7 Best Stain For Pine-How to Select the Best Finish for Pine

Find the best wood stain for pine on the market.
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The capability to choose the best stain for pine furnishings and wooden surfaces will determine how beautiful it looks and the level of protection it gets.

 But with a sea of pine staining products flooding the market, each claiming to give you an edge over the other,  how do you pick the best stain for pine? 

Worry no more. We have rolled up our sleeves and scoured the web for hours on end and have compiled a detailed list of tried and tested staining pine products to help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

Best Stain For Pine

Best Stain For Pine Product Reviews (Updated List)

Here, we’ll take you through our top picks for the best stain for pine.  Apart from presenting the key features of each product, we have gone further and included the pros and cons of each item. 

1. Best Overall Stain for Pine-DEFY Extreme Redwood

DEFY Extreme 5 Gallon Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain, Redwood
583 Reviews
DEFY Extreme 5 Gallon Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain, Redwood
  • WATER-BASED SEMI-TRANSPARENT WOOD STAIN – This environmentally friendly, water based deck stain allows the wood grain to show through with a beautiful semi-transparent, natural matte finish. It's great for staining wood decks, fences, siding, playsets, outdoor patio furniture, and more.
  • FORTIFIED WITH ZINC NANO-PARTICLE TECHNOLOGY– It’s like sunscreen for your wood. Tiny zinc particles dispersed throughout the stain reflect damaging UV rays, preventing premature graying and color loss.
  • EXTREMELY DURABLE, QUALITY THAT LASTS – DEFY Extreme wood stains are made with the highest quality resins available that have better resistance to fading and darkening. The result is a quality semi-transparent deck stain that typically lasts a season or two longer than competitive products. Keep your deck, fence or siding looking great for longer by using DEFY premium wood stains.
  • EASY TO MAINTAIN – When it’s time to do a maintenance coat, there’s no need to sand or strip the surface again. Simply brighten the wood with DEFY Wood Brightener and apply a single maintenance coat of DEFY Extreme Wood Stain.
  • 100 VOC COMPLIANT - Ships to all states including California

Defy extreme tops our list for the best stain for pine for a good reason. It is the best stain to bring out the natural beauty of wood.

You can use it for staining fences, playsets, outdoor patio furniture, siding, wood decks, etc. It is super friendly to the environment and dries up pretty fast.   

The stain will bead well against snow, dry summers, and rain.

Since Defy is a penetrating wood stain, follow the manufacturer’s instructions keenly to get the results you need.

Know that the wood stain might go on lighter than you would expect it, but it will darken as time goes by. 

Depending on where you stay, you might not even need to apply a second coat. And if you have to, apply within twenty minutes after applying the first coat. 

Avoid direct sunlight when applying, as it will cause the stain to dry faster before penetrating the wood. 

For excellent results, apply on cloudy days. And once you start staining pine, do not stop until you finish the whole length of the wood.


  • It does not repel against itself when it dries up
  • Easy to apply
  • It can last for up to two years or more before you need to re-apply


  • It is expensive
  • No shortcuts when applying to minimize failures.

2. Best Outdoor Stain for Pine– Ready Seal 510 Exterior Stain and Sealer

Ready Seal 510 Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood, 5-Gallon, Golden Pine
5,610 Reviews
Ready Seal 510 Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood, 5-Gallon, Golden Pine
  • Requires no primer. Ready Seal is darkest when first applied. It reaches its true color in approximately 14 days. Do not apply Ready Seal over painted or newly stained surfaces. Sealed surfaces inhibit penetration.
  • May be applied using sprayer, roller or brush
  • Requires no back brushing or wet-line application
  • Can be applied in any temperature range
  • Subject to or will include a PaintCare recycling fee in the following states: CT, or VT. Not available in CA.

Ready Seal stain polishes up the natural beauty of pine by letting the texture and grain show through.

