How to stain over paint

Deane Biermeier is an expert contractor with virtually 30 years of experience in every kind of dwelling restore, maintenance, and remodeling. He is a licensed lead carpenter and as well as holds a certification from the EPA. Deane is a member of The Spruce's Dwelling Enchancment Overview Board.

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You've perhaps heard of painting over earlier stained wood, nonetheless what regarding the reverse—staining over paint? This actually works, and it creates a personalized finish with pleasant, even beautiful, outcomes.

Staining Over Paint Fundamentals

Staining over unfinished wood produces an enhanced wood finish. The result is the wood's an identical texture and grain nonetheless with a definite tone and richness. Staining over accomplished or coated wood—on this case, painted wood—creates a really utterly completely different impression.

Counting on the color and sheen of the paint and the form of stain, the top result’s more likely to be a glazed, lacquered look with rich, darkish undertones.

Streaks will on a regular basis be seen to a degree. Nevertheless that could be a desired byproduct of the stain-on-paint methodology. You’ll administration the thickness of the streaks via using utterly completely different applicators. Robust-bristled chip brushes lay down intensive streaks very just like the grain of earlier wood. Sponges and prime quality horse-hair brushes depart finer streaks.

When to Stain Over Paint

Stain over paint is acceptable for smaller duties like refurbishing earlier furnishings and even adorning doorways and woodwork. It’s an efficient technique to rework a thrift retailer nightstand into an heirloom-style piece.

Or, chances are you’ll stain a toddler’s painted mattress room dresser and change it into adult-worthy customer room furnishings. Or streak darkish stain over a small painted desk for a dramatic, wood-like grain.

You’ll fine-tune the finished product by adjusting the diploma of sanding or via using utterly completely different stains and software program methods. The possibilities are numerous, and it's on a regular basis pleasant to experiment with this simple, low-cost enterprise.

Safety Considerations

When using stain, on a regular basis work in a well-ventilated house corresponding to a storage with an open door or a lined patio. The odor of stain could possibly be unpleasant and even harmful in closed circumstances.

Troubleshooting Solutions

  • While you can stain over paint, discover that you simply’re making a novel look, not an real stained wood-grain look. For that, first strip off your complete paint, then apply the stain.
  • Paint with larger gloss signifies that the ground is way much less porous. The stain will additional merely slide off, resulting in a lighter shade. Flat sheen paint has larger porosity and absorbs additional stain and turns darker.
  • Silicone caulking or some sorts of glues totally shed stains and might result in delicate spots.
  • Areas of unsealed wood putty or wood filler readily take in the stain and produce darkish, noticeable spots.

What You’ll Need

Gear / Devices

  • Sandpaper
  • Stain software program devices corresponding to an artificial or pure bristle brush, foam sponge brush, cotton cloth, or roller physique and roller cowl
  • Drop cloth
  • Eye security
  • Latex gloves or associated waterproof gloves corresponding to nitrile gloves
  • Clear rags or tack cloth
  • Indelible marker


  • Oil-based or water-based gel stain
  • Painted work supplies
  • Plastic sandwich baggage


Put collectively the Work House

Lay a drop cloth beneath the merchandise and lengthen the fabric just a few ft previous to catch stain splatter. Positioned on latex or nitrile gloves as wood stain is troublesome to remove from fingers.

Take away Gear

If engaged on an merchandise corresponding to a dresser or nightstand, unscrew {{hardware}}, hinges, and all completely different objects that will not be stained. Bag these things and their screws, label the bag with the indelible marker and set them safely aside.

Check out and Assess the Painted Flooring

Experiment on a sample distant house since paint sheen and primary flooring circumstances dramatically impact the outcome.

Sand the Flooring

Sanding the ground affords it additional tooth, or porosity, to grab the stain. Not all surfaces need to be sanded. That’s accomplished for decorative impression, not for durability, so sand as quite a bit or as little as you desire to. Clear the ground with a transparent cloth or tack cloth.

