How To Stain And Seal Wood – Easy Step By Step Tutorial


Do you have a piece of furniture that you want to stain? Not sure how to stain and seal wood? I have an easy step by step tutorial for you.

Did you know that Dixie Belle Paint Company has Gel Stain? They have VOODOO Gel Stain that is a water-based gel stain; and Pain Gel Stain that is an oil-based stains. Both stains are available in an array of gorgeous colors.

Dixie Belle Paint Company fan deck of Gel Stain

Recently, we had a family room added into our basement. The railings leading down to the basement were dinky and painted white. We updated them with beautiful thick wood railings. The contractor left them unstained. This way, we could stain them to save money.

Unfinished Hand Railings attached to the wall.

Dixie Bell makes it easy to tackle this project. Their No Pain Gel Stain is an oil-based gel stain that provides deep and rich coverage on wooden surfaces.  Available in array of beautiful colors, No Pain Gel Stain will provide a variety of different looks to your furniture; all while allowing the beauty of the natural wood grain to shine through. 

What I love about this stain is it can be applied with a lint-free cloth, paint brush or applicator pad. It provides a deep and full coverage for your piece of furniture or wood project. Did you know that every one of Dixie Belle’s stains can be used on surfaces that are unpainted or painted.


Dixie Belle Paint Company Applicator Pads (2 pack), a jar of Gator Hide and can of No Pain Gel Stain in Walnut.

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How To Stain And Seal Wood – Easy Step By Step Tutorial

How do you stain wood step by step? I have an easy step by step tutorial to show you. When you use good products the process in can be much easy that you imagine.

1. Sanding

Start by sanding your unfinished wood with 120-grit sandpaper, being sure to sand in the direction of the grain.

First, you need to give the surface a light sanding. Why? It helps to open the grain of the wood to receive the stain.

Next, you should take a tac cloth to wipe down my surface to remove any dust from the surface. You want a nice clean surface.

2. apply stain The right way

To begin, you need to make sure your lid is on your can of stain. Hold the can and give it a good shake. Open the can and stir the stain with a paint stirred or plastic spoon or knife.

It is important to put on some rubber or plastic gloves. You do not want to stain your skin.

Add some of the stain on to a paper plate.

What is the best way to apply wood stain? Using a lint free rag or cloth applicator pad are some of the best ways to apply wood stain. I find that you can have greater controlling of the amount of stain that is being applied. It helps to remove any excess stain as well.

I prefer to use a cloth applicator pad. It allows me more control over the stain and provides for a beautiful even coat on the surface.

Dip your staining pad into the stain. Run your pad a long the direction of the grain of the wood. You can flip the pad over to wipe off an access stain.

Pick up some more stain on to your pad and wipe over the next section. Continue this process until you have complete coverage over the railing.

Applying stain going with the grain of the wood.

It is always best to start out with a small amount of stain. Remember you can apply more depending on the shade you are looking to achieve.

Brindle French Bulldog sits at the top of the stairs watching her owner work on a project.

When you get the feeling that you are being watched. It this photo she looks like a giant bat at the top of my stairs. LOL My sidekick, Piper is never far from my side and loves to watch me work on projects.

3. allow it to dry before adding a second coat

Dixie Belle’s No Pain Gel stain is oil based. Therefore, it will require additional drying time. The dry time for the stain will be 6-7 hours. It will take 21-30 days for the stain to cure.

Do I need two coats of stain? It depends on the color you are trying to achieve. Two coats of stain will depend on how dark you want your color.

After the Walnut stain dried, it was still too light. The final coat of stain used was Espresso.

The No Pain Gel Stain in Espresso was perfect over the Walnut to deepen the stain. Two coats of Espresso may have been too dark for what we were trying to achieve.

If you do want it darker, you need to wait 72 hours before applying the next coat of stain. Apply a second coat for a darker finish.

4. protect and seal

Do you have to seal wood after staining? It is good to add some protection. If you do not seal the wood, the grains of the wood are porous and easily be compromised by dirt, grease, etc.

What to use to seal it? Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide is great to use to seal this project. Why? Because Gator Hide will make the surface water repellent. It is a great product to use if you are sealing a table or items used outside. Our railing will get lots of use. Gator Hide will protect that added protection we need on the surface.

5. clean up

Have you tried Scrubby Soap? Oh my words, this soap is amazing and smells incredible. We have a bar at our kitchen sink, one in the garage by the sink. It is great to use on your hands to clean up from working on projects.

If you have never hear of a Scrubby. It is a bar of all natural soap, with a scrubber inside that fills the entire size of the bar. Dixie Belle Paint Company’s bars are made of all natural biodegradable oils. Rather than using harsh synthetic cleaning agents, they use citrus oils into the bars. The combination of citrus oil and the scrubber creates the ultimate soap for removing dirt, grease, oil, and paint. I can even use it to clean my artist paint brushes too.

finished project

Basement railing stained using a dark stain to match the stairs.

Dixie Belle Paint Company’s No Pain Gel Stain in Walnut and Espresso made it easy to complete this project. The stain is superior and gives the project a quality finish.

pro tips:

  • Allow 72 hours before staining on fresh paint.
  • Recommend testing the stain first in an inconspicuous area for your project.
  • Apply stain and wipe back any excess.

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Hope you have an amazing day, sweet friend!

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    1. Jennifer, you will love it. It is very easy to use. This is my second project using the stains and very pleased with the outcome and the ease of using it.

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