How to Use a Sanding Sealer to Stain Wood

Soft, porous evergreen woods tend to take stain unevenly, resulting in a blotchy, uneven tone.
Seal soft woods before applying stain.Seal soft woods before applying stain.
Woodworkers can prevent this problem by applying a sanding sealer to bare wood prior to staining and finishing. Sanding sealer is formulated to fill wood grain in preparation for staining, preventing excess stain absorption.

Step 1

Stir the sealer and wipe a generous amount across clean, dry, bare wood, using a nylon cloth. Wipe across the grain first, then with the grain. Allow the sealer to set for 15 minutes, then wipe off excess sealer with a clean cloth. Let the sealer dry completely before sanding.

Step 2

Sand the sealer lightly with 220-grit sandpaper.

Step 3

Wipe a small amount of stain to a hidden area of the wood. Thin the stain with turpentine to make it lighter.

Step 4

Wipe stain onto the wood, going against the grain, then with the grain. Let the stain sit for 5 to 10 minutes. The longer you wait, the darker the stain will be.

Step 5

Wipe away excess stain with a clean cloth and repeat as desired until the stain is as dark as you want it to be. Allow the stain to dry completely before proceeding.

Step 6

Lightly sand the wood surface with 220-grit sandpaper.

Step 7

Apply a thin coat of polyurethane finish, using a paintbrush. Allow the finish to dry, sand the surface again and apply another coat. If desired, sand again and apply a third coat.

Things You Will Need

  • Sanding sealer
  • Nylon cloths
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Penetrating oil wood stain
  • Turpentine
  • Polyurethane finish
  • Paintbrush

Tip

  • Read the label on the sanding sealer to make sure it is compatible with your desired finish.

About the Author

Christina Sloane has been writing since 1992. Her work has appeared in several national literary magazines.