Stain A Dining Room Table

How To Stain A Dining Room Table

There are many reasons why people want to stain their dining room table. Whether it’s to achieve a custom look, make the table more durable, or just to change the color of the wood, there are various ways to do so.

Here are some of our best tips for how you can go about staining your table. For starters, take into consideration what type of wood you want it stained with and which type of finish you want.

 The process will vary depending on these two factors. For a more detailed explanation on how to stain your dining room table, read on below.

What Type Of Dining Room Table Do You Have?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of staining a table, there are a couple questions you will need to answer. The first is what type of wood is your dining room table made with?

The most common types of wood for tables are maple, cherry, walnut, oak, mahogany, and pine. Each type of wood has its own properties that affect how it stains differently. Mahogany and pine usually require more maintenance and upkeep than other types of wood.

 Pine has knots in it which can leave a blotchy stain if not properly sanded down beforehand. Mahogany is harder to work with as well as sand because it’s so knotty.

Maple is one of the easiest woods to work with and stains beautifully because it’s soft and grainy.

 Oak is similarly easy to work with but requires more maintenance because its grain contains open pores which make it susceptible to moisture issues like mold or warping in humid climates. 

Walnut is another popular choice for dinner tables because this type of wood is both durable and aesthetically pleasing but does require some surface preparation beforehand due to the number of knots found in the lumber. 

Cherry is another good option for tables as its color holds up over time without fading significantly. It doesn’t tend to show scratches either like other types of wood do

Your choice may also depend on what environment you live in as well as your budget; some woods have a higher price tag than others depending on availability or where they

Staining And Finishing Your Dining Room Table

Staining And Finishing Your Dining Room Table

There are many ways to go about staining your table. The most common is using a liquid stain and brush, but there are also other methods that you may want to try like using an oil-based stain or gel stain. For finishing, you’ll need to use either a clear coat finish or an opaque finish.

If you decide to use a liquid stain and brush, make sure the wood is clean and dry before applying the stain. Make sure to get the edges of your table as well because those can be difficult to reach with the brush once it’s been stained. 

If you decide on an oil-based or gel stain, make sure it’s compatible with your type of wood before proceeding. Apply the stain in long strokes up and down the grain of your table and then wait for it to dry overnight. 

You can then sand it lightly in order to create a more even surface. After that, degrease the table to remove any leftover residue from the oils and then apply either a clear coat or opaque finish depending on what type of look you’re going for.

For more detailed instructions on how to properly stain your dining room table, please read below:

What To Consider Before Staining Your Table

Before staining your table, it’s important to consider the type of wood you will be using and what type of finish you want. The process for staining the table will vary depending on these two factors. For more information on how to stain a dining room table, read below.

How To Stain a Dining Room Table With An Oil-Based Finish

Staining And Finishing Your Dining Room Table

Staining a table with an oil-based finish is a process that requires more preparation and steps than other finishes.

First, you’ll need to clean the table without any cleaning agents, as these can affect the quality of the stain. Next, sand it using at least 220-grit sandpaper. 

Follow this up by wiping it down with mineral spirits or denatured alcohol. After applying these two solvents, wipe off any residue before continuing on to the next step.

Next, you’ll need to mix your stain in a small container with enough denatured alcohol to thin it out and make it easy to apply. 

Make sure that you follow all instructions on the container for appropriate proportions of ingredients to use.

After you have your stain mixed up, apply it evenly across your dining room table and wait for at least 10 minutes before moving onto the next step. If desired, brush on one or two coats of clear protective coat after the first color has dried completely.

If you want your table stained in a custom color, there are many DIY tutorials available on how to do so!

Supplies Needed

You can find brown stains at any hardware store, home improvement store, and even some grocery stores. Brown stains are typically more expensive than other colors of stain because they are harder to make.

 However, if you’re looking for a natural looking color, this is the perfect one for you.

This is a popular choice for dining room tables because it will typically create a rich, deep color without being too dark. Since it’s not as dark as black or red stain, it’s also easier to maintain.

Black or dark red stain: These are excellent choices if you want your table to stand out and have a modern look.

 If you want an elegant look with an antique vibe, this is also the best option for you! These types of stains will give your table an updated feel without sacrificing the aesthetic of an old table too much.

What do you want out of your finished product?

The type of finish you want for your table will dictate the process for how to stain a dining room table. For instance, if you want a matte or satin finish, you would need to use boiled linseed oil. For a glossy finish, on the other hand, you would need to use polyurethane.

This is where the type of wood will come into play as well. You would need to use different types of stains depending on what type of wood it is (pine, oak, mahogany). 

For example, pine requires a water-based stain that penetrates the grain and oak requires an oil-based stain that sticks better. Mahogany requires an oil-based stain that penetrates the grain while preserving the natural color and luster of the wood. 

Follow these guidelines when going about staining your dining room table in order to achieve your desired result.

How To Apply The Oil-Based Stain

The first step to creating a custom-colored table is to stain it with an oil-based stain. It’s the most common type of finish and the easiest type to apply. The process is as follows:

  • Sand the table down with a medium grit sandpaper, making sure not to get any sanding dust on your table.
  • Wipe down the wood with a damp cloth or sponge, removing any dirt or dust that may have collected.
  • Apply an even coat of oil-based stain using a paintbrush, making sure to keep a distance of six inches from all edges of the table. Allow the stain to dry for at least 24 hours before applying a second color if desired.
  • Allow the oil-based stain to dry for at least 24 hours before applying another color if desired.

Finishing Up The Job

There are a few things you should do before you start staining. One, make sure the surface of your table is clean and free of any dirt or dust. It’s also important to make sure the temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Once you’ve ensured these two things, use a masking tape to cover areas that should not be stained  like the legs or any other parts of the table that are in contact with the ground.

Next, apply the stain using either a brush or cloth. This can vary depending on what type of wood you want stained–– for instance, it may be better to use a brush for a softer coat of stain, while using a cloth will provide more even coverage and a higher-quality finish.

Finally, apply an additional coat of stain and let it dry overnight. After this step, wipe off any excess residue with water and then seal with polyurethane or varnish. This will protect your table from moisture and help give it a longer lifespan!


Following these tips will help you stain and finish a dining room table with an oil-based finish. Since you want your table to last, it is important to take your time and apply the finishing products with care. 

The finish on your table will depend on the type of table you are staining and the type of product you are using to finish it. And remember: The more coats you apply, the longer your table will last.

  •  What type of dining room table do you have?
  • Staining and finishing your dining room table
  • What to consider before staining your table
  • How to stain a dining room table with an oil-based finish
  • Supplies needed
  • What do you want out of your finished product?
  • How to apply the oil-based stain
  • Finishing up the job