Do you sand between coats of stain? A detailed guide

In our article, we will discuss proper methods of sanding tools regarding coats of stain. This is one of the important stages when people make a spot on any surface. They can use steel wool to sand wood correctly. Anyway, consumers should sand between stain coats apart from non-typical situations.

Do you sand between coats of stain, or it is not necessary?

So, it is a rhetorical thing, since some people talk you should, and others talk you shouldn’t. Hence, we need to base on the research about coats of stain. After it, consumers will understand the necessity of wood surfaces. Well, maybe as you already know, we could give more details about it.

For example, people will get to know about water-based stains and their polishing. The coats of stain are an important part of an item.

Sanding between coats of stain is only obligatory if consumers utilize varnish wood stains or water-based stains.

As for other coats of stain, consumers should polish the cover before applying the first coat of stain.

Sanding between coats of oil-based stain

These coats of stain are not required, as the oil-based stain has a longer open time before the material dries. Therefore, you can delete the excess spot and any bubbles and imperfections with a rag from oil-based stains. So, it is important to sand between coats of stain.

How to sand between stain coats

For example, it regards to stained wood.

You need to polish it properly, otherwise, you can damage the cover which was already polished.

Now we will give you a detailed algorithm on how to use sanding wood correctly. And after that, you will understand the common points of this matter. Let’s view coats of stain.

Stage 1

Firstly, consumers need to select a sandpaper with a high grit number (220-240). This type of item will help to avoid any flaws, for instance, in a water-based stain. This is important to note that applying sandpaper with lower grit will damage the stain, and that’s why sanding between coats should be done properly.

Besides it, escape from sanding between coats with steel wool if it is not a big space.

Stage 2

Then you need to apply a sanding tool to provide the cover with even polishing. Also, people may apply small scrap wood to wrap the sandpaper around. Remember, that you get your hands to hold the fine sandpaper grit. By the way, wood grains will become more visible after finishing.

Stage 3

So, next, people should polish the cover slightly in the direction of wood grains. Apart from it, consumers need to do light passes from end to end of the wood material. After that, touch the polished coat; you should ensure that it is soft and smooth, otherwise it is necessary to keep polishing before a smooth finish. It allows for the avoidance of varnish stains.

Stage 4

Use a vacuum cleaner to clear the cover from dust and also apply a dry cloth. Well, if people perform with oil-based stain, put the rag in mineral spirits and put it off on the cover to provide no dust is there.

By the way, soon we will talk about polyurethane stains. But now the time is about types of stains that influence the wood grain, that’s why people are sanding dust from the wood.

Typology of stains and whether it is worth sanding between them

The target of sanding between coats is a better finishing, since the first coat and the second coat bond each other excellently. But please keep in mind that all spots, including oil stains, are needed to be sanded until the first coat is done.

So, this will be useful information for wood furniture. Then we will discuss data about different wood stains and at which step polishing uses every material among them.

Oil-based stain

Now we will talk about the oil-based stain. As you know, this is one of the most known spots among wood specialists. Polishing with sand is especially required when you want to prepare a sanded surface for work. Very light sandpaper helps to avoid scratch marks and grooves. Generally speaking, consumers should not sand between coats of this spot.

Simply apply a little amount of oil stain on the wood surface and put out the excess by applying a clean wet rag.

But what to do if consumers like to have a stain of wood darker color? In this case, use multiple layers of the spot and give the previous coat time to dry completely before adding covers.

Water-based stain

This type of stain, a water-based stain, needs each coat apart from the high cover indeed. The reason is that the water content in this spot occurs in the wood grain. And that’s why people should sand it down if they want an amazing finish and smooth coat.

As for grit sandpaper, workers need 220 and above. Next, put off the sanding dust by utilizing a tack cloth.

Gel stain

It is the same as with the oil stains, this means that consumers don’t need to polish between coats of gel stain. They should sand the wood only during the preparation stage. People should note that such things are typically big and have a consistency like paint.

