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Wood Stain

Category Information

What is Wood Stain?

Wood Stain is a product usually applied to a timber to add colour whilst enhancing the natural grain of the wood. It is important to note that wood stains do not penetrate below the surface and do not offer any protective properties.

A wood stain consists of a colourant suspended or dissolved in an agent or solvent. A wood stain does not penetrate the pores of the wood to any great extent and will disappear when the finish itself deteriorates or is removed. These can come as part of finishing agents such as varnishes, lacquers, polyurethane or shellac. The type of stain selected will either accentuate or obscure the wood grain. Most commercial stains contain both dyes and pigments.

Wood Dye

Wood Dye has small particles in the dye allow it to penetrate deeper into the wood. This allows a deeper and richer colour, whilst enhancing the grain. This is different to typical Wood Stains, which are designed to solely target the grain over any other part of the wood.

Should I use a Wood Dye?

Whether you choose to use a standard Wood Stain, or a Wood Dye, depends on what overall look you are hoping to achieve. Stains are great for adding definition to wood, whilst a Dye is better if the overall look of the wood is fine, but you want a different colour.

It is possible to use both a Dye and a Stain, which can create a fantastic look. The Dye will create a deep and rich colour, whilst the Stain will enhance the texture.

Wood Dyes are only for use on interior woods, as the pigments used in the dye fade quickly under natural sunlight.

How to apply a Wood Dye:

Wood should always be sanded down before any stain or dye is applied to it. This creates a smooth, blemish-free surface for the product, which guarantees a neater finish.

Wood Dyes are generally applied using a cloth, and take around six hours to fully dry.

You should always finish off by applying Varnish to ensure that your wood is fully protected.


There are various types of finishing products available for wood, but a popular one is Wax. Wax is popularly applied to Wood last, as it is known to offer a great deal of protection. In fact, in most cases, Wax offers the highest level of protection. The sheen given by Wax is even, but dull.

What kind of Protection does Wax offer?

Wax protects the wood against general, everyday occurrences that could cause damage. This could include: Scratches, scuffs and knocks.

Wax Sticks can also be used to repair any existing minor damage or imperfections in the wood. Various colours are available that can be easily blended to ensure it matches with the wood, as closely as possible.


Oil is a traditional wood finish that has been used for many years, and is still a popular finish today.

Oils are different to wax, as they do no create a surface layer, which means that they offer very little in terms of protection. Instead of sitting on the surface, oils tend to absorb deeply into the wood, building up moisture levels which could cause damage.

Oil finishes don’t generally work well with Wood Dyes, as the Dye penetrates deeply into the wood, which in turn prevents the Oil from doing the same thing.

There are several types of Oil that are commonly used with woods, including:

  • Teak offers protection against weathering, whilst reducing the chance of splintering.
  • Linseed is ideal for oak beams, as well as cricket bats.
  • Danish, a mixture of oil and varnish, Danish Oil offers a tough finish that it resistant against water.

With regular coating the oil enriches the colour of the wood and enhances its performance. Oils are ideal for use on flooring and decking.

Furniture Care

Furniture can be one of the most expensive parts of your home, mainly because collectively, they make a large portion of items that you own, including:

  • Sofas
  • Tables
  • Chairs and Stools
  • Beds
  • Wardrobes and Drawers
  • Chests

With all of the different items, and the expense that comes with most of them, it’s easy to understand why so many people want to take good care of them. Whether you want to repair, renew or refresh your furniture, Howarth Timber & Building Supplies have a wide range of products to suit your needs, covering a wide range of materials including wood, leather and fabrics.

Our products are designed to bring your furniture back to the high quality that they were when you first bought them, preventing deterioration caused by wear and sun damage. Many products have moisturising properties ensuring that furniture doesn’t become too dry and crack with age.

Some of our Furniture Care products are not only perfect for revitalising your furniture, but also other items that need a little refreshment, including: leather handbags, suitcases and brief cases.

We also offer products for external use, ensuring that your garden furniture remains resistant to most weather conditions.