Blue Paint brush with varnish for pine

Pine is a popular choice for furniture due to its durability and affordability. However, untreated pine furniture can often appear bland and unfinished. Buying an untreated pine shelf means you can adapt the shelf to match any room or style.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to stain and paint untreated pine furniture. 

Step 1: Prepare the Surface 

Begin by lightly sanding the surface of the wood with a fine-grit sandpaper, a 400 grit sandpaper works perfectly. This will create a smooth finish and remove any rough or uneven areas. Be sure to sand in the direction of the grain to avoid creating scratches. 

Prepared and cleaned pine surface ready for wood stain

Step 2: Clean the Wood 

Next, wipe the surface of the wood with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust that may have accumulated on the surface. This is an important step as it ensures that the stain or paint will adhere properly to the wood. Wait for the surface to dry before continuing to the next step. 

Step 3: Apply a Pre-stain Conditioner or Primer 

For staining: Apply a pre-stain wood conditioner to the wood to help the stain absorb evenly and to prevent blotching. Some wood stain prouducts do not require a pre-stain, read the label on the staining product before purchase.

For painting: Apply a coat of primer specifically designed for wood to the surface of the furniture. This will help the paint adhere better and also prevent any stains from bleeding through the paint. 

Wood stain product in paint tray with paint sponge and brush

Step 4: Apply the Stain or Paint 

For staining: Apply the stain to the wood using a brush / sponge brush or rag, working in the direction of the grain. Be sure to apply the stain evenly and to wipe off any excess with a clean, soft brush.
You may need to apply 3-4 coats and sand lightly with 400 grit sandpaper between coats.

For painting: Apply the paint to the wood using a paintbrush or sponge roller. Be sure to apply the paint evenly and to work in the direction of the grain. 

Step 5: Allow to Dry 

For staining: Allow the stain to dry / cure for the recommended amount of time (usually up to 12 hours) before applying a clear coat or sealer to protect the wood and to enhance the color of the stain. 

For painting: Allow the paint to dry for the recommended amount of time before applying a second coat, if necessary. 

Castle Timbers brand on wood surface

Step 6: Apply a Clear Coat or Sealer 

For staining: If you are not planning to add any finish to the wood, you can apply linseed oil or tung oil to the wood. 

For painting: Finish the paint job by applying a clear coat or sealer to protect the wood and to enhance the durability and shine of the paint. 

It's important to follow the instructions on the products you are using, and test on a small inconspicuous area (usually the underside) first before applying it to the whole piece of furniture.

With these simple steps, you'll be able to transform your untreated pine shelf into beautiful, finished piece that will last for years to come. 

Castle Timbers Couch side table after wood stain
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