Mix the Stain

As with paint, stain carries pigments and need to be utterly blended. Stir the stain rigorously with a transparent picket stirring stick. Since bubbles would possibly kind, let fifteen minutes go sooner than you begin using the stain.

Apply Stain to the Paint

Stain quickly separates; it is best to positively utterly mix the stain sooner than using. Gel stains are additional viscous than typical stains, making it easier to manage the product on the ground whereas minimizing drips. Just a bit stain goes a good way, significantly utilized on these a lot much less absorbent painted surfaces.

Dip merely the tip of the comb bristles inside the stain. Swap the comb to the painted flooring, starting at one edge, and brush gently. If the desired impression is a darkish stain, function for quite a lot of skinny layers of the stain reasonably than one single thick layer.

Let the Stain Dry

Stained surfaces are more likely to dry to the contact inside two hours. Allow for not lower than two hours between coats, in case you’re making use of additional coats. Let the last word coat dry in a single day sooner than reinstalling the {{hardware}} or using the piece.

Proper right here’s a question that often comes up in DIY circles – “Can you apply stain over a painted flooring?” The options proper listed below are generally blended, not least because of most craftsmen don’t see any profit to making an attempt to stain an already painted flooring.

The question nonetheless persists, though, so it’s time to answer it head on.

This data will highlight quite a lot of conditions by which making use of stain over paint may be a viable DIY job. On the an identical time, this data will outline occasions when making use of stain over paint isn’t nicely well worth the effort. With this information, it’s essential to be able to successfully determine in case you might make a productive DIY job out of staining a painted wood or concrete flooring in your home.

Can You Stain Over Paint on Wood and Concrete?

In relation to wood and concrete surfaces, you presumably can apply stain over an current layer of paint. Nonetheless, there’s a additional pertinent question at play proper right here. Fairly than asking when you’ll be able to perform this course of effectively, it’s essential to instead be considering whether or not or not staining a painted flooring in your home is even value it.

For some DIYers, this course of may be nicely well worth the effort. Notably, these making an attempt to create a “distressed” look on the ground of their wooden furnishings would possibly able to profit from a stain-over-paint remedy. Alternatively, these making an attempt to create a relentless, sturdy stain coat over their painted wood or concrete flooring would possibly uncover their outcomes decrease than satisfying.

It doesn’t matter what end finish outcome you is perhaps taking footage for, you would be additional centered on whether or not or not or not a stain-over-paint remedy will work in your explicit situation. Listed beneath are three of the most common implementations of stain over a painted flooring, every indoors and out of doors.

Can You Stain Over Paint on a Deck?

Certain, you presumably can. Nonetheless, doing so will not have the an identical impression as making use of stain after which later painting over the deck wood. It is as a result of deck stain (which is usually made to tolerate all-seasons outdoor circumstances) is designed to absorb into the wood upon which it is utilized. Your stain will possible be unable to do this if the deck in question already has a relentless layer of paint upon it.

That being acknowledged, stain could possibly be utilized to a wood deck that beforehand had paint upon it. Nonetheless, some amount of effort will possible be wished prematurely to have the ability to take away all of that paint from the deck’s outer flooring. Given how quite a bit work this entails, it isn’t a very useful plan of motion.

Can You Stain Over Painted Cabinets?

Generally, an indoor wood stain can be utilized to alter a wood cabinet’s exterior shade (often in route of a darker, richer wood hue). In order to acquire this finish outcome, indoor wood stains usually embrace colorants that work along with the wood it covers. Whether or not it’s utilized to a painted flooring, this course of cannot occur. Worse however, it may actually harm or alter the painted flooring beneath.

Some homeowners actually select this altered look because of it partially resembled the implications of aged wood. Due to this, they nonetheless choose to stain a painted cabinet. Ought to you choose to do the an identical, all {{hardware}} along with knobs and hinges must be eradicated first. Moreover, explicit consideration need to be paid to ingrained patterns to have the ability to assure even software program.

