Whether you are staining a deck, furniture, or indoor flooring, you need to know what steps to take especially if the object in question already has a stained finish. The outcome of the final product depends on how you address the existing stain before applying the new stain.
Old stain does not need to be removed before restaining if the new stain is a darker color than the previous one. However, dark stains do need to be removed for the application of lighter stains.
Can you stain over previously stained wood?
You can apply stain over previously stained wood; however, if you do not first remove the finishing coat, the new stain will not be absorbed into the wood. Most stained woods are treated with a final coat of lacquer or sealant. These are meant to prevent any changes to the appearance of the stained wood including the addition of another stain.
If you are restaining a lighter colored wood to be a darker color, you first need to sand down the lacquer finish and rough up the wood. The entirety of the old stain may not need to be removed unless you are changing it from a darker to a light color.
Layering a new stain on top of an old stain may also give you a unique look for your project. Keep in mind that the color of the new stain will not look the same if used on top of an old stain that is not completely removed compared to the finished new stain on a blank canvas of wood.
Does old stain need to be completely removed before restaining?
If you want to ensure a uniform color of your new stain or need to restain the wood with a lighter color than previously used, you will need to completely remove the old stain before restaining.
A sander may be the best tool to use to ensure a uniform removal of the finishing layer of the old stain as well as the old stain itself. Once the wood is back to its original color, you can apply the new stain.
There are situations when removing all of the old stain is not necessary, however. If you are simply touching up an old coat of stain by reapplying the same stain color and brand, removing all of the old stain may not be necessary.
The new coat of stain will blend in with the old and should not leave a gradient of color, so you’re finished project looks presentable.
Can you stain over old stain without sanding?
You can layer a new stain on top of an old stain without sanding it, but the new stain may not take as well as it should.
Even lightly sanding old stain helps create texture in the wood so it can readily absorb the new stain. If the old stain has been finished with lacquer, you should sand the top layer of lacquer away first of the new stain will not absorb at all.
Wood stain clings to pores and imperfections in the wood. If the wood surface is smooth, even if it is untreated and simply has a layer of old stain, new stain may just slide right off the boards. By slightly sanding with the grain of the wood, you are properly preparing the old stained wood to accept the new stain.
Can you put solid stain over old stain?
Solid stains can be applied over any kind of old stain including other solid stains or semi-transparent stains. Solid stains are meant to completely recolor the surface on which they are applied. It isn’t necessary to remove the old stain before laying down a new coat of solid stain, but you may want to lightly sand the surface to help the new stain absorb.
If you try to put semi-transparent stains over old stain, however, you may find that they will not take. The purpose of semi-transparent stains is to allow the pattern of the wood grain to remain visible after the color of the wood has been changed by the stain.
In order for semi-transparent stains to be properly visible, you will need to remove the old stain, especially if it is a solid stain.
What happens if you stain over old stain?
There are a few things that can happen if you apply a new coat of stain over an old coat: 1) the stain will not take, 2) the stain will change the color of the original stain, or 3) the new stain will absorb but have no effect on the appearance of the wood.
If you apply a new stain over an old stain without first roughing up the wood with sandpaper to create texture, the wood may not absorb the new stain and it will simply roll off.
If you properly prepare the wood by sanding but don’t completely remove the old stain, you may change the color of the wood by restaining it. This will only happen if you are applying a darker stain over a lighter stain and/or a solid stain over a semi-transparent or existing light solid stain.
If the original stain is dark and you are attempting to lighten it or if the original stain is solid and the new stain is semi-transparent, the stain itself may absorb with the proper pre-sanding but you will not see a change in appearance.
How do you clean a stained deck before restaining?
Before applying a new stain to an already stained deck, you need to make sure the wood is ready for stain removal and new stain application.
Sweep off any debris that may be on the deck and remove all furniture and other items, so the deck is completely bare. Use a deck cleaner and scrub brush to lift any caked in dirt and grime, then rinse the deck off with fresh water using a hose or powerwasher.
You may need to let your deck dry for a full day or two before moving on to restaining. You should always check the weather ahead of time to ensure that you have at least five to seven dry, sunny days during which to complete the entire process of cleaning, drying, and restaining.
How do you remove old stain before restaining?
The three most important tools to have for removing the old stain in preparation for restaining are a corrosive stripper, a scraper and a sander. First, apply a generous layer of stripper to the old stain on your wood. You should let it soak into the wood for about twenty minutes.
Then, scrape off the old stain working with the grain of the wood. Rinse off the wood with a damp rag and let it dry. Finally, use sandpaper to rough up the wood in preparation for restaining.
This whole process can take a few hours up to a few days depending on the size of the project and the amount of stain that needs to be removed. You can save some time if you do not need to completely remove all of the old stain before applying the new stain to the wood.