Bookshelf Staining

What You'll Need
Wood Stain
Clean Rag

Matching your bookshelf to your existing furniture is as simple as sanding, priming, and staining. A stained bookshelf can add a certain touch of old world charm and executive luxury to any home den. Here are some tips for staining a bookshelf and give it a professional look.

Step 1 – Sand Down the Wood

Before adding any type of stain to your bookshelf, you need to go through a series of sanding procedures. Using a semi rough 80 grit paper, lightly sand the existing finish. You want to get to the bare wood with this procedure to give your new stain a good hold onto the wood. Then transfer to a 160 grit paper and do some finish sanding to get rid of any existing residue without further sanding off the wood. Then use a 220 grit paper and give the wood a smooth finish.

Step 2 – Clean the Wood

After you have sanded the wood down, clean the wood. Take a damp cloth and go over the wood multiple times. You need to ensure that the wood is completely clear of debris and materials. Anything on the wood can cause the stain to apply in an awkward manner.

Step 3 - Apply Sealer

When using stain the stain can penetrate different areas of the wood more causing an uneven finish. A sealer will help protect the wood from absorbing too much stain, and keep the strain at an even level throughout the surface of the wood.

Step 4 – Stain the Wood
Next, you need to actually stain the wood. Using a foam brush dip into the stain can. Wipe off the excess stain on the lip of the can, or cup, and start in the center of the shelf. Using a back and forth motion, brush the stain outward and then in towards the center. Apply the stain to the shelf until the entire shelf is covered.

Step 5 – Wipe off the Stain
Wipe off the excess stain and wait for the stain to dry to a tacky like finish before applying any additional coats. At most two or three coats of strain should be used on bookshelf.

Step 6 – Allow to Dry
The stain needs time to dry. Even though you are removing the excess stain, the wood will still be wet. Allow the stain time to fully dry before picking it up or using it.

Taking the time to properly stain and dry the bookshelf will help it to fit right into your room and surround decoration. Keep a light stain if necessary or darken it with additional coats.