How to stain and finish oak wood | Tips From Dirty Joe!

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All you DIY weekend warriors out there, this is how you stain and finish oak wood.

I am known for bieng a blue collar Joe just like the rest of my followers. So this weekend I decided to try my hand at some staining and finishing of oak wood for some industrial looking shelving I have been wanting to make. So here's how I did it!

1. Wether your staining white pine or red oak, you first need to have an end goal. My end goal this week was to make some shelves for my kitchen that were stained and finished and had some industrial flair. With some turnbuckle hardware as it's fastening points to the wall.

And here was what my finished shelving looks like.

Stained Oak Industrial Turnbuckle Shelf DIY HOW TO


2. Pick the type of wood you want for your project. I am using Red Oak. Make sure its strait wood and also make sure the wood is not ding and nicked up. Unless this is the look your shooting for.

3. Get some sand paper and a mask. I usually start with a 120 for rough stock. Or a 160 grain sand paper and go over the project wood once. Then I do a second run using 220 to make sure the wood is soft as baby skin. Note: If you do not sand properly it will show in your results.

Video On How To Sand!

4. After you have sanded your project. It's time to go ahead and prep your wood for staining. And the way your do this is shown in the video below. You will need wood conditioner and a oil based brush for the application. Go ahead and dip your brush into the wood conditioner and begin to apply and brush the liquid onto the wood. With long strokes. And its not hard nor is there is a certain way to do it. Just apply it like paint it on. And let it set for at least 30 min to 2 hours before you begin to stain.

TIP- If your going to use oil based products finish with oil based products. If your using water based products finish with water based products.

How to condition wood for stain video!

5. So now your ready to stain! Right? Yep! Ok so basically take a cloth rag or oil based paint brush. And begin to apply the stain on the wood just like in the video below. Make sure you apply stain to all the areas you want stained. And when your done applying the stain. Take a cloth rag. And wipe any excess stain from the wood. After you have completed this task. Your going to want to at least wait over night or 6-12 hours to begin the next step. I always say overnight just to be safe.

How to stain wood video!

6. After your done staining your project. It's time to give it a good hard look. To see if there are any grey spots that have shown up. These show up when the wood has not been sanded enough in certain spots. Just like the photo below. But to remedy the problem is easy. Just re sand the affected areas with 220 sand paper and reapply stain. Wait for the stain to dry. And you will be all set for the next step.

7. Ok now your ready to finish the wood with a protective coat or use whatever lacquer you use. Pick out which type of varnish, Lacquer or Polyurethane coats you want to apply. This is important because some have a Satin, Semi Gloss, or Gloss shine coat to them. Watch the video below for how to.

 How to polyurethane wood video. This video even can be used for shellac or lacquer applications. 

8. Waiting. Waiting for the Poly to dry sucks. But when it does dry your project will look great! I usually would say let your project dry overnight. Just to be safe. And the next day give it a good hard look to see if there is any drips or runs. If you do find some. Move down to the next step. If you do not find any. Congrats! Your finished with your newly Sanded, Stained, and Finished wood project.



Video & Instructions Want a super clean finish? Or have you found a drip or imperfection?


9. Use 240 grit sandpaper and steal wool and a razor blade. To start this step. Begin by looking for the drips or runs. And gently shave off the polyurethane drips or runs. Then take your sandpaper and begin to lightly sand down the drips or runs on your project piece. After your satisfied. Go ahead and lightly apply another coat of Polyurethane and let it cure overnight.

10. After its flat and smooth. Feel the wood for bumps like air bubbles or dust in the finish. Then grab your Steel Wool to lightly rough and buff the surface of your wood project. Rub it lightly. Use the steel wool just like sandpaper so the finish is slightly roughed up. Use a clean dry cotton cloth. And congratulations. Your newly finished wood project is all done. And should look awesome!

Thank you everyone for visiting!

Dirty Joe!


For additional How To's. On this subject. Please watch the videos. I really hope this has helped you. And please visit our store for your Dirty Joe's Brand Apparel.  Thank you.

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