Applying stain to wood is tricky enough, but applying it over wood filler can cause some unique challenges. Here are some instructions to help!
Step 1: Apply the Filler: It’s always best to apply staining after the wood filler dries. Make sure the filler is dry and evened out before you start staining, or you’ll have to stain the wood again when you notice imperfections in the filler.
Step 2: Test Your Stain: To see how your wood filler will take to a stain, test the process on a piece of scrap wood. Apply the filler to the spare wood, wait for it to dry and apply the stain so you can see how well the stain color comes out.
Step 3: Prepare the Surface: Make sure that you have sanded out all imperfections in the wood filler that you are using to fix or repair your wood. This will prevent problems later on. Make sure that the filler has a seal applied to it. Remember to wipe down the wood to make sure it’s free from any debris.
Step 4: Apply a Pre-Stain Conditioner: Applying a prestain conditioner will help even out the color of a stain. Manufacturers recommend that you apply the regular stain within 2 hours of applying this pre-stain conditioner, but if you can’t do that for some reason, simply apply a second coat.
Step 5: Begin Applying the Stain: If you’ve applied the stain filler properly, you are now ready to apply a stain. When working with fillers, it’s a good idea to use a dye-type water stain because if you do end up repairing the wood again, it’s easier to touch up. You should use a brush or sponge, using your staining material generously. If you’ve done everything right, you shouldn’t even notice the spaces where the filler has been applied, but if you can see a difference, apply more stain to that particular area. If it gets too dark, wait 6 hours, and then apply a second coat of stain, avoiding the darker filler spots. Most often, this is enough to even out the color so it’s not too noticeable.
Step 6: Let The Wood Dry: Now you should let the wood sit for at least 6 to 8 hours. Just like with paint, the color will be a bit different once it’s dry.