Can you stain particle board? This is a question that many people have, especially those who are considering using particle board for a project.

The short answer is yes – you can stain particle board. 

However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when staining this type of wood.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at how to stain particle board and some of the factors you need to consider before getting started.

Can You Stain Particle Board?

Yes, you can stain particle board because it’s highly porous. However, its unique composition requires you to remain chary throughout the staining process. If you’re working with raw particleboard, seal it before applying the stain. Unfortunately, you can’t stain laminated particle board.

On the other hand, stain it similarly to other wood types for an unfinished particle board. Staining not only enhances its durability but also accentuates its aesthetics.

Staining Particle Board Furniture

Like laminate boards, a particle board features a natural wood grain due to the compression and bonding processes used in creating the materials. Once you’ve prepared the board pieces, applying regular wood stains will be a seamless undertaking.

Tools Needed

  • Sponge
  • Sandpaper
  • Detergent
  • Paintbrush
  • Sealant
  • Wood stain 

Particle Board Staining Steps

Here’s how you can achieve desirable results when staining particle board cabinets, furniture and flooring;

Step 1: Prepare The Surface

Since the particle board is highly porous, you’ll want to seal it before applying a stain. Besides guaranteeing long-lasting results, use a particle board sealant to ensure that it stains evenly.

Moreover, you’ll want to sand down uneven surfaces and blemishes on the board. Also, establish that the board’s surface is clean. When cleaning the particle board, scrub and wipe it down using a rug and detergent. 

Once you have a clean surface, spare up to two days to allow the particle board to dry.

Step 2: Apply a Stain

If you intend to use the particle board outdoors, work with a stain or finish suitable for exterior surfaces. You can proceed with the steps below if you’re all set;

  • Use a brush or roller to achieve an even stain.
  • Depending on the size of your particle board, apply the stain across the surface. For this step, work on three-foot squares at a time or smaller. This will prevent the stain from drying too quickly, allowing you to wipe it down.
  • After application, spare five minutes before wiping excess stain using a clean rag
  • Wipe any excess stain using a clean rag five minutes after application.
  • Inspect the surfaces after 10 hours for the desired hue. Recoat if you prefer a darker shade and allow the surface to dry.

Once you finish applying the stain, discard the rag in a bucket of water. Stain is highly flammable and thus hazardous.

Can you stain particle board really

Step 3: Seal the stained particle board

While most woodworkers don’t find this step mandatory, it’s modest to seal a stained particle board using a varnish finish. Besides enhancing its durability, sealing the board makes the surface washable..

I recommend applying two layers of a suitable wood sealer over the stain. For indoor use, apply a polyurethane or acrylic sealant. However, if you intend to use the particle board outdoors, use an oil-based sealer. 

Once you’ve applied two coats of stain and the sealer has dried, your particle board is ready for use.

Learn more on staining here. Should you wet wood before staining?

Types Of Particle Board

Particle board, a reconstituted wood product, comes in different forms. Here are some common types of particle boards.

1. Laminated Particle Board

They feature a thin layer of laminates covering the board’s surface. The lamination increases durability and accentuates the beauty of the particle board. 

You’re likely to come across laminated particle boards in wardrobes, shelves, and modular kitchens. With laminated particle boards, you needn’t worry about polishing and painting.

2. Veneered Particle Board

Veneers are thin wood slices, no more than 1/8′ thick, obtained from tree logs. Typically, the veneer is glued or bonded to a cheaper surface hidden underneath. 

Veneered particle boards are properly sealed and thus can resist warping. Subsequently, they’re smoother, stronger, and more appealing than plain unfinished boards. Additionally, they are easy to clean and require minimal maintenance. As a result, they’re a durable alternative for those looking to enjoy the aesthetics of natural wood.

3. Cement Bonded Particle Board

As you’d guess, this board uses cement as the bonding agent. Subsequently, the material is highly resistant to moisture, rot, and fire. 

Cement bonded particle boards consist of 60% cement, 20% wood waste particulate (sawdust, wooden shavings, and wood chips), and 20% water.