Can You Stain Over Painted Concrete?

In a theoretical sense, certain, you presumably can apply concrete stain over a painted concrete flooring or wall. Nonetheless, that stain will not grasp the painted flooring the least bit, leading to a suboptimal coating that will not defend the painted flooring beneath. As such, a stain-over-paint course of should not be actually useful for a lot of concrete constructions.

That being acknowledged, you proceed to have the selection to remove the earlier painted flooring and altering it with a stain coat or two. Doing this will require you to remove your complete earlier paint by hand, which can often be achieved with a strong power washer.

How one can Stain Over Paint: A Step-by-Step Info

In case you be taught by means of the above and nonetheless decided to go ahead with the method, beneath is a step-by-step description of the strategy.

Step #1: Placed on PPE

Ought to you choose to make use of stain over a painted flooring in or near your property, it’s essential to begin by accurately equipping your self wit personal defending gear (PPE). Because of this job will doable require eradicating some amount of paint, this might embody a face masks or respirator. In addition to, it’s strongly beneficial that you just placed on gloves, head masking, and eye security to cease paint chips from settling in your pores and pores and skin or in your eyes.

Moreover, as its title suggests, wood or concrete stain will depart your garments utterly marked if it soaks into it. As such, it is extra actually useful that you just placed on garments that you do not ideas dirtying.

Step #2: Clear and Put collectively the Flooring

Your subsequent steps will depend upon whether or not or not you is perhaps choosing to stain over a painted flooring or take away a paint coating sooner than making use of a stain. For the earlier course of, begin by wiping your full work flooring clear. For those who’re working with an outside flooring, it will possible even require power washing to remove flooring in mud and particles. As quickly as that’s accomplished, you presumably can switch on to the next step.

Nonetheless, in case you’re instead planning on eradicating the earlier flooring paint, you’ll want to obtain high-quality grain sandpaper or a wire brush. Use these things to wash the painted flooring until as quite a bit paint as attainable is eradicated. It will possible moreover require you to utilize some paint remover, which must on a regular basis be used rigorously. As quickly because the paint is eradicated, its chips must be cleaned up and any paint eradicated used must be cleaned away.

For a additional detailed data to eradicating paint, see this textual content.

Step #3: Apply Stain

As quickly as your work flooring is prepared, you’ll begin making use of your stain of different.

For those who’re doing this on a fixture with intricate corners or edges, a small foam brush must suffice for this operate. Nonetheless, a giant roller brush would possibly instead be applicable when making an attempt to cowl, as an illustration, a giant concrete flooring.

Work slowly and methodically to verify full safety.

Step #4: Allow Drying and Repeat Software program

After the first coat of stain dries, you would choose to make use of a second coat. This helps fill in safety gaps and provides a additional reliable, sturdy flooring whole.

How Can You Stain Over Paint for Classic Look?

Certain, you presumably can stain over a painted wood flooring to appreciate what many see as an “classic” or aged finish.

In reality, that is among the many most worthwhile causes to hold out a stain-over-paint course of. One environment friendly methodology for reaching this look could possibly be seen on this video.


Staining over a painted flooring is not going to be for everyone.

In the end, it isn’t the perfect methodology to take advantage of wood or concrete stain. Nonetheless, in case you are attempting to acquire a certain aesthetic kind, it may allow you acquire the precise look you are going for. In the long term, your best wager may be to take a look at this course of in a discreet location to see if it appeals to you.

Each methodology, the benefits, drawbacks, and best practices for apply stain over ache must now be clear to you. Be sure you take what you’ve found proper right here with you when deciding in your subsequent enormous dwelling DIY enterprise.

Making a faux aged finish on furnishings, cabinets and even partitions is an efficient method in order so as to add depth and character to an space. Making use of stain over paint is an excellent pretend rising previous selections, however it does require you to adjust to some very explicit pointers to have the ability to assure an accurate finish.

