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wood stains

Choosing wood stains to meet industrial applications majorly depends on the kind of object or wood used in addition to the needs of the industry. Adding stain to the wood gives your furniture new life, incorporating immense beauty into the houses or establishments. 

Industries rely on the best Chemical Importers In Delhi to fulfill their needs for chemicals, raw materials and resins for various commercial applications. In this blog, we will delve deep into the importance of wood stains, the types of wood coating finishes, and various wood stains accessible in the market in detail. 

Wood Stains Vs Wood Finish: A Comparison

Stain refers to a colorant added to wood to alter its color. Unlike paints, they are designed to dissolve the pigment in wood fibers using a solvent. Further, with it setting or getting cured, the color blends well with the wood. Various types of colorants are used for interior wood stain colors. To understand what type of wood stain is the best to fit the project, it is essential to know the different types of applications and their benefits in detail. 

While wood stains add color, the wood finishes secure the wood. There are numerous stains and wood finishes and each of them contains various ingredients depending on the chemical compounds. Wood finishes are way different from stains. While some contain certain pigments, they are focused on retaining a wet appearance and act like a shiny varnish to whichever wood they get applied to. 

Wood finish eases the weather-proofing of wood furniture. It penetrates numerous wooden layers, making sure that it remains highly secured from the elements. Since it needs to get through many layers, it is thicker compared to a stain and needs heavy application of over three layers for an effective result. To make the wood feel and look completely beautiful, sanding the furniture’s surface can help. 

In case you skip the process of sanding, the finish feels rough, which could easily catch on clothing, or attract lint, etc. After every layer of the wood finish dries out, 220 fine-grit sandpaper or finer can be used. Keeping a vacuum to clean the dust off can be an additional lifesaving technique. 

Types of Wood finishes and stains

wood stains

Different shades of Wood stain are of various types including oil-based and water-based, which utilize the process of soaking dyes and pigments into the wood to trigger accenting wood grain. A wide variety of Wood finishes like lacquers, shellacs, varnishes, water, and oil-based finishes, etc. secure wood from sunlight or moisture.

Water-based wood stains

These wood stain colors emit fewer VOCs (Volatile Organic Chemicals), which can be cleaned with soap and water. They dry out quickly but avoid stains that include glycol ether solvents, which are dangerous. A water-based wood finish applied over the water-based stain can improve the durability of the furniture. 

Natural Oil-based wood stains

Plant-based wood stains or natural colors are long-lasting and don’t need a sealer, unlike water-based wood stains. However, the natural wood colors have larger VOC emissions. Oil-based wood stains with low VOCs would be an ideal choice for certain applications. 

Oil/Synthetic-based wood stains

Oil and synthetic-based wood stains with urethane or acrylic binders may include toxic chemicals and emit high VOC levels. These chemical colors are highly water-resistant compared to water-based stains and are used best outdoors. 

Natural Oil Wood Finishes

Natural oil finishes like tung oil or linseed oil are derived from plants. The natural oils ensure protection while penetrating through wood, though they are not as protective as lacquer, varnish, etc. They have lower VOC content than varnish, however, they need additional coats which might take about a week to get dried. The curing time reduction can be attained by adding toxic drying agents like Arsenic, Chromium, Lead, Cadmium, Beryllium, Nickel, etc. The elements like Zirconium and cobalt can also be added, however, they are the least toxic. Tung oil usually cures in fewer days and doesn’t contain drying agents. But, since it is derived from nuts, people could develop allergic reactions.

Water-based wood finishes

Water-based wood finish colors don’t harm the environment like oil-based wood finishes. They formulate a wide range of colors with stains and glazes. Hence, they could be custom-tinted to ideally match the existing colors. These high-end solvent wood finishes are durable with rich color and chemically resistant to offer quick dry times while being eco-friendly. 


Acrylic or urethane- Varnish provides high water, heat, and chemical resistance when compared to other wood finishes. But, they contain synthetic and petroleum ingredients which release high VOC levels. They leave a long-lasting finish particularly for the floors keeping the beauty of wood alive, but their cleanup demands harsh solvents. 


This modern wood finish does not form the coating as hard as the other varnishes or any water-based sealers. They are higher in terms of VOCs, and could mostly contain solvents like xylene and toluene. 