Moreover, this type of particle board features high shrinkage and expansion properties in moist conditions.

I’ve used them on fire-resistant furniture, external and internal walls, false ceiling, and permanent shuttering for concrete walls and floors.

4. Melamine Particle Board

This type of particle board consists of a melamine-infused décor paper attached to the board’s surface. The paper is attached under heat and pressure. It also utilizes melamine-urea formaldehyde resin along with wax emulsion. This makes the particle board resistant to water and scratches. 

Melamine particle boards are versatile and suit many applications. These applications include wall paneling, wall cladding, wardrobes, office furniture, and modular kitchen. They also come in myriad colors and textures to convey your home’s decorative and aesthetic look.

Read Also:

Can You Stain Wood Panelling Walls

Can Bamboo Be Stained

Can You Stain Particle Board Stair Treads?

No, you can’t stain particle board stair treads. Stair treads consist of finished laminate boards, making them hard to stain- and removing the laminate isn’t the best use of your time.

I tried staining my stair treads, but the stain wouldn’t soak evenly into the particle board below. For the most part, the finished particle board will likely feature a primer, which prevents your fresh stain coat from soaking through evenly. 

Can You Stain Particle Board Cabinets?

You can only stain unfinished stain particle board cabinets. In this case, you’ll want to apply a semi-transparent stain product. Also, apply a quality primer directly to the unfinished cabinet before staining.

Read Also: Stained Knotty Alder Cabinets


Can Particle Board Resist Water?

Particle board offers minimal resistance to water. So, when moisture is present, your particle board will swell and disintegrate. Consequently, any water-based paint, finish, or sealant is pretty much off the table. Also, when used outdoors, ensure that you seal and stain your particleboard.

Can You Stain And Seal Particle Board?

Of course, you can stain and seal your particle board. Staining will give your particle board a makeover. Moreover, applying the stain can revitalize the particle board and transform it into new. However, stained particle boards are only decorative and durable when done properly.

Can You Put A Finish On The Particle Board?

You can finish a particle board with the correct product. Lucky for you, particle boards feature a naturally porous and decorative surface that requires basic finishing techniques. If you want a one-step finish, use a one-part polyurethane protective sealer. Then, apply a tinted or clear finish after sanding and screw the holes.

How Can I Make Particle Board Look Better?

Here is how you can make your particle board look good;

  1. Sand, prime the particle board, and use a drywall compound on the edges.
  2. Apply a wood stain or varnish on the particle board
  3. Paint the particle board
  4. Create a faux wood finish

Can you sand down the particleboard?

Particle boards have a surface that works well with any sanding device. Since it doesn’t feature grain patterns, you can randomly sand particle boards using a belt or orbital sander. However, before sanding, use a putty knife to fill all the gouges and holes on the surface with wood putty.

What happens if you stain particle board?

Staining gives your particle board a makeover. When applied correctly, the stain can revitalize the wood, turning an old piece of particle board into something new. Besides enhancing the aesthetics, staining particle board increases its durability, making it more resistant to the elements.

Can you stain pressed wood?

Pressed wood doesn’t stain well. It consists of a particle board finished with veneers to deliver a solid-like wood appearance. So, instead of staining, I recommend refinishing pressed wood using enamel. This will make the wood more durable and appealing.

How do you make particle board look like stained wood?

To make particle board look resemble stained wood;

  1. Place the sanded particle board furniture on a stand in a well-aerated area.
  2. Apply a coat of primer to the furniture. Next, allow the undercoat to dry to the touch before recoating.
  3. Use a clean paintbrush to apply the brown glaze onto the furniture using random strokes.

Related Post: Can You Stain Mdf Wood?


Particle board is a popular choice for furniture and home décor, but it can be difficult to keep it looking new. 

This post shows you how to stain particle board to maintain its color and luster. The most important part is to ensure that you are using the correct type of stain and following the instructions carefully.

We hope you found this helpful! 

Have you tried staining particle board before? What tips do you have to share? Leave us a comment below.

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