How to Stain Paint-Grade Lumber

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This quick DIY will save on the budget. Learn how to stain paint-grade lumber for this beautiful laundry room update.

Hey there! Let’s talk how to stretch the budget during a room makeover, the laundry room in this case. We started out with a basic blank room ready for beauty. The majority of the budget had to go into the built-in cabinetry and countertop. So, my answer to finishing the room? Paint-grade lumber. How to stain paint-grade lumber is the tutorial for today.

Click this link to see how gorgeous the laundry room turned out!

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Step 1: Why Use a wood conditioner?

A wood conditioner will help the wood accept the stain evenly. This is very important whether you are using a paint-grade or a fine “stain worthy” wood specimen.

Step 2: Apply Stain

Here’s where the magic happens – choose a stain that has a slight color to it. I chose a stain with a creamy-gray color. Behr has over 60 semi-transparent colors to choose from, here are a few:

We painted on the semi-transparent stain (Chatham Fog) and allowed it to “sit” for about 10 min. Then we wiped it off and repeated the process one more time.

I really fell in love with the funky heavy grain and one of the big reasons I wanted to at least try the stain the route.

Step 3: Seal your beautiful stain

Apply a couple of coats of a non-yellowing poly in a matte finish to protect your beautiful stain color.

Close up view of stain painted plywood built in for washer and dryer

Look at that pretty grain! I love how the Chatham Fog creates a soft pink hue – that pairs perfectly with the Audubon prints.

So there you have it – “How to stain paint-grade lumber”

the big hints:

  1. Sand your plywood lightly and use a tack rag to pull off any residue.
  2. Do a final sanding with a paper bag to create a smooth finish.
  3. Use a wood conditioner – make sure the wood conditioner is oil based if you are applying an oil based stain like I did.
  4. Choose a semi-transparent color with with a hint of paint in it.
  5. In between stain coats and poly coats – allow to dry.
  6. After the first coat of poly dries, take a paper bag and lightly sand the poly. The second coat will feel like silk once dried.

Keep creating home my friends!

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