Quick-drying wood stains

Wood stains which dry fast and foster good grain definition. February 12, 2001

I am a woodworker and furniture refinisher. What type of wood stain can I use to bring out the rich grain of the wood but still dry quickly enough to seal and finish my project in the same day?

There are several different types of wood stains currently available. The conventional lacquer stains are basically colored lacquers that dry very quickly and could be used for your fast turn-around schedule. A draw back of the lacquer stains, however, is that they do not penetrate into the wood fibers to provide good grain definition and if a finished piece is scratched through the finish, the bare wood will be exposed.

NGR alcohol stains are another type of quick drying finish commonly used on furniture; their liability is poor fade-resistance in direct sunlight. Conventional penetrating oil stains provide good grain definition and richness of color. However, most oil stains take a relatively long time to dry before the subsequent sealer and topcoats may be applied. Otherwise you often get blushing and/or solvent entrapment, bubbles, in the sealer.

A recent formulation is an oil stain that combines the best properties of both lacquer and penetrating oil stains. The new 15 Minute Oil Stains give penetration into the fibers of the wood surface, resulting in excellent grain definition and richness of color. Their working time is more than sufficient to obtain a uniform staining job when applied by wiping or brushing or spraying, followed by a wipe. Their fast release of solvents, however, allows the sanding sealer to be sprayed over the stained surfaces in only 15 minutes. These 15 Minute Oil Stains will allow you to complete your projects within your time constraints while providing you with a finished piece of which you can be proud.

Woodrow "Woody" Sanders is the Technical Information Director at Sampson Coatings, Inc.