The good news is that, accomplished accurately, the stain-over-paint pretend rising previous methodology comes out beautifully every time.

Points You Will Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Oil based paint
  • Oil based stain
  • 2 paintbrushes
  • Rag

Ponder distressing your piece sooner than painting. Distressing can add to the classic attraction of the enterprise.


Use warning if the piece you propose to take care of has been beforehand painted. Oil-based paint and stain cannot be utilized over latex paint. If the piece has been painted with latex paint, it is best to positively strip the paint totally and clear the ground utterly sooner than beginning your enterprise.

Evenly sand your full flooring of your piece to be dealt with. Be sure you sand with the grain of the wood using prolonged, sweeping strokes.

Paint your full flooring of your piece using your oil-based paint. Be sure you mix the paint utterly sooner than opening. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours.

Shake and open your oil-based stain. Keep a paint brush in a single hand and a rag inside the completely different. Dip your paint brush inside the stain and swipe a thin layer onto the ground of your piece to be accomplished. Immediately after making the comb stroke, swipe the stain alongside together with your rag. Do you have to wait too prolonged to wipe the stain, the paint beneath will flip into sticky and spoil your finish. Repeat the paint and swipe course of until your full flooring of the piece has been coated. Allow the layer of stain to dry for 24 hours.

Repeat Step Three as many cases as you need. Each layer of stain will create added depth to seams, cracks, and veins inside the wood, thereby rising the aged look. Be sure you allow ample drying time between each layer of stain.

I’ve a little bit of painted wood nonetheless have to darken and defend it…Do I truly have to strip off the paint first or can you apply stain over painted wood?

Certain, you presumably can stain straight over painted wood. Making use of stain over paint is a straightforward and wise methodology to defend wood with out the trouble of stripping or sanding off the distinctive layer of paint. Nonetheless, the outcomes and look may be unpredictable and distinctive to the combo of paint and stain used.

Paint is basically essentially the most sturdy finish which you may get, and it’s also most versatile with an infinite fluctuate of colors, shades, and hues to pick out from. Nevertheless paint moreover has a lifespan, and as quickly because the paint begins to deteriorate, you’ll have to recoat the ground of the wood. You’ll paint over current paint, nonetheless can you stain painted wood? The reply is bound, nonetheless you may need to adjust to explicit procedures. On this publish, we check out how one can apply stain in your painted wood surfaces.

Causes for Making use of Stain Over Paint

We use wood on every kind of duties, partially, for its power and sturdiness. To spice up the durability of this versatile supplies and shield its look, wood is painted, stained and guarded with a clear coat. Two of the popular finishes on wood are paint and stain.

To start out with, you would marvel why you may want to use stain over paint inside the first place. There are a selection of attainable causes. The primary function proper right here is to change the appears of the painted flooring. It is doable you may need to refurbish the paint nonetheless do it in any other case. Then, chances are you’ll want to alter the theme of a room, as an illustration, altering the look of a child’s mattress room into the additional grownup tones of a customer room.

Ought to you choose successfully, the probabilities are numerous. You’ll impart a conventional classic look to a facet desk bought at a flea market to make it look like a priceless piece of furnishings. All of it boils proper right down to your creativity and creativeness and the best way you apply them to your work.

How one can Apply Stain Over Paint

You may’t adjust to the standard procedures for making use of stain over paint. You’ll apply the stain with a cloth, brush, or roller, counting on the character of the job. Do you have to adjust to these few main steps, it must be ample in an effort to acquire the desired outcomes:


The prepping stage consists of clearing the world of all pointless objects. Hammer in or take away protruding nails and screws, and sweep the world to clear it of all particles and dust. Since you may be coping with corrosive supplies, assure to placed on relevant safety gear like gloves and a masks once you plan to work in an enclosed home.

Sanding the Flooring

Regardless that you simply intend to make use of the stain over current paint, it is worthwhile to sand the ground calmly. It is since you impart additional porosity to the ground to supply the stain a better grip.

