Wood Stain

Liquid Oil Based Wood Penetrating Stains are made from the highest-quality oils, resins and pigments to ensure your finishing project will be an easy and rewarding experience. These wipe-on stains are designed to be applied over raw wood surfaces.​

<---Wood Stain Brochure

<---Safety Data Sheet

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Colors-Wood Stain

All raw wood projects require preparation sanding before applying stain or wood conditioners. If you skip this critical step, your finish may be rough and uneven.

Preparation for Raw Wood Projects Prior to the Application of an Oil-based Stain
See our video: How to Prep Sand Raw Wood

  1. Prep sand with 120-grit sandpaper followed by 150-grit sandpaper.

  2. Remove the dust with a tack cloth or a water-dampened rag.

  3. Do not over-sand with fine-grit sandpapers; this will close and seal the wood grain, preventing ideal product absorption.

Preparation of An Existing Butcher Block Surface

  1. Remove any food residue using a pastry scraper or spatula to gently scrape the countertop in areas where you find dried-on food or residue. Avoid gouging the wood by keeping the blade at an angle that just skims the surface.

  2. Scrub the countertop using a scrub brush, Scotch Brite Pad or sponge and scrub the countertop with hot water and mild dish soap.

  3. Rinse with hot water: Run a clean dishcloth through hot water and rinse the countertop several times.

  4. Dry thoroughly with a clean dish towel or paper towel.

General Finishes Liquid Penetrating Oil Based Stain Application Steps

NOTE: Due to its white color, General Finishes White Mist Oil Base Wood Stain ambers over time.

Hand-Application over Raw Wood:

  1. Stir stain to reincorporate solids that have settled to the bottom of the can before and throughout the application process.

  2. Penetrating stains are thinner and more prone to blotching and uneven results. If working with woods that are difficult to stain, such a pine or maple, we recommended using General Finishes Gel Stain or General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain.

  3. Optionally, an initial coat of General Finishes Pre-Stain Conditioner Natural can improve color uniformity over difficult-to-stain wood species. However, it will limit color absorption, so a darker stain may be required to get the depth of color you want.

  4. Test your complete finishing process before starting. The stain color is affected by variances in wood and deepened with the application of topcoat.

  5. Divide your project into manageable sections: top, side, drawer, door, table seam.

  6. Apply 1-2 coats using a cotton rag, natural bristle brush, foam brush or pad applicator. 

  7. Stain a complete section and wipe off the excess evenly with the grain using cotton cloth, high-quality paper towel or shop towel. Check for missed spots and lap marks before moving to the next section. 

  8. Immediately correct lap marks by rewetting the entire working area with stain and wiping off the excess.

  9. Pull excess stain out of corners and details with a natural bristle brush.

  10. Let the stain dry 24+ hours in ideal conditions: 70*F/20*C, 50-70% humidity. Inadequate dry time is one of the top reasons for finish failures. You can tell if an oil-based finish is dry if it is no longer tacky, cool to the touch, and if you can press a cotton ball over the surface and nothing sticks. If in doubt, wait longer. Increase dry time if:

    • Humidity is over 80%

    • 3+ coats are applied

    • Thick coats are applied

    • Layering General Finishes water- and oil-based products:

      • Water over oil: Let oil-based product dry 72+hrs

      • Oil over water: Let water-based product dry 24+hrs

    • To accelerate drying in humid conditions, work in a space with good ventilation and air movement. 

  11. Finish with 3 coats of General Finishes topcoat.

General Finishes Arm-R-Seal

  • Thinner consistency.

  • Oil-based.

  • Ambers.

  • Available in Satin, Semi-Gloss and Gloss sheens.

  • Because of its thinner consistency, Arm-R-Seal is easier to apply over large and detailed surfaces, such as kitchen cabinets.

  • General Finishes most durable retail topcoat and suitable for high-use areas.

General Finishes Gel Topcoat

  • Thick consistency.

  • Oil-based.

  • Ambers.

  • Available in Satin sheen. This satin is shinier than Arm-R-Seal satin.

  • Durable and suitable for high-use areas.

General Finishes High Performance or General Finishes Flat Out Flat Water Based Topcoat

  • Looks "white" in the can.

  • Drys clear.

  • Water cleanup.

  • Brush or spray.

  • High Performance is very durable and suitable for high-use areas.

  • Flat Out Flat is designed to look and feel like a wax finish; it is recommended for low-use projects.

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Take great care when disposing of product-soaked applicators. Application materials, such as brushes and towels, containing oil-based products may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately place all application materials soaked with this product in a sealed, water-filled metal container. Dispose of in accordance with local fire regulations. 


Clean up spills with mineral spirits immediately while wet. If oil-based finishes dry, they are difficult to clean off any surface, clothes or carpet. Carpet may discolor if cleaned with mineral spirits.


Clean up application materials and hands with mineral spirits or waterless hand cleaner, like Goop or Gojo.

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