How to Stain Wooden Plantation Shutters

What You'll Need
Oil-based polyurethane top coat (preferably spray)
Piece of scrap wood
Lint-free cloth (at least 2)
Sandpaper (250 to 300 grit)

Wooden plantation shutters can be a beautiful addition to any home. Most of these shutters are made from basswood which is a light-colored wood that comes from a variety of linden trees. Often the wood in your shutters will vary in shades, making this shade unique from its vinyl counterpart. When staining your shutters, follow the steps below:

Step 1 – Choose your Stain and a Top Coat

Before you choose your stain it is important that you request from the sales clerk at the paint store a piece of scrap wood to test your stain on. Keep in mind that there will be a variation in the wood colors. There are 2 types of stains: dye stains and particle stains. For wooden shutters only particle stains are recommended, because these stains are more resistant to the rays of the sun. If, when choosing your stain, you are not sure which type of stain to use, ask your paint sales clerk. For a more durable finish for your shutters, use a polyurethane top coat, particularly an oil-based polyurethane in a semi-gloss. Also better: spray your shutters, rather than using a brush to paint them. Look for a polyurethane spray that contains ultraviolet light inhibitors. They will further protect your shutters from fading.

Step 2 – Choose your Type of Cloth

Although there are many ways to apply stain, the best way is to follow the directions from the paint manufacturer that applies to the stain you have purchased. But keep in mind, it is always best to apply stain with a clean, lint-free cloth.

Step 3 – Stir the Stain

Before applying the stain, stir it until it is thoroughly mixed, then stir it about every 10 minutes during the staining process. You might be tempted to mix it by shaking it, but resist the temptation, Stirring really is the best way to mix it.

Step 4 – Apply the Stain

The best method you can use to apply the stain is to rub it into the shutter surface with a lint-free cloth. It is important to remember that when rubbing it in, you should avoid rubbing too vigorously. Excessive rubbing will cause the grain of the wood to rise too much. Also, rub the stain into small areas of your wood at a time.

Step 5 – Wipe off Excess Stain

After you have carefully rubbed in the stain, allow it about 2 to 5 minutes to soak into the wood, then, remove any excess stain with a new, lint-free cloth.

Step 6 – Sand the Wood

Once your stain has dried, sand the shutters lightly, using a 250 to 300 grit sandpaper.

Step 7 – Apply Top Coat

The easiest way to apply the top coat to your shutters is to hang them in a clean place that is free of dust, then apply the stain. It is not recommended that you use a brush to apply the top coat. Instead, apply it with an air sprayer or an airless sprayer, and follow the manufacturer’s directions.