After sanding the ground, clear it of particles and dust by wiping it with a moist cloth. You must use a pump sprayer filled with a cleaning decision. Make it possible for the ground is obvious from all mud and filth.

You could need to make use of a scrubbing brush over some dirt-encrusted spots. Wait until the ground turns into dry. Do you have to clear a deck in preparation for staining it, you would need to attend for just a few days for it to dry sooner than persevering with extra.

Mixing the Stain

As quickly because the painted flooring is completely dry, you’ll be able to start mixing the stain. Get your entire supplies and equipment collectively. Keep a drop cloth helpful to catch any splashes or drops which can escape out of your brush or roller. Apply masking tape or grease to spots like hinges, handles, and various factors you do not need to stain.

Mix your stain to the required consistency. Assure to mix slowly nonetheless utterly. That you could merge the pigments with the stain evenly and with out bubbles. Look ahead to about fifteen minutes for any bubbles to dissipate.

Useful Tip: As far as attainable, apply stain in pure delicate. Avoid working at evening time because of the colors might sound utterly completely different in artificial delicate, and you might also miss out on quite a lot of spots in case your lighting is insufficient.

Making use of the Stain

First, apply a check out sample to a hid part of the ground to see the last word finish outcome. You could make minor adjustments to appreciate the desired look. As quickly as you is perhaps glad with the look, start making use of the stain with a rag, brush, or roller.

Use common, prolonged strokes pressing calmly to make use of the stain thinly nonetheless sufficiently over the ground. Do not overload your applicator to stay away from blotching and drips. For those who’re using a brush, dip solely the tip of the comb inside the stain.

Fairly than one or two thick coats, you may on a regular basis get larger outcomes with quite a lot of skinny coats. That you just have to be affected individual and take your time for the easiest finish, and this considerably applies inside the case of a darkish stain.

Wait until each coat dries sooner than you proceed with making use of the next coat. Search recommendation from the producer’s instructions for the right drying cases. It usually takes about two hours for a single coat of stain to dry. You may usually need to depart your job for eight to 12 hours or in a single day for the last word coat to dry totally.

Solutions for Reaching the Smoothest Texture

  • Apply the stain with a cotton staining pad or a brush with pure bristles like horsehair for oil-based stain.
  • You must use applicators manufactured from synthetic provides once you use a water-based stain.
  • Use sandpaper from 120-grit to 180-grit to appreciate most bodily smoothness.
  • Always switch inside the path of the wood grain whether or not it’s seen.
  • Try delicate buffing in your stained flooring as quickly because the stain has dried totally for a high-gloss finish. periodically to maintain up the luster of your stained surfaces.

How one can Receive a Faux Wood Finish

  • Sooner than you select the shades of stain you plan to utilize, have a superb check out images of some wood grain patterns to get applicable shades of stain.
  • You must use an affordable chip brush to impart a streaked, wood grain-like look to the ground.
  • Making use of layers of lighter and darker stains may make the ground look like wood.
  • Switch your brush steadily within the an identical path, nonetheless switch it in prolonged ovals at frequent intervals to create the appears of knots and whorls that occur inside the wood. You may do successfully to watch this methodology a bit sooner than making use of stain to the job.


Making use of stain over paint is a straightforward and wise methodology to defend wood with out the trouble of stripping or sanding off the distinctive layer of stain. The method involved is a bit detailed nonetheless not overly refined, and it is worthwhile to adjust to explicit steps to appreciate the desired outcomes. We hope that we’ve answered your entire questions on making use of stain over paint.

Whether or not or not you apply it as a finish to disclose wood, previously-stained wood, or painted wood, it is best to make the most of stain to showcase your creative experience. With a little bit little bit of creativeness and a whole lot of creativity, you presumably can rework picket surfaces into pretty creations with an relevant stain. Make your mark with some superior stained woodworking duties.

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No actually not?? Notably not latex over oil?? Woman you’ve accomplished gone misplaced your ideas!