Because of this factor, the gel stains tend to put more on the cover than move the pores of the wood. So, it is paint bonding that’s why polish lightly for example in outdoor furniture.

Lacquer stain

This type of stain is also not needed to sand in between coats. So, apart from this point, wood material specialists could mix the lacquer stain with the previous layer of this spot in the wood project.

Also, people can wipe gently with a clean rag to smooth the surface with lacquer stains if they note some unsmoothness.

By the way, consumers could apply finer sandpaper in some cases.

Polyurethane stain

This type of spot can be called a varnish stain. You can see it in oil-based stains and water-based stains. They are fast drying, that’s why consumers don’t need to polish them after any coat.

The most important thing is that you may put away any excess stains as soon as you view this material.

Metal-complex dye stain

So, such a type of stain is more solid for outdoor finishing and dense material as wood. The reason is metals give the dye more resistance to breaking. By the way, bare hands are useful tools for sanding.

People don’t require sanding between coats in this case even a thin layer of grain raising.

Water-soluble dye stain

Well, this spot of wood stain is available in powder form. You need to mix the stuff in water by applying the ratio as manufacturers recommend. For deeper color, people need to add more powder.

By the way, consumers could require some light sanding between coats with a clean cloth.


How long should stain dry before sanding?

As for water-based stains, this material helps to polish in between and the question is how to define if it is enough to dry and last coat. For example, you can use your hand on the cover to feel cold or wet when you touch it.

Besides it, you can let the stain sit for about several hours to provide sanding for dry enough.

This humidity level differs from your region. Apart from it, consumers may polish a small invisible space.

They also can polish the whole surface if the sanded area becomes whitish and the sandpaper comes in some particles of dirt.

By the way, do you know what is aniline dye? Overall, it is better to use all the above methods when you try to determine if the spot is dry already for polishing.

How long does to let stain dry between coats?

The time of drying is between five and seven hours: it depends on the spot consumers select. They should ensure the previous coat is enough dry by touching the cover before making the next coating.

Meanwhile, the producers recommend the required amount of time, that’s why you need to adhere to that. Through this aspect, you will take correct absorption and the best finish indeed.

Do you have to Sand Before Staining?

Yes, people should do it to avoid any scratches on the wood surface that the spot would show. Also, polishing allows the spots to penetrate deeper into material like wood.

The material could not come in the spot properly if consumers are not sanding.

Should you sand wood after staining?

Yes, you can because it helps to smooth out the wood cover from raised grain and any bubbles. And also consumers will need to apply finer grit sandpaper from 220. This grit number is suitable for the polishing task of light sanding.

But keep in mind that not all spots are required to be sanded after they were used.

Will a second coat of stain make it darker?

Yes, it will. But anyway, you should sand the coats of stain since it would delete any flaws in the surface of the wood material.

What happens if you sand after staining wood?

The polishing after making stains will allow to even out any imperfections, for example, the raised grains. However, don’t forget to apply the sandpaper with fine grit to achieve the best results.

When you finish sanding the wood cover as you want, you will likely see a smooth, fine dust layer.

This is because of the aggressive performance of the grit sandpaper that makes more scratches, and that’s why consumers should add the spot on top of that.

So, you don’t need to wipe the top cover with a wet rag, as the color parts in the stain make the wood darken the more.

Should the stain be sanded between coats?

It is suitable only for water-based stains and therefore it allows deleting any flaws like raised wood grain. So, apart from it, you should sand all stain coat types for raw wood. Well, the stain coats should be sanded and it depends on the stain types.

Should you sand between coats of stain and polyurethane?

Generally speaking, this is not necessary to make before using polyurethane together with sand-stained wood.

People should take time enough for full drying while they don’t use polyurethane with stained wood. Nevertheless, you can polish the material with fine-grit sandpaper.

Final words

So, now you know about sanding between coats of stain. Hope, it will be useful information for you. If you have any questions, leave your comments here and share the article with your friends.

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