This natural resin originates from insects. Compared to lacquer or varnish, it has the least environmental impact. This is a renewable resource and usually utilizes ethanol as the solvent. They can however be made with methanol but advised to avoid this technique. Though it dries quickly, the durability is only average, hence coating it with water-based sealer is important to use on wooden floors or areas with high traffic.

Also Read: What are the different types of resins?

Characteristics of different wood stains & finishes

Wood stains generally contain linseed oil binder which offers a lot of time to eliminate the excess well in advance of the drying of stains. These exotic wood dye colors are specifically applied using a rag or cloth rather than a brush.

  • Oil-based stains

Oil-based stains are the perfect wood stains for large wood surfaces and furniture. They have a slow drying time which gives the wood pieces a great finish. These stains penetrate deep, leaving behind brighter colors easily refreshed with the application of an additional coat. Their surface adhesion is appreciable and offers good surface resistance to peeling. This gives a more durable finish to the wood. Firstly, you need to take off the existing finish before you apply the wood stain. Thinning stains and cleaning up needs the use of mineral spirits. Working with stains demands the use of a respiratory mask since they could contain harmful chemicals.

  • Water-based stains

Water-based interior stains can be easily cleaned up and dry out fast. They use water as binders, which is easier to clean up and thin with water. Being highly resistant to mildew and mold, they are also environment-friendly. As they don’t penetrate through the wood as much as the oil-based stains, you can still obtain darker colors with additional coats. They also tend to level up the grain of the wood. You can use a rag or brush to apply the water-based stains. To obtain the best results, you can apply it to the raw wood or through removing the finish from the existing wood. 

  • Gel-based stains

Gel stains are the kind of traditional stains which let some of the distinct markings of the wood and the texture shine to give a consistent finish to the wood. Gel stains clean up well with the mineral spirits like oil-based stains. Gel stain demands less preparation compared to regular stains. They are messier and thicker to apply chemical staining wood. You can use a cloth or rag to get the best results. These apply well to the floors and furniture made using pine or related woods. The uneven coloring called blotching that happens due to the resin deposits can be avoided with the gel stains. Gel stains stick well even when the piece is not entirely sanded into the exact wood. 

  • Lacquers

Lacquers are usually applied over the wood stain as a finishing coat. It dries out completely and is usually applied using spray equipment.  This wood-coating paint is used for cabinets, interior woodwork, trim, molding, etc. However, they are used in indoor projects, hence don’t suit exterior applications. 

  • Oil-based polyurethane

Oil-based polyurethane gets hard-dried and leaves a long-lasting, protective coating. They are however least flexible compared to the other formulations. These should be used in highly ventilated areas and exhibit a powerful odor until completely cured. Curing would take longer compared to the other coatings and the surface remains sticky until it completely dries up. 

Also Read: What Are The Best Paint Raw Materials

Tips to consider for safety

wood stains

To consider safety, there are a few steps of caution you need to take into consideration. The wood stains and wood coatings have different amounts of VOCs. These chemicals can irritate the eyes and skin, cause problems with the lungs and breathing, and cause headaches. To be specific, the water-based stains have fewer VOCs, however, the following precautions must be followed while utilizing these stains. 

  • Make use of stains in the best-ventilated area. Wearing a respirator and having windows opened while working outdoors is a great idea.
  • Keeping the contents away from the open fire or flame is important since the chemicals are inflammable.
  • Secure hands using nitrile gloves and dispose of them properly.
  • Don’t use latex gloves because they can dissolve if exposed to any solvents.
  • Protect yourself and wear old clothing to prevent the color of stains from spoiling your outfits.
  • Wear safety glasses to prevent the attack of stains on the eyes. 
  • Keep kids or pets away from the area while using stain.
  • Dry the stain-soaked rags before you dispose of them. 

Also Read: How to Select the Ideal Chemical Supplier in India

Wrap Up

Coating resins and raw materials for wood coating finishes have been used in various commercial and domestic applications. Being one of the leading wood coatings resin distributors in Delhi, Bansal Trading Company, not only deals with resins but also industrial requirements like coatings, printing inks, adhesives, etc. Bansal is one of the most reliable Chemical Trading Companies In India destined to supply chemicals and raw materials to industries. To know more about the range of services and to get assistance with the delivery of wood stains /wood finishes, get in touch with the team today!


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