This oil-based, semi-transparent wood stain and sealer is ideal for almost all exterior woodworks. It is a one-of-a-kind formula that penetrates the wood to prevent mold, mildew, and harmful UV rays.

You do not need a primer. When you apply it for the first time, it’ll be very dark and take about fourteen days to reach its actual color. 

 Avoid applying Ready Seal to freshly stained surfaces because sealed Surfaces prevent penetration. 

You can use rollers, brushes, or sprayers to apply it: no wet-lining or back brushing is needed during the application process.


  • You can apply it at any temperature range
  • Dries evenly with no runs if you apply using a small spray tip.
  • Easy to apply even with no prior experience
  • You will be happy with the results whichever stain color you pick
  • It is affordable
  • It also seals the wood. 


  • Blemishes may show through the stain- so, wash the deck thoroughly before application
  • Not friendly to the environment 

3. Best Stain for Pine Furniture– Saman Interior Wood Stain

SamaN Interior Water Based Wood Stain & Natural Furniture, moldings, Wood Paneling and cabinets Stain (Antique Walnut TEW-212-12, 12 oz)
1,884 Reviews
SamaN Interior Water Based Wood Stain & Natural Furniture, moldings, Wood Paneling and cabinets Stain (Antique Walnut TEW-212-12, 12 oz)
  • 20 YEARS OF NORTH-AMERICAN EXCELLENCE: SamaN is the preferred choice of professional woodworkers and DIYers in North America. We promote greener products and help the integration of people with intellectual disabilities and pervasive development disorder.
  • SAFE & NATURAL PRODUCT: Odorless, risk free for health of the users, pets and the environment.
  • HIGH-QUALITY PRODUCT: Durable stain that protects and elevates wood’s beauty for all your renovation, decoration or DIY projects.
  • EASY TO USE & CLEAN: It’s super simple to use for a first-timer on almost any wood surface without requiring any pro tools. No overlapping marks, no need for a conditioner and fast easy application in just one coat. Water-based stain make it safe and quick to clean after use on furniture, moldings, wood paneling and cabinets.
  • TONS OF COLORS TO PICK FROM: Over 40 colors to choose from. Mix 2 colors for a custom look. Get the exact shade you are looking for!

Saman is a high-quality water-based stain that amplifies your wood’s beauty while protecting it from losing its original color.  

It is simple to use even for first-timers on all wood surfaces without requiring any additional tools.

 This wood stain leaves no overlapping marks. You do not need a conditioner, and it’s pretty simple to clean after using it on cabinets, furniture, wood panelling, and furniture or any other wood finish.

You can find it in a wide range of colors to help you pick the color of your dream. And you can even mix two colors for a customized appearance.


  • Easy to apply
  • It covers up the grain
  • It is odorless
  • You do not need a conditioner 
  • It is durable
  • You only apply one coat, and you are good to go
  • Friendly to the environment and pets
  • Dries up very quickly
  • You can use different colors to get the shade you want
  • Cleaning up this stain is simple, and you won’t require any harsh solvents.


  • It is expensive, but you get the best value for your money since it is durable.

4. Best Dark Stain for Pine-Varathane 262005 Premium Stain

Varathane 262005 Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain, Quart, Early American
5,941 Reviews
Varathane 262005 Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain, Quart, Early American
  • Ideal for use on all interior wood projects: furniture, cabinets, doors, trim and paneling
  • One-coat coverage, fast-drying oil based formula
  • Dries to the touch in just 1 hour and covers up to 275 square feet
  • High performance stain system enhanced with nano pigment particles
  • Highlights natural wood grain to reveal wood's beauty

Varathane is an oil-based stain suitable for staining doors, furniture, paneling, cabinets, trims, and doors. It does a great job highlighting natural wood grain to showcase the beauty of pine. 

To get excellent results, brush on with a one-use foam brush and put on nitrile gloves when applying. 

