Water based stain, when properly applied, can bring out the beauty and the grain behind engraved wood. Applying a water-based stain to engraved wood is easy.
Before you begin, thoroughly clean the surface of the wood. Residual oil or grease will cause the wood to reject the stain. Apply regular soap and water, or a degreasing agent if necessary.
Since wood absorbs water, water-based stains can cause the grain of the wood to swel. To prevent this, sand your wood before you apply any stain. Begin with a larger grain sand paper and work your way down as the details become finer. Wet sanding may produce quicker results than dry sanding.
Test the stain on a scrap of wood before you apply it to your furniture. Make sure the color is exactly what you want—once you apply it, there will be no going back.
When staining your wood, go slow, constantly checking your results. When dealing with intricately engraved spaces, try using a sponge brush for the best results. Makeup application sponges are excellent for removing excess stain from tight places.