Moulding is an easy way to provide a finished look to a room, and it can also hide flaws that may be present at the top and bottom of the wall. Moulding is available in a variety of different materials, designs, and sizes, giving the homeowner any number of different choices to create that finished look. Staining moulding is relatively easy and lends a professional look to mouldings. When staining moulding, be sure to choose the right stain to go with the wood you have chosen.
Moulding comes in two different grades- solid and joined. A joined moulding should be painted, and a solid moulding can be stained. Solid moulding pieces are a more expensive choice, but when staining moulding it is a necessary expense.
Moulding is usually made of an unfinished solid soft wood, such as pine. If you are staining moulding with a dark stain, it can make soft woods look splotchy. Using a stain conditioner before staining will help prevent this effect. Apply the conditioner to the wood according to the manufacturers instructions, and allow it to dry for about 15 minutes before staining.
Some manufacturers sell stain grade moulding, which is made from clear lumber so it will take stains well without streaks or blotches. The absence any defects such as knots means there will be an even finish after staining. There are hard woods that are used to make mouldings, and staining mouldings made from these woods is an easier task that may not require the conditioner step.
Another variety of moulding is veneer hardwood moulding, which is made by covering pine moulding with a veneer of real hardwoods. This gives the best of both worlds, as it takes stain evenly and is less expensive than the regular hardwood variety.
Architectural moulding is a low-maintenance polystyrene or polyurethane moulding with profiles that look much like built-up moulding. Architectural moulding is a premium variety that will not warp, split, or rot. It is not made of wood like most other mouldings, but it will work just like wood. It is lighter weight than hardwoods, so it is easier to handle and to install than other mouldings.
Architectural moulding needs to priming or conditioning, and arrives ready to be finished. It can be stained any color and will take the stain evenly. Staining moulding of this type is likely the easiest staining job around, but this premium material does come at a premium price.
Staining the Moulding
Make sure that the moulding is smooth, sanding away any rough patches. Any rough patches that are left will look blotchy after staining, especially if the stain is oil based. Determine whether the wood needs conditioning, and if so, condition the wood and allow it to dry. Using a wide paintbrush or a clean rag, apply the stain to the wood.
A rag will generally hold more stain, and is recommended for staining mouldings that are flat. A paintbrush will work better for mouldings with irregular areas such as carvings. Alcohol-based stains are quick drying and can be applied with a spray gun.
Make sure to wipe away any drips or excess stain using a paper towel. Once the stain dries, any patchy areas will be apparent, and extra coat of stain can be used to even the stain color. After staining moulding, a shellac, varnish, or wood polish can be used to protect the stain from any damage.