Which is one factor I hear hundreds! Nevertheless actually it is attainable, and I’m going to level out you the best technique to get these pretty tonal outcomes over new or stripped down wood doing merely that!

The reason we’re ready to do this is that we aren’t layering thick coats of 1 form of finish over one different – additional so using hints to create the finished product. I benefit from this sort of finish hundreds – significantly over pine and spruce duties, because of them unlikely having an extreme quantity of of an fascinating grain – so hey – let’s help that out with a cool impression 😊

For the first stage of this finish, I created a you tube video – so let’s skip the finding out half – put the kettle on and sit once more and watch the tutorial .

How easy was that 😀😀 the truth is in that tutorial, the underside colors have been two fold, you presumably can utterly merely use one shade too (one factor alongside the traces of a Darkish Walnut or a Kona) ANY form of stain is OK to utilize for the underside – water or oil (I want to make points easy!!)

These are a range I preserve obtainable to utilize for the underside stain shade

As you presumably can see the selection is your complete mid toned brown colors!

My stain mannequin of different is the Varathane (Rustoleum) type solely because of personally I select the best way it finishes and applies, nonetheless I do use the Minwax mannequin too so there is no arduous or fast rule as to which ones to utilize!

In spite of everything you presumably can utterly depart your enterprise at this stage and add your clear coat of different and have a shocking cool toned impression

Nevertheless we want additional! (Because of additional is additional correct. )

In order so as to add the good and comfy tones extreme we wait until the underside (above) is completely dry (in a single day is advisable) after which add one different layer of stain!

These are the colors I generally use as a result of the glaze prime coat!

A small can of these will go a good way because of it’s used as a glaze – or in layman’s phrases “a translucent coating which you’ll be able to wipe over and nonetheless see what’s beneath, whereas together with a contact of shade!

Take your prime shade stain and DO NOT STIR IT. I’ll say that when extra DO NOT STIR IT. The reason for it is since you don’t want an extreme quantity of shade pigment inside the prime coat – merely the hintiest of hints.

Dip your brush inside the unstirred stain, and coat your enterprise as you may when you will have been painting it, take a cotton rag and wipe off all the excess!! And that’s it its that straightforward!

Doesn’t that add primarily essentially the most pretty depth of shade – that’s on a regular basis my favourite part of this course of 😍

Go away your enterprise to dry over evening time, after which you presumably can add your clear coat of different and identify it accomplished!

Listed beneath are some examples beneath of the an identical finish and the merchandise used to appreciate this tone

Tops of the desk set and your complete self-esteem was achieved using the underside shade stain Darkish Walnut : Paint was an off white trim latex : glaze stain coat is Golden Mahogany

This present cabinet carcass finish was created using American Walnut as the underside coat, as soon as extra an off white latex was used for the dry brushing (nonetheless I added a little bit bit bit better than inside the video) and for the best coat I used provincial gel stain as a result of the glaze – not brushing it on nonetheless dipping a rag into the can and buffing it over your complete piece!!

So that you presumably can seen by together with additional paint / using a definite stain shade each beneath or extreme affords utterly completely different appears to be – and with the amount of colors available on the market within the market – the probabilities are numerous for the color mixtures you presumably can create!

One issue to note is that I’ve been requested if the kind of finish could possibly be achieved over a little bit of furnishings that is already accomplished (presumably a dresser or a desk it’s essential to revamp) and utterly it is.

As the underside shade is already on you’ll have to take some TSP or very like clear utterly the piece and to take the sheen off off the prevailing clear coat.

For those who’ve accomplished this merely start with the dry brushing step and go from there – this could be a good methodology to hide any imperfections the piece would possibly want. Say you would have a bit that is veneered and it is worthwhile to fill to do some restore, go ahead and fill – stain the restore with a shade as shut as attainable to the distinctive after which when dry start your dry brushing. Its an superior methodology to combine out these repairs on one factor that you just would possibly want thought was unsalvageable.