After the stain has stayed on the wood surface for a minute, wipe it off with a good cotton rag. The dye penetrates the wood fast and dries up quickly, giving you a beautiful uniform color. 

When painting the cabinets, cover the floors with old newspapers to prevent them from getting stained. Also, be sure to sand down sticky things or grease that could be sitting on the cabinets. 


  • It is easy to apply even with no prior experience, and you get the exact color you are looking for.
  • It is available in different colors
  • Dries up in record time
  • It is odorless


  • After drying up, it can be sticky to the touch
  • Sometimes it can be a challenge to get the color you are looking for your wood finish.
  • Has no return policy

5. Best Stain for Pine Deck -Minwax, Dark Walnut 70012444

Minwax Wood Finish 70011444, Driftwood Stain, Quart
4,935 Reviews
Minwax Wood Finish 70011444, Driftwood Stain, Quart
  • RICH EVEN COLOR – Minwax Wood Finish is a deep penetrating, oil-based wood stain that provides beautiful color and enhances the natural wood grain in one coat. It’s perfect for interior staining projects such as wood furniture, cabinets, doors and more.
  • QUICK DRYING – Staining interior wood has never been quicker. The special formula allows it to deeply penetrate wood pores within 5 minutes of application, resists lapping, and dries in two hours, making all your wood projects quick, beautiful and easy.
  • EASY TO APPLY – Use a clean cloth or wood stain brush to apply this wood stain in the direction of the grain. Wait 5-15 minutes and wipe away excess stain. The longer you wait, the darker/richer the color. Reapply coats for deeper color.
  • DRIFTWOOD WOOD STAIN – This light to medium wood stain provides a beautiful, rich color. With cool undertones, it looks great for a wide variety of projects.
  • A BRAND YOU CAN TRUST – Minwax is America’s leading brand of wood finishing and wood care projects. Since 1904, we have been inspiring consumers to Keep on Finishing. We offer consumers a complete line of products to meet every wood finishing need.

Minwax, Dark Walnut is America’s top wood finish suitable for staining hardwood floors, cabinets, furniture, molding, trims, etc. You use it to inject life into every plain or stripped pine surface. 

You will love the way the grains of the wood come out after applying the stain. Understand that different pine will take the paint differently, so the appearance differs. 

Do your research thoroughly before settling for any stain to help you pick the right color for your projects. The color will keep darkening after application, but the results will match the paint on the can. 

To get good results, sand your furniture with 220 grit before staining and use a microfiber cloth to apply. 

Condition the wood first before applying to avoid getting a rustic look. You will get good results when you apply one or more coats.Minwax dark walnut is the best stain for pine deck. 


  • Quite easy to apply
  • It’s available in twenty-eight colors. So, you’ll have lots of colors to choose from.
  • It is easy to dry.
  • You’ll not go wrong as the final colors look exactly like the one on the can.


  • It is expensive
  • For internal staining DIY projects, the drying time is longer, but you get a nice deep color. 


6. Best Wipe on Stain for Pine– General Finishes New Pine Gel Stain

General Finishes Oil Base Gel Stain, 1/2 Pint, New Pine
10,050 Reviews
General Finishes Oil Base Gel Stain, 1/2 Pint, New Pine
  • This is the stain that has the most "finishing feel" of all General Finishes' products
  • Woodworkers love the lustrous finish that shows up
  • Heavy-bodied, and so does not penetrate as deeply into the wood as liquid oil-base stains do
  • Can help you get a more even appearance on difficult woods such as aspen or pine
  • Easy-to-use stains simply wipe on with a cloth or applied with a foam brush (no spills or splashes)

Buying General finishes New pine gel stain will be one of the best purchases for your home improvement. You’ll fall in love with this product right from the start. You use it on your cabinets, hardwood floors, furniture, stairs, trim, etc. 

To get excellent results, apply the gel stain using a disposable foam brush or a sock. Apply three coats and do a light sanding between the coats.  Apply generously and wipe it off after about four minutes or so. Please do not let it soak in. If you do, you may spend the next two hours trying to remove it with steel wool. 

