Which woods color best

Coloring wood: the right method for every application


What are the options for coloring wood?

Depending on the desired result, there are different ways of coloring wood. If the natural wood grain is to be retained, staining or glazing is recommended. For an opaque coat of paint, the wood can be varnished or painted with acrylic paint.


Does the wood have to be pretreated before staining?

Before you give the wood a new color, the old paint or other treatments and dirt must be removed. In some cases it is advisable to prime the wood in order to achieve the desired result.


Can I also dye wood with natural agents?

Untreated wood can be colored darker by natural dyes such as coffee or tea. As a result, the grain also emerges more clearly, which emphasizes the natural look of the wood even more. In order to maintain the color result for a long time, treatment with a wax-based wood care product should be carried out after coloring.


Wood can be colored in a variety of ways. With the right color and method, it can colored, lighter, darker or painted white become. Depending on the processing, the coating becomes opaque or allows the grain of the wood to shine through. In order for the result to be as desired, however, the wood should be left untreated or removed from previous treatments by sanding or stripping. For some colors, the wood should be treated with a primer before being stained.

1. How can you stain wood?

There are different methods to protect the surface of the wood or to give it an appealing color. While you are staining and glazing the Emphasize the natural texture of the wood paints or varnishes are the better choice for an opaque coat of paint. The following table provides an overview of the various methods.

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methodEffect and result
PicklingWhen staining wood, the color of the wood is changed through a chemical process and the grain is emphasized. Stains are available in the common wood colors but also in many bright colors.
GlazeGlazes penetrate deep into the wood and offer good UV protection. Therefore, they are also well suited for outside staining of wood. The grains are not covered, but emphasized even more clearly. A wide range of colors from light to dark is also available here.
paintWith varnish you can paint the surface of the wood in all imaginable colors. A coat of varnish provides special protection for the wood and is therefore also well suited for outside use. However, with the exception of clear varnish, you can't see anything of the wood grain. Lacquers are available in glossy or matt versions.
To brushColors that are suitable for painting wood are available in all color nuances. Acrylic paints and chalk paints like a glaze can also be applied heavily diluted, thus allowing the grain of the wood to shine through. The best way to achieve the popular shabby look is with chalk paint.

Some methods are suitable for both inside and outside. However, you should not use exterior paint for interiors, as this often contains chemical additives that are not suitable for interior use.

Note: While the wood should be untreated for stains and glazes (also with natural dyes), it often has to be primed before painting and varnishing.

2. How do you proceed?

Note
Some stains react with the metal frame of brushes, which can lead to color changes. It is better to use a brush with a plastic holder.

There is the right method for staining wood for every application. Depending on the color, you also need the right painting tool:

  • brush
  • sponge
  • Paint roller

Basically, with all methods you come with one suitable brush well done. However, if you want to work on larger areas when pickling, you should use a sponge for an even result. For acrylic paints and varnishes is for one smooth surface of a paint roller to recommend. When glazing, you can achieve more beautiful effects with a brush.

2.1. Do you need any preparation?

If the wood is to retain its natural grain after dyeing, the wood should be untreated. So if you want to build a piece of furniture or a decoration from untreated wood, you can start coloring the wood without further preparation. But if a used piece of furniture or another wooden construction is to be spiced up, it has to The surface should be freed from the contaminated sites. This not only applies to the old paintwork, but also to any treatments with wax or oil as well as dirt.

Even when painted with paint or varnish, the surface must be clean and free of oils or greases. Depending on how smooth the result should be, it has to be with sandpaper in different grains to be worked.

Tip: If you want to clean the wood with water first to remove coarse or superficial dirt, do not add cleaning agents and allow the wood to dry properly before staining.

3. When do I need a primer?

Before pickling, you should prime with water beforehand.

If you want to paint untreated wood with varnish or wood paint, it is advisable to use the wood with a primer before the first coatthat fits the chosen method. This means you need less painting and less work. Because after each coat, the paint must first dry completely before you can sand the surface before the next coat.

3.1. Prime with water

If you have decided on a stain to stain the wood, you can use the wood before painting pre-treat with a little water. This will allow the stain to penetrate deeper into the wood, but the color result will be a little paler. However, this can easily be remedied with a second pickling process.

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4. Can I also color wood with natural dyes?

If the treated wood is only to be used inside and should look particularly natural, you can use natural dyes environmentally friendly dyeing methods apply. The results are similar to those of staining or glazing.

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The wood grain is emphasized more strongly and the colors look very natural. However, if you want a strong red, yellow, blue, green or even black, you should use chemical wood dyes.

With coffee or black tea you can make a brew with which you can give untreated wood a dark brown color and bring out the grain. If the shade is still too light after drying, you can use a Iron-vinegar solution darken the paint.

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Our recommendation: Use the iron-vinegar solution very sparingly, otherwise some tannins may turn almost black.

4.2. How to make an iron and vinegar solution

  • Put a handful of old nails or steel wool in a screw-top jar and fill up to half of the jar with vinegar essence.
  • Let it stand for at least a day. The longer the solution can draw, the more the effect is more intense later.

4.3. Color the wood lightly

Wood can be colored light with home remedies or paint.

Although you cannot lighten the wood with natural dyes, it does not necessarily have to result in a cool or reddish brown tone. If the first stain is too dark, you can do the whole thing with something dissolved in water Lighten the baking soda a little and give the wood a slightly yellowish tone.

A Sud from walnut shells achieves one in combination with baking soda yellowish hue and a subsequent treatment with an iron-vinegar solution greyish weathered effect.

Green tea causes one by its many tannins very delicate yellowish-green discoloration of the wood.

Note: Since stains made from natural dyes can turn out very differently depending on the type of wood, it is advisable to carry out one or more test stitches on a small piece of wood.

5. Coloring products to wood

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