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 wood?
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.
Let’s dive in;
Best Stain For Pine Wood
- General Finishes Oil Base Gel Stain– (Best Overall wood stain for Pine)
- DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain– (Best stain for pine fences)
- Ready Seal 510 Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood– (Best exterior stain for pine)
- SamaN Interior Water Based Wood Stain– (Best wood stain on pine furniture)
- Varathane 262005 Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain– (Best dark stain for pine)
- Minwax, Dark Walnut 70012444 Wood Finish Penetrating Stain– (Best penetrating Stain)
- Rust-Oleum Varathane 211714H Premium Wood Stain– (Best wood stain on pine floors)
Best Stain For Pine Wood Reviews (Updated List)
Here, we’ll take you through our top picks for the best stains for pine wood. Apart from presenting the key features of each product, we have gone further and included the pros and cons of each item. But first, let’s learn the benefits of staining pine.
Why Use Stains on Pine?
Evidently, we have many different pine wood finishes, and you might be wondering why you should use wood stains. Well, 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 stained pine 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.
1. Best Overall Stain for Pine-DEFY Extreme Redwood
- Water-Based Semi-Transparent Wood Stain – This 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.
- Durable Quality That Lasts – DEFY Extreme wood stains are made with the highest quality resins available that have better resistance to fading and darkening.
- Easy to Maintain - DEFY is easy to apply and maintain by applying a single maintenance coat of DEFY Extreme Wood Stain when the wood starts to show signs of wear.
- 250 VOC Compliant - Water based and VOC compliant everywhere except California.
Defy extreme wood stain 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 surface.
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 wood stain will bead well against snow, dry summers, and rain.
Since Defy extreme wood stain 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 wood stain to dry faster before penetrating the wood surface.
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
- 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 and will never leave runs, laps, or streaks.
- 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 semi transparent stain polishes up the natural beauty of pine by letting the texture and wood grain show through.
This oil-based, semi-transparent wood stain and sealer is the best stain for exterior wood stain for pine. 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 this semi transparent stain for the first time, it’ll be very dark and take about fourteen days to reach its actual color.
Avoid applying ready seal exterior stain to freshly stained pine surfaces because sealed Surfaces prevent penetration.
You can use rollers, brushes, or sprayers to apply this oil-based wood stain: 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
- 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 pine 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 this durable stain in a wide range of colors to help you pick the color of your dream. And you can even mix two colors for a natural 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
- 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, doors and any interior wood furniture. It does a great job highlighting natural wood grain to showcase the beauty of pine unlike light stain pine.
To get excellent results, brush on with a one-use foam brush and put on nitrile gloves when applying oil based stain.
After the pine wood stain has stayed on the wood surface for a minute, wipe it off with a good paper towel. The dye penetrates the wood surfaces 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
- Best dark stain for pine
- 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 Penetrating Wood Stain, Dark Walnut 70012444
- 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.
- DARK WALNUT WOOD STAIN – This dark wood stain provides a beautiful, rich dark walnut color. This classic brown stain looks great on 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 pine wood stain to help you pick the right color for your interior wood projects. The color will keep darkening after application, but the results will match the paint on the can.
To get great results, sand the wood gently with 220 grit before staining and use a microfiber cloth to apply.
Condition the wood surface first before applying to avoid getting a rustic look. Apply one or more coats of darker stain for a great finish on pine. Minwax penetrating wood stain 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
- 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 wood 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 this gel stain 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.
This gel stain is self-leveling even when you are applying vertical and overhead applications.
Apply a top coat of polyurethane to stop the gel stain 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
- 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 pine 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 surface 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 pine when you are ready to apply and stir it thoroughly.
Apply the pine wood 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 wood 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.
Wood Stain for Pine Comparison Table
Best Stain For Pine Buyer Guide
Stains can make your wood surfaces 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 finished 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 wood stains, creating an unnatural appearance. To avoid wood staining problems and give your pine a natural appearance, follow the tips below;
- Tack cloth
- Nitrile Gloves
- Pre-stain Wood Conditioner
- Wood Stain
Step 1: Prepare The Wood
Using 80 grit sandpaper, start sanding the wood surface and complete the process with 220 Grit sandpaper to make the wood surface 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 trapped 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 surface. 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 surface gently.
Avoid using a roller when working on pine such as staining pine doors. 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. In that case, you check out how to treat pine for outdoor use and make it last longer.
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 natural 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 a natural 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 what stain looks best on pine later in this post.
2. Wood Color
There are different types of wood in the market today, whether soft wood 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 a good stain for pine. 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.
Related: best log home stain
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.
The number of coats you apply when staining pine determines the color of the end product.
In most cases, applying one thin coat of stain will enhance the beauty of the wood and give it the protection it needs.
To achieve a uniformly stained pine 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 stain for first. For example, are you working on interior wood projects, such as staining pine doors, furniture, deck, trim, cabinets, or fence? Rem that different DIY wood projects might need another type of stain.
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 stained 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 Wood
There are different types of stains for wood to serve various services:
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.
These are transparent stains that harden along the outer section of pine. Some are colored to improve the shade of the stained pine. They make the wood more durable, and you use them in areas prone to tear and wear.
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 wood 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.
You can use wiping stains on surfaces such as metal, fiberglass, and wood, especially stained pine, birch, poplar, cherry, and maple. They are good stains for pine when you need a uniform look.
Check out the battle of wiping stain vs penetrating stain comparison.
FAQs on Pine Wood Stains
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?
To stain pine dark brown, use the wood conditioner of your choice and dark brown stain colors to conceal the orange and yellow grains. You can also check on how to darken stained wood.
Interesting: Alder stain colors
How Many Coats of Stain on Pine?
Two coats of wood stains on pine wood are enough to control blotching. Remember to keep the surface wet as work until you’re ready to wipe it well. At times, the number of wood stain coats depends on what you want and the wood 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 Pine Stain Well?
Pine wood is relatively hard to stain for some reasons. This is because pinewood grain is unevenly dense. And since most wood stains reverse the wood grain – they can only penetrate the porous earlywood and not the dense latewood.
Some other wood species, such as cherry, birch, and maple, are relatively hard to stain. If you’re working with maple furniture, here’s the best stain for maple that I recommend.
Can you stain pine wood?
Yes, you can stain pine wood, but it is notoriously difficult to stain. This is because of its unevenly dense grain. Therefore, if you’re working on a board with a nice grain pattern, it can end up with dark, splotchy areas after staining. However, you can still prevent blotchiness and stain it just well with the right steps.
What Stain Looks Best on Pine Wood?
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.
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 wood 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.