The product is self-leveling even when you are applying vertical and overhead applications.

Apply a top coat of polyurethane to stop the paint from fading or peeling. But give it a few days. Spots will appear in various areas under varying illumination and from different angles. Allow yourself time to spot these flaws and correct them before making them permanent.


  • Easy to apply
  • It does not drip or run, so you can achieve a consistent color
  • It is  versatile
  • It has minimal smell
  • It gives you the exact colors you are looking for
  • It does not run or drip, so you do not have a lot of clean up to do


  • You have to sand in between the coats to prevent lifting.

7. Best Stain for Pine Floors-Rust-Oleum Premium Wood Stain

1 qt Rust-Oleum Brands 211714H Ipswich Pine Varathane Oil-Based Interior Wood Stain Pack of 1
8 Reviews
1 qt Rust-Oleum Brands 211714H Ipswich Pine Varathane Oil-Based Interior Wood Stain Pack of 1
  • Provides richer, more natural color to interior wood furniture, cabinets, doors, trim, floors and paneling
  • Superior soya oil-based formula offers deeper penetration and truer colors
  • Dries to the touch in 1-2 hours and covers up to 150 sq. ft.
  • Wiping stain applies evenly without blotching or constant stirring, recoat after 2 hours
  • Premium pigments enhance wood grain detail with a long lasting translucent stain

You may be an amateur in wood staining but using Rust-Oleum Varathane to stain your wood makes you look like a pro.

 It is super simple to apply and gives you exactly what you are looking for if you do it correctly. Sometimes, you’ll apply only one coat, and you get the color you are looking for. 

To get excellent results, sand the wood down, starting with a 150 grit sandpaper and finish off with a 180 grit sandpaper. Sand with the grain and clean the dust off the wood with a dry clean rag between the sanding. Open the stain when you are ready to apply and stir it thoroughly. 

Apply the stain with grain and allow it to sit for five minutes. Gently wipe off any excess paint. Be sure to start with a manageable portion if you are staining a vast surface area. 

After staining the entire area, let it sit for about two hours before sealing it. Apply the topcoat of your choice, and you’ll be delighted with the results


  • Easy to apply
  • It dries up quickly
  • It gives you the exact color you want 


  • It may take a long time to dry, depending on the temperature and humidity in your area.

Stain for Pine Comparison Table

Best Stain For Pine Buyer Guide

Stains can make your wood more durable,  protect it from getting wet, and prevent it from getting scratched. 

So, it would be best if you got it correct right from the get-go. Now that you know what the best stain for pine is, let’s see what to look for when buying a wood stain. But before that, let’s see what a pine stain is in the first place. 

What is a Pine Wood Stain? 

A pine stain is a unique type of paint created to bring out the natural beauty of your wood. 

Apart from improving the natural beauty of the pine, wood stain also preserves the wood by protecting it from scratching and from getting soaked, thus making the wood more durable.

Though wood stains might not offer excellent protection as a varnish would, they still make it appear more natural. 

How to Stain the Pine

Let’s be honest. Dark stains on wood appear horrible. Aside from blotchiness, the softer parts between the grain lines absorb stains, creating an unnatural appearance. To stain your wood and give it a classic appearance, follow the tips for staining below.


  • Tack cloth
  • Nitrile Gloves
  • Pre-stain Wood Conditioner
  • Wood Stain
  • Facemask

Step 1: Prepare The Wood 

Using 80 grit sandpaper, start sanding the wood and complete the process with 220 Grit sandpaper to make the wood appear nice and smooth. Uneven surfaces and spots will show through the stain since it is transparent.

Step 2: De-nibble the Wood

Clean the sanded wood using a brush or a dry table cloth to remove any trappled particles.

