How Many Coats Of Stain To Apply On Pine

The number of coats of stain on pine mainly depends on the type of stain you are about to use. Though pine is hard to stain compared to usual woods. There are a couple of reasons for that, such as the grain of the pine surface is unevenly dense, making it harder for you to stain.

There is no definite answer to how many coats of stain should be applied on pine. But we suggest that two coats of stain are perfect while you are staining the pinewood.

This article will cover how to stain pipe successfully and how many coats are necessary to apply on pinewood. So, without further delay, let’s get the show on the road.

How Many Coats Of Stain To Apply On Pine

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How Many Coats Of Stain On Pine

If you ask us- we would say there is no compulsory answer to this question. It would be best if you choose the right stain to complete the task. Mainly the number depends on the stain you are using. There are many stains on the market specialized for pinewood, but we prefer to use wood stains in these cases.

Generally, two coats of stain are enough while staining the pinewood. If you are dealing with a much more rigid and denser pinewood that may only absorb one coat of wood stain.

Although you can stain the pinewood as many times as you want, applying multiple coats of stain isn’t the answer to gaining deeper color. Moreover, it will take your time to complete the project, and you might have to give time for each layer of stain to dry before applying another coat of stain.

Things You Need While Staining Pine

There are a bunch of supplies you will need while troubleshooting the project on your own. The First and most important thing you need is the right choice of stains that are made especially for pinewoods. You can get a better finish with wood stain or lacquer polish; you can also search for gel stains in the market. Other things include-

  • Pre-stain wood conditioner
  • Masking/masker material
  • Razor blades
  • Paper or cloth towels
  • Stain strippers
  • Mineral spirits
  • Sanding tools
  • A piece of wood

How To Coat Stain On Pine

Applying stain too quickly will leave you with two defects- a reversal in the coloring because of uneven grain and large blotches of color. As softwood like pinewood has different densities on the same surface, you will notice uneven stain absorption. In order to avoid this situation- let’s show you a method to apply the stain properly-

Prepping The Wood

If you see any loose knots on the pine, you can patch them by pouring clear epoxy around the knot. You will need to cover the backside of the knot with tape in order to stop the epoxy from dripping through. 

When you are done with knots, you can sand the surface of the pine with 100-grit sandpaper to remove the inconsistency. Don’t go too hard; just a looping, gentle, comprehensive circular motion would do the job.

When you are done with the step, you can use a wet sponge to raise the grain. Once satisfied, use grit sandpaper of 200-grit to smooth out the grain. Scrub the surface of the work piece again with a damp sponge. Next, wipe your pine, remove the dust, and make it ready for stain.

Applying Conditioner

Once the wood is ready, apply a pre-stain water-based wood conditioner before staining the pine board. Make sure you cover the whole piece thoroughly. Get a clean rag or cloth to clean the excess conditioner off the board and let it dry.

Make sure you remove the excess conditioner; if you don’t, it will lead to blotching on the board’s surface. Once the first coat has dried, apply the second coat. 

The pores of the pinewood would absorb this pre-stain wood conditioner, which would make sure the stains fall properly into the pores of the board. 

You would get a uniform and smooth finish and no grain reversal or blotching in the process.

Stain and Seal

To add color to the pine, dyeing is the answer you need. You can use powdered dyes or water-based dyes for dying purposes.

If you choose the powdered dye, mix it with hot water and let it cool to room temperature. Next, apply the dye evenly with a brush on the surface of the pine board and allow it to sit there for a couple of minutes. 

After that, wipe it off with a dry cloth or rag. Now, leave the pine and let the stain dry for a recommended amount of time.

Once the first coat of stain dries, you need to apply the second coat of stain to make the color deeper. Oh! One thing we forgot to add, use 400-grit sandpaper to sand the surface between the coats. 

If you are good with the finish, there is no need to apply additional coats. Although applying the second coat is not necessary all the time, we mentioned it because, generally, that’s what professionals do.


You can brush some glaze over the stain and later clean it with a rag or cloth. The board will have a darker finish if you leave some glaze behind. If the finish looks promising, wait for a day and seal the stains with a topcoat. Glaze acts like a toner on the surface of the board.

The pine board will have a smooth and uniform surface without defects or scars if you follow the instructions correctly.


Can you stain over another stain?

If the object you are planning to stain has already been stained and sealed with a top coat, you wouldn’t be able to restain it. But you can apply another coating or a colored stain blend. You would find different polyurethane stain blends available on the market.

Is it mandatory to sand after staining?

It is not mandatory to sand after staining. Apply the first coat of finish once the stain is dry, and that is when you should sand gently to remove the raising grain. After that, you can apply second or third coats without sanding. But if you see a rough spot on the board, a little bit of sanding would be fine.

How to make the stains appear darker?

You can make a mixture of polyurethane and the color of the original stain; this will make a darker shade.


If you are done with all the steps, congratulations, you have got an excellent finish. Better for you to apply some shellac coat over the top to protect the stain from UV rays. We hope the article will help you apply the stains on the pine board properly.

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