all honesty we would always recommend sanding back to the bare wood in order to change the colour of Furniture like this. As the Furniture has been pre varnished it will not take a stain into the wood, this is because the varnish creates a seal on the surface of the wood stopping anything from penetrating the wood.

      If you are unable to sand back then really your only option to make the dining set Black would be to apply a Black Paint over the top. You would need to do a test area first, allowing the varnish to completely dry for a couple of days to ensure that the new and old varnish are compatible with each other. Sand over the whole area is essential, firstly with a 120 grit and then with 320 grit to get a smooth even surface.

      You can apply the varnish quickly and easily with a roller and you should get a smooth and even coat that way. If you do have areas that are more sanded back than others there is a chance that you will see a slight difference in the finish so it is best to try and get the wood as even as possible for application. And it is well worth reading some of the Blogs that relate to this, as they have lots of hints and tips.

      Good luck with your project – Sam

  48. I have just had a hardwood timber front door and full frame fitted. The outside gets 50% sun and is already starting to fade plus it gets some indirect rain on it especially if the wind blows. So i want a coating to protect the door from the sun and rain. But the inside also needs to be coated. I assume by the same material. I prefer something that requires less maintenance, lasts and that highlights the natural timber grain on the door. I want to use only premium products as I believe that quality now will hopefully save time and material costs later. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. I am from Australia.

    • Hello Graham,

      If the wood is currently bare then the first thing that I would recommend is that you apply a preservative to protect against mould, mildew and wood boring insects, to the exterior areas. From our website it would be the Barretine Premier Wood Preservative in a clear finish, but unfortunately we don’t ship to Australia. If you are able to find this product or a similar alternative then a Top Coat product is the next thing you will need and for this I would recommend Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra 420 again for the exterior area, which you should be able to source somewhere in Australia.

      This product will give a good level of water repellency and protection from the natural fading process. And will just need regular maintenance coats yearly or if you live in a dry area treat with a maintenance coat when you feel the wood needs nourishing.

      For the internal part of the frame, many of our customers use the same products with good ventilation, but we can not recommend this as they both contain Biocides. So for the internal area of the frame you could use the Osmo UV Protection Oil 410 as this doesn’t contain any biocides. I hope that you manage to find what you are looking for.

  49. I have made 5 picture frames, veneering each of the marine plywood carcasses with birds eye maple into which I have routed a channel to accept a black diamond patterned inlay banding.
    Would like a high gloss finish and a pale yellow / butterscotch final colour to the birds eye maple so that there is a good contrast between this and the orange background of the inlay banding.
    So far I have tried several varnishes, oils, waxes to attain this pale yellow / butterscotch maple colour reminiscent of 1930’s art deco furniture without success.
    These include Osmo Raw, Bestwood Danish oil & Tung oil, Bri-Wax antique brown and numerous Ronseal tins that were in the garage.
    The best so far was the Danish oil which really enhanced the birds eyes but this made the maple too dark, more like orange than the pale yellow / butterscotch I was after.
    Please could you suggest a method or products to achieve this.
    Not fond of using boiled linseed oil so was contemplating one of these 3 ideas.

    1 Spray Morrells Nitro Cellulose high gloss clear laquer directly onto the bare wood.

    2 Add a few drops of a pale yellow compatible dye to a tin of spirit based clear gloss and paint the bare wood with this slightly tinted varnish.

    3 Stain the bare wood itself first with this dye then when fully dry spray the nitro cellulose gloss laquer over the top.

    Many Thanks


    • Hello Mark,

      Thank you for your inquiry, I have spoken to our in house expert how has said that to get a butterscotch look you can mix white and yellow from the Manns Trade Light Fast Wood Dye until you get the correct colour (sometimes its worth adding a little brown) then mix it in to a Morrells Pre-Catalyst Lacquer no more than 5%, but around 2% could be enough. Then apply spray in thin coats building to your desired colour. Hope that helps.

  50. I have an unfinished oak kitchen worktop and unfinished Oak flooring being installed (both pre sanded). The worksurface is naturally abit darker than the flooring.

    I would like these both to match, can you recommend a treatment i can use on both? Perhaps a light/antique brown stain and then clear varnish on both? I am looking for more of a glossy finish on both.

    Many thanks,

    • Hello David,

      Thank you for your inquiry, you could use the Manns Classic Oak Stain. There are a wide range of colours available in this range and because its water-based, you can lighten slightly by adding water to try and achieve a similar look on both surfaces. Once you have the desired colour you could use the Manns Extra Tough Floor Varnish to seal the surfaces. It is worth noting that the Varnish will darken the colour that you have applied and you can see this by looking and the coloured tabs on the product page. The Varnish comes in a range of sheen levels from Matt through to Gloss.


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