Step 3: Condition the Wood 

Apply a Pre-stain wood conditioner using a disposable foam brush or a clean piece of cloth. Let it sit for about 5 minutes or less, depending on your area’s temperature and humidity.

Step 4: Stain the Wood

Open your stain and stir well before starting to apply it. 

Dip the brush or a small clean rag in the stain and rub it on the wood. Be sure to go with the grain. In other words, rub in the paint following the grain pattern.

Step 5: Wipe off Excess Stain with a Rag

Wipe off any excess stain using a clean cotton rag. Wait for the paint to dry before applying the second coat. The waiting time depends on the humidity and temperature of your location.  But to be on the safe side, wait for at least twelve hours. 

Step 6: Finish the Wood

Apply the topcoat with a foam brush using long light strokes to avoid blotching. Ensure you are in a well-ventilated area when doing so. Let it sit for a while. To see whether it has dried up completely, run your hand through the wood gently.

Avoid using a roller to apply stains. Using a foam brush or rag gives you more control over the color, and you can manipulate it to get a nice, even coating.

Note: Sometimes you may need to seal the wood. You can apply a sealer before or after staining, depending on the type of wood you are working on. 

Why Use A Pine Wood Stain?

When you love something, you go the extra mile to preserve it and keep it in an excellent working condition. So, if you love pine, staining it is one of the best ways to enhance its natural beauty and protect it from adverse weather effects such as rain and intense UV rays. Other benefits associated with staining pine include;

  • It prevents the wood from rotting, making it serve you for a considerable time.
  • It brings out the natural beauty of your wood.
  • It enables you to manipulate the color of the wood to suit your preferences.
  • You can darken the pine to give it a classical appearance
  • It protects the wood from the scorching sun and moisture 
  • It is simple to use and maintain
  • It’ll take you time before restaining an object. However, it depends on the traffic a particular area is getting, the type of stain used, and the climate.
  • It is cheap and lasts longer for walking surfaces unless paints peel off, destroying the deck’s appearance and exposing it to the unforgiving weather elements. 

What is the Best Finish For Pine?

Without a doubt, the best wood finish is epoxy and polyurethane products because pine accepts these authentic products just like any other type of wood. You can also use oil-based stained and top with clear topcoats such as shellac. 

What to Consider when Choosing the Right Stain For Pine

Wood is such a lovely natural material but differs in beauty due to the type of pine and the staining products used to furnish it. Getting the right stain for your pine can make it look new even though you have used it for ages.

Also, you can stain the wood to give it an antique appearance, even if it is brand new. 

Here are the things to consider when choosing the correct stain for your pine. 

1. Stain Type

Stain type plays a crucial role in helping you select the best kind of stain, but we will tackle it later on in this post. 

2. Wood Color 

There are different types of wood in the market today, whether softwood or hardwood. Each wood type differs in density, grain, color, and finishing.

If you know the color of your wood, you’ll be able to pick the correct stain for it. Also, if you know the type of wood used for your furniture, you’ll be able to determine its actual value in the market when the time comes for reselling it.

Note: Different types of wood take the stain differently. Would you please not rush in staining pine to avoid regrets? To play safe, before staining any furniture, look at it closely.

 Determine where it is manufactured from pine, rosewood, maple, cherry, mahogany, or any other unique wood that requires no staining as they look excellent naturally. 

However, if the wood is a bit light with average grain, staining it could do it a lot of justice.  

Some of the wood you can stain before finishing include ash, poplar, beech, gum, and birch. 

Woods such as oak are beautiful, whether stained or unstained.

3. Wood Grain

Always know that different types of wood will take pine stains differently.  But the properties of wood and the properties of the stain you use determine the general color and shade of the finished item.  

And since each piece of wood is unique, wood-stained finishes will have organic differences. 

That’s why matching the proper wood with the correct stain is crucial in helping you get the right results. 

Highly porous wood grain and the parts of a more porous board suck up more stain, ending up a little darker.

