Are Wood Stains Worth The Investment?
June 13, 2018
Wood stain is a substance that's used for the coloring and improved sustainability of wood-based products.
The stain is made of a pigment that's soaked into the fibers of the wood with a solvent. Once the stain is bound to the wood, it creates a saturating color that improves the look of wood and brings back its original hue. Stain improves the aesthetic appeal of the wood and provides many benefits that lead to prolonged protection.
Why Choose Wood Stain?
Staining of wood has benefits for any kind of lumber-based furnishing because it improves and protects from damaging elements.
One of the major benefits of wood stain is the ability to make wood waterproof. This is advantageous for internal and external lumber projects because both are likely exposed to water at some point. Wood stains form a barrier to protect the surface of the lumber from absorbing liquid. Once the barrier is established, liquid flows off of the surface without damaging the wood.
This protection is also helpful for preventing rot. Once the wood rots, little can be done to restore it. The only option is to completely replace the wood, which is expensive and inconvenient.
In addition, rotten wood is extremely dangerous to the integrity of the structure and prolonged use. Luckily, wood stain protects the lumber from rotting agents, such as termites, mold, and mildew. Making the small investment into wood stain from the beginning protects the wood from expensive repairs in the future.
For exterior projects, wood stain prevent harmful UV rays from deteriorating the lumber. When wood is exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time, it loses its gloss, long-term integrity, and color.
While some view graying wood as “rustic” or “natural”, what's happening to the wood itself is more concerning. UV rays break down the fibers in the lumber, making them less resilient and more likely to crack. This leaves the lumber susceptible to water damage and mold concerns. This UV damage severely impacts the extended use of the wooden area and eventually leads to rotten or warped wood.
During the summer, this damage is accelerated because the wood is exposed to long hours of sunlight.
By choosing a wood stain, you prevent the elements from causing expensive damage to the wood and improve its overall look. Wood stain is used to create a multitude of colors, which creates greater aesthetic appeal.
When choosing a stain, you have the option of dye or pigment. The choice impacts the pore size of the wood. Pigment stain leaves large pores while dye stain leaves small pores. This leads to unique wood colors and grain and texture preservation of the wood.
If you'd rather keep the lumber uncolored, clear wood stain gives you the protection benefits without the color.
Challenges Of Self Wood Staining
While you may be ready to get out and start protecting the wood from dangerous elements, it’s best to leave wood staining to the professionals. Wood staining is difficult work that leads to unpredictable results, if it’s done improperly.
If something goes wrong during the wood staining process, the only option is to re-sand the wood and start the entire process over. This prolongs the project and increases costs.
One of the most common results of self-staining is bleedback on the wood, which leads to dark marks throughout the lumber. The amount of stain that an area of wood can absorb is limited, which means adding additional coats doesn't benefit your project.
When uncured stain is left in-between boards after a finishing coat, the pigment spills out onto the finish of the wood. This results in an unappealing streak and inconsistent coloring of the project.
An additional challenge is the drying time necessary between each coat of stain because, if the stain isn’t dry, subsequent coats aren't able to bond to the wood. This leads to smudging, peeling, or failure to cure. Once your wood has reached this point, the only option is to re-sand the wood and restart the entire process.
If you want the highest quality results from wood staining, it’s best to trust a professional with experience in stains. While wood stain has the ability to prolong and improve your wood, it also causes head acts or expensive repairs.
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