How to guide- how to apply varnish, stain, wax and oil

Published On: 17/03/2021Categories: How To Guides

Planning and prep
Surface needs to be clean and smooth
Oil and wax cannot be applied to wood previously stained or varnish, so you may need to sand back to bare wood before starting the application
Always check the manufacturers instructions

Varnish
Step 1- Fill any holes with wood filler and level with a filling knife (make sure it’s suitable for varnish), allow to dry. Sand the surface and then wipe with a cloth and white spirit.
Step 2- when surface is dry, using a brush apply the varnish evenly working in the direction of the wood grain.
Step 3- some varnishes, particularly water based types, can lift the grain of the wood so it may be best to sand again after the first coat has dried, then wipe down with a soft cloth and white spirit.
Step 4- repeat step 2, and possibly again if the manufacturer’s instructions advise.

Stain
Step 1- Fill any holes with wood filler and level with a filling knife (make sure it’s suitable for stain), allow to dry. Sand the surface and then wipe with a cloth and white spirit.
Step 2- stir the stain well before using. When surface is dry, using a brush apply the stain evenly working in the direction of the wood grain.
Step 3- when applying stain to different sections of wood (where the grain changes direction), make sure your brushstrokes aren’t overlapping
Step 4- after the first coat has dried, lightly sand the surface, then wipe down the area with a soft cloth
Step 5- Look at the manufacturer’s instructions on the amount of coats required, and repeat step 2 accordingly, remember, the more coats added, the darker the finish look will be.

Wax
Step 1- Fill any holes with wood filler and level with a filling knife (make sure it’s suitable for wax), allow to dry. Sand the surface and then wipe with a cloth to remove any dust
Step 2- Manufacturers recommendations for applying wax can differ so it is best to check first. If using a brush work the wax well into the surface, making sure an even layer is applied.
Step 3- If applying with a cloth, rub it evenly into the surface, making sure the wax is absorbed. Wipe any excess off and allow to dry
Step 4- if recommended by the manufacturer add further layers of wax, make sure the wax is dry before buffing
Step 5- only finish using fine steel wool if recommended by the manufacturer

Oil
Step 1- Fill any holes with wood filler and level with a filling knife (make sure it’s suitable for oil), allow to dry. Sand the surface and then wipe with a cloth to remove any dust
Step 2- you can use a brush, roller, spray or lint-free cloth to apply oil so check manufacturer’s instructions before applying
Step 3- work in the direction of the grain and apply evenly, allow the oil to soak in before wiping off any excess with a lint- free cloth
Step 4- When dry buff the surface
Step 5- Look at the manufacturer’s instructions on the amount of coats required, and repeat step 3 accordingly

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