Finely wood grain has tiny pores for colorants to attach themselves without the help of a sealing agent. That’s why sometimes you have to seal the pine before applying the stain. 

 4. Coats 

The number of coats you apply when staining pine determines the color of the end product.

In most cases, applying one coat of stain will enhance the beauty of the wood and give it the protection it needs.

To achieve a uniformly stained surface, wipe off the excess stain thoroughly and consistently following the direction of the grain. 

If you desire a darker or deeper stain color, wait 24 hours after the first coat has dried before applying the second one in the same way as the first.

4. Type of Project

To get the right stain for your pine, know what you want to use the paint for to begin with. Do you want to stain your furniture, deck, trim, cabinets, or fence? Different DIY projects might need another type of stain.

Related: Deck stain for pressure treated wood

5. Stain Usage – Indoor or Outdoors

And a stain can be either water-based or oil-based. If you want to stain cabinets, you could use water-based paint as it dries up faster and is odorless. So, you’ll still be able to live in your house without suffering the effects of smell. 

However, if you are staining your deck or fences, you can use oil-based stains because it does not matter a lot, even if it takes a long time to dry. 

You will not have to endure the pungent smell coming from the stain for long because once you have finished applying the paint, you’ll duck inside the house.  

6. Stain Blending and Stain Intensity

The type of wood, the type of stain shade, and the procedure you use when applying the paint determine the result.

 For example;  Sanding off the pine gently, sealing the pine, and applying a top layer will give you a more polished final product. 

Types of Stain to Use on Pine

There are different types of stains for wood to serve various services:

Water-Based stains

These are stains you can use on pine to give it color and pomp while protecting it from weather elements. They are odorless, dries up faster, and are easier to clean up.  

Varnish Stains

These are transparent stains that harden along the outer section of pine. Some are colored to improve the shade of the wood. They make the wood more durable, and you use them in areas prone to tear and wear. 

Sealer Stain 

Also known as wash coats, and you use them on sustained wood or over the stain. Porous wood needs several layers of sealers to hide imperfections and make it more uniform and smooth. 

NGR Stains (Non-Grain Stain )

This is a tremendous spirit-based wood dye developed to give superb depth of stain colors on almost all indoor wood surfaces. 

Organic/ Natural Wood stains are natural dyes you can obtain from organic substances such as coffee, tea, or berries. 

Wiping Stains 

You can use wiping stains on surfaces such as metal, fiberglass, and wood, especially pine, birch, poplar, cherry, and maple. They are suitable for uniforming the stain. 

Check out the battle of wiping stain vs penetrating stain comparison.


You learn more by asking questions. And these days, people turn to Google to get answers to their questions. Below are questions people ask when wanting to learn more about wood staining. 

How to Stain Pine Dark Brown?

Use the wood conditioner of your choice and dark stain colors to conceal the orange and yellow grains.

How Many Coats of Stain on Pine is Best?

It depends on what you want and the stain you are using. Also, the staining procedure you follow matters a lot.

Do You Need to Sand Between Coats When Applying Wood Stains 

It is not necessary to sand between coats. Nevertheless, denibbing with a pad may help decrease surface flaws between coats.

Does the Pine Take the Stain Well?

Some wood species, such as pine, cherry, birch, and maple, are relatively hard to stain. Even a board with a lovely beautiful wood grain pattern could end up with dark, blotchy parts after staining.

What Stain Looks Best on Stain?

Mostly, it depends on the type of wood and the shade of the staining product you are using. It also depends on how many coats you have applied.

What Stain Looks Best on Pine?

We have gone to great heights to show you the best stain for pine to help you pick a product that will give you the best value for your cash. 

Any product you choose based on your budget will serve you just fine. Nonetheless, we believe DEFY Extreme Exterior Wood Stain is the best all-inclusive stain for your pine.  

 This formula has a semi-transparent appearance that preserves the natural beauty of your wood. It has broad coverage, making it ideal for massive DIY projects.

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