Congratulations on your decision to purchase solid wood furniture from Mill Stores. If you decide to finish your selection yourself, just follow the instructions below to achieve results like the pros!
Pre-Plan for a Successful Project For best results, have everything you need before you start. The condition of the wood you are finishing will help you decide what materials you need to do the job, such as brushes, sandpaper, stir sticks, tack cloth, etc.
New Bare Wood You may prefer to stain the wood and apply a polyurethane, or you can simply apply the polyurethane over the natural wood.
Unfinished Bare Wood Surfaces Keep in mind, even "new" bare wood can be dirty. Remove all hardware, knobs, hinges, etc. The surface must be clean and dry.
A Smooth Finish Requires A Smooth Start Always sand in the direction of the grain. On flat surfaces, use long straight strokes. For rounded surfaces, such as legs or knobs, be sure to sand in the direction of the grain. Sanding against the grain will scratch or scar the wood surface which may show through on your finished piece. Do not over sand. This could fill the pores of the wood by polishing the surface and prevent proper stain penetration.
Bare Wood Sand thoroughly using successively finer grades of sandpaper up to 220 grit, until the surface feels smooth to the touch.
Different Types of Woods Absorb Stain Differently Today's furniture comes in a variety of woods, from hardwoods like Oak, to softer woods like Aspen and Pine. Premium Quality Zar Oil-Based Wood Stain will give you professional looking results on all types of woods.
Zar Wood Stain's unique controlled-penetration, full-bodied formula allows you to work at your own pace without the fear of streaks or lap marks.
Applying Zar Wood Stain After you have properly prepared the surface, Zar wood stain can be applied. If you are looking for an unstained, natural wood finish, skip this section and proceed to the Zar Polyurethane Application Section.
Test for Desired Color of Wood Stain: Find an inconspicuous spot on your piece, such as the bottom and apply the stain with a lint-free cloth. Wipe off and allow wood stain to dry 6 to 12 hours. If a darker color is desired sand lightly with fine sandpaper, wipe clean, and apply a second coat.
Optional: It is a good practice to seal soft open-grained woods or end grain with Zar Tung Oil Wipe-On Finish or use a wood conditioner. Follow manufacturer's directions. Softer woods, such as Aspen, Poplar, Lauan, Pine, and Fir, absorb more stain than hardwoods. The more stain that is absorbed into the wood, the darker the stain finish will become.
Applying Premium Quality Zar Oil-based Wood Stain Stir Zar Wood stain thoroughly before and during application. Use a clean, lint-free cloth (like an old T-shirt) to wipe on Zar wood stain in the direction of the grain. Then, using another clean cloth, wipe off the excess. Zar's "Controlled Penetration" gives you plenty of time to wipe out streaks and lap marks. The amount of stain you wipe off will determine the final wood tone.
Suggestion Do the hard-to-stain areas of your piece first, such as the table bottom, chair legs, or other similar areas. Allow to dry 6 to 12 hours. If a darker color is desired, sand lightly with fine sandpaper, wipe clean, and apply a second coat.
Danger Rags, steel wool, or waste soaked with Zar Wood Stain may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately after use, place rags, steel wool, or waste in a sealed water-filled metal container.
ZAR Exterior Finishes Wood surfaces exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods should be protected with ZAR Exterior polyurethane or ZAR Exterior Water-based Polyurethane. For wood surfaces protected by overhangs or porches, and on the inside surfaces of doors, apply Premium Quality Zar Interior Polyurethane.
ZAR Exterior Oil-Based Polyurethane Application: Never shake a clear finish. Shaking will produce air bubbles which may get trapped in your finish. If required, stir the finish according to the label instructions.
Apply ZAR Exterior Polyurethane using a clean, natural bristle brush. Dip the brush into the can and let the excess drip off. Flow Zar on using long even strokes in the direction of the grain. Do not over-brush the finish. ZAR is self-leveling for a smooth even finish. Allow 18-24 hours drying between coats. Sand lightly, remove all dust with a tack cloth and apply a second coat. Apply 3 coats. Clean brushes immediately with UGL Fastrip Brush Cleaner or paint thinner.
Zar Exterior Water-Based Polyurethane Application: Never shake a clear finish. Shaking will produce air bubbles which may get trapped in your finish. If required, stir the finish according to the label instructions.
Apply ZAR Exterior Water-Based Polyurethane using a foam brush or a synthetic bristle brush. Dip the brush into the can and let the excess drip off. Flow ZAR on using long even strokes in the direction of the grain. Do not over-brush the finish. ZAR is self-leveling for a smooth even finish. Allow 2 hours drying between coats. Sand lightly, vacuum all dust and apply a second coat. On exterior wooden surfaces apply 3-4 coats. ZAR Exterior Water-based Polyurethane cleans up easily with warm, soapy water.