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Don't want to do it yourself? No problem, we can finish your furniture for you!
Don't want to do it yourself? No problem, we can finish your furniture for you!
Paints vs. Stains- What's The Difference? - Barewood

Paints vs. Stains- What's The Difference?

We've all heard the words "paint" and "stain", but do you really know what the difference is? You may know that they are both a way to treat wood to change the color, but that may be it. That's okay! That's what we are here to talk about today!

Let's start with the basics: paints and stains are used to color wood. They come in a plethora of colors (anywhere from blue to espresso), types (water vs. oil based etc.), and have different applications (spray, wipe, brush etc). They are also single steps in a multi-step process that is finishing! (We will not be covering all these steps in this post, that will come in a later one- so stay tuned!)

Now let's start with paint. Paint is a sealant and protector of the wood. General Finishes Paint SamplesWith a couple of coats of paint you are ready to use your new piece. It covers and seals the wood completely, there is no wood grain to see (unless you go through the process of distressing) and it will all be one uniform color. You will generally not be able to see that there is wood underneath your paint. 

Stain is different in this way. Stain is a product that is absorbed into the wood and colors it, but does NOT seal it. This means that the condensation from a glass of water sitting on the surface of a stained piece will soak into the wood and potentially damage it. So, another required step for staining is applying a top coat or sealant. Once a stained piece is sealed you will be able to see the unique grain of your wood underneath and it will have variation as did the tree that it came from! 

So that's it! In essence paint is a color and sealer all-in-one that gives you a uniform finish and stain is absorbed into the wood, accentuates the grain beneath and it MUST be accompanied by a sealant product. 
(The examples here are from General Finishes; an American-based company that is the maker of our recommended Do-it-Yourself paints, stains, top coats and much more!  Available for purchase in-store!)
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