Wood staining is one of the most common techniques used in furniture refinishing. When expertly done, an application of stain can completely transform the look of your antique or contemporary pieces and add considerable beauty to your entire home. Frequently, you must color match your refinished furniture in order to achieve just the right look for you décor. Count on the color matching and staining professionals at Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing to restore all of your furniture pieces to their ideal appearance.
What Is Wood Stain?
Wood stain is a product that contains a coloring agent called a pigment or dye, as well as a binding agent that holds the pigment in place on your furniture. Types of binders commonly in use include linseed oil, varnish, water, gel and lacquer. Each of these binders has unique chemical properties that determine what happens when the wood stain is applied.
For example, oil-based stain takes a relatively long time to dry, while water-based stains dry much faster. Proper application of wood stain requires complete familiarity with the available options and appropriate methods of application. With almost 40 years of experience in the field, the experts at Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing have a thorough knowledge of all wood stain products, from the traditional to the modern.
Why Should You Stain Your Wood Furniture?
Wood staining has a number of benefits that make it a popular option for refinishing contemporary and antique furniture. First, properly applied stain will make your furniture essentially waterproof. This means that your indoor and outdoor stained furniture is safe from the harmful effects of accidental spills and rainfall. In addition, most types of stain offer excellent protection from damaging rays of sunlight, which can seriously discolor your furniture over time.
Wood stain also protects your indoor and outdoor furniture from mold, mildew, and rot, as well as termites and other wood-damaging pests. Additional benefits of the staining process include resistance to the effects of peeling and cracking, and a reduction in long-term furniture maintenance costs. Finally, wood stain gives you the ability to add a wide range of colors to your furniture and accentuate the beauty of wood’s natural grain patterns.
The Staining Process
Proper wood staining is a multi-step process that requires considerable care and meticulous attention to detail. Before beginning a staining project, you must consider the type of wood used to construct your furniture. As a rule, softwoods such as cedar and pine accept stain more easily than hardwoods such as cherry and oak. In addition, each piece of furniture you wish to stain must receive a thorough sanding with several grades of sandpaper. This sanding opens up the wood’s pores and lets the stain sink in. It also removes any dried glue on the wood’s surface and helps limit the tendency of end-grain wood to soak up large amounts of stain.
Each type of furniture wood has unique physical properties. This means that each type of wood reacts differently to the staining process. Well-trained refinishers know how to work with all types of furniture wood, and understand the nuances required to achieve the desired results during staining. They also understand that the coloring effect of staining depends largely on how long wet stain remains in contact with wood. A skilled furniture refinisher knows how to precisely time the staining process in order to achieve the optimum furniture appearance.
The seasoned professionals at Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing possess a comprehensive understanding of each step of the wood staining process. This extensive experience gives us the ability to comfortably work with all of the woods used in furniture building, from the most common to the rare and exotic. When you bring your furniture to us for staining, we take its wood type into account while formulating a complete plan for sanding, stain selection and application, and (if required) the additional application of a clear finish to protect your stain’s appearance. Each step of the way, we use top-grade materials and closely monitor the results of our work.
The Importance of Color Matching
Many people who bring their furniture in for refinishing want to restore their pieces to a specific color, or match the color of their pieces to other furniture or décor. This may seem like a straightforward, easily achievable request. However, color matching is a complicated process, and only highly skilled refinishers can consistently achieve superior results.
The main factor that makes color matching of wood stain so difficult to achieve is the sheer unpredictability of working with wood. Even with wood from identical or related species, a number of considerations — including natural variations in the wood’s grain pattern and color — can significantly alter the appearance of any applied stain. When color matching of wood from different species is required, these considerations commonly lead to even greater difficulties.
Humidity also plays an important role in the color matching process. Simply put, stained wood with a relatively low moisture content will look different than stained wood with a relatively high water content. In addition, the age of furniture wood can lead to differences that complicate the goal of accurate color matching.
Effective color matching frequently depends on the proper blending of two or more shades of wood stain. When mixed together in precise proportions, multiple shades of stain can achieve essentially any desired look. More importantly, effective color matching requires experience, unwavering attention to detail and a well-developed aesthetic eye. When you bring your furniture to the color matching experts at Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing, we carefully assess your needs, deal effectively with each underlying factor in the matching process, and accurately recreate just the shade you need for your contemporary or antique pieces.
Call on Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing
Since 1976, Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing has helped communities throughout Southern California stain and color match their valuable furniture pieces. With our decades of experience, specialized refinishing facilities and courteous, dedicated staff, we make every step of the process as smooth as possible and help you maximize the beauty of your home. Call us today to learn more and schedule an in-home pickup of your chairs, tables or larger furniture.