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Learn about Wood Stain

Wood Stain

A water-based wood stain is a substance that penetrates the wood to renew and enhance the color of the wood's natural grains. Wood stain differs from paint as paint sits on the applied area's surface, whereas stain soaks into the wood. Stains do have protective properties, but their primary use is aesthetics. A finishing top coat should be applied for the most protective results. Stains can fade over time but can easily be reapplied when necessary.

<p>Water-based wood stains are more environmentally friendly than traditionally available oil-based stains that contain high amounts of VOCs and highly flammable chemicals. With that said, not all oil-based stains are bad. There are many natural alternatives such as linseed, hemp, and flaxseed.

When buying water-based wood stains, look for products with low or zero VOCs. Some manufacturers may use coloring pigments known to contain VOCs. Many environmentally-minded manufacturers use safe, non-toxic coloring pigments.

It's essential to consult the manufacturer to understand the stain's contents to ensure it's non-toxic and review the application process before applying. Stains are usually applied to sanded or prepared wood with a brush, cloth, or scrub pad. The type of sanding and grit of sandpaper will vary by the type of wood and the desired finish. It's still best to apply stain in a well-ventilated room and wash skin or eyes upon contact as irritations may occur.

Water-based oil stains have a significantly reduced environmental impact when compared to oil-based stains. Most water-based stains contain low or zero VOCs and are mold or mildew resistant.

Woodworkers have used natural pigments and dyes to stain wood for centuries.