WHY DO WEATHERWOOD STAINS STAND OUT?
Weatherwood Stains are ‘topcoat compatible’ with other lines and can be topcoated or sealed- in most cases without color change. Some of our favorite alternative topcoats are Chalk Paint® and Miss Mustard Seed Waxes.
Stains are ‘reactive’ and actually work with a piece of wood’s tannins to speed up the ageing process, hence the naturally-weathered looks.
Stains plus Topcoats will not fade, change color over time, or wash off, even outside (please see Exterior Waterproofer topcoat for outdoor projects)!
The Weatherwood line is easy to use. You do not need to pretreat wood or deactivate the stain once it has been applied. Application is just one step; wipe, spray, or roll it on and watch your color appear.
Stains and topcoats have a very mild odor (almost like vinegar for Stains), and are low to no-VOC.
HOW DO I PICK MY COLOR?
There are 5 Weatherwood Stains: Light Oaking, Pining, Reclamation, Restoration, and Salvage. Each reactive stain will turn different colors over each different wood species, and from one another. We have many samples at the Shop & Studio with each type of stain over different wood species, and with different topcoats. If you know what species of wood you’re working with, we highly suggest bringing in a sample from the same batch of wood to test what the actual result will be. Doing so also ensures you can bring test samples into your space to look at against your colors, wood tones, and lighting.
Here are some guidelines for choosing your Stain:
Light Oaking- Works well on all wood but looks especially nice on hardwoods. Gives the appearance of a silvery driftwood grey (however ultimate color is species-dependent). For 3 different looks- wipe the stain back off before it absorbs fully for a light touch, saturate the wood and let it fully absorb for a medium-grey, or apply a second coat for a darker grey.
Pining- Suits all woods but works especially well to change low-tannin woods like pine, spruce, poplar, and white fir. Higher-tannin woods may darken significantly with this stain. Low-tannin woods may appear warm-grey. Apply a second coat for a slightly darker look (ultimate color is species-dependent).
Reclamation- Works well on all woods, with high variation between species. In general it produces a medium-grey tone which may vary from having a brown to blue undertone (however ultimate color is species-dependent).
Restoration- Works well on all woods but looks especially nice on hardwoods. Provides warm brown-grey results (ultimate color is species-dependent). For 3 different looks- wipe the stain back off before it absorbs fully for a light touch, saturate the wood and let it fully absorb for a medium brown-grey, or apply a second coat for a darker brown-grey. Woods will become progressively more grey with each added coat.
Salvage- Intended for tannin-rich woods, this stain subtly enhances each piece of wood's natural beauty, tone, marks, and age with light greys. Woods stained with salvage may have highs and lows, lighter areas where there is sapwood, and enhanced knots (ultimate color is species-dependent).
Otherwise, Weatherwood has some photos of samples on their site. *Again, we highly recommend testing and/or seeing samples in person.
DO I NEED TO PREP PRIOR TO STAINING?
YES! Rule of thumb is to make sure your project is prepped the same way you would before a usual staining process. Wood surfaces should be completely bare (stripped and/or sanded down), and have open grain-- sanded but not too finely! Make sure to sand with 80 grit sandpaper to open the grain prior to applying stain, otherwise the result may be blotchy because of uneven absorbency due to grain being ‘closed’ from a too-fine sanding. Protect the surrounding surfaces that could accidentally get stained (like walls, floors, etc.), however the stains can be applied on-site to exterior surfaces (won’t harm plants!).
HOW DO I APPLY STAINS?
Choose the best method of applying a Weatherwood Stain depending on size and layout of your project:
Brush method- Use a synthetic bristle or sponge brush and make sure your wood surface is lying flat for even results. Moving from one side of your project to the next, pool the stain evenly onto the bare wood surface until all is covered. Let the liquid stain absorb into the wood surface fully and dry.
*For lighter stain results on some woods, you *can* wipe the stain back off in an even motion. this is not necessary, however it may lighten the effect of the stain and has a short window.
Foam roller method- Use a foam roller (not a nap roller!) and make sure your wood surface is lying flat for even results. Saturate the roller and move from one section to the next by pooling the stain and then really pressing and working it into the wood before moving onto the next section. Work from a consistent wet-edge!
*You can roll on a non-flat surface too-- just make sure to really work the liquid stain in before moving forward, so that you don’t create drips and uneven pooling of the stain at one end.
Dipping method- Create a container that is larger than your project to be stained (so that you can fully submerge your project) and fill it with enough stain. Always stir the stain well in the container to ensure even absorption. Dunk your wood project fully for 30-60 seconds-- if the wood is floating toward the top (as wood usually does!) you may need to press down on it. remove it and let it dry.
*Make sure to protect your clothes from staining. Weatherwood Stains are non-toxic and safe to contact your bare hands, however feel free to wear gloves as desired.
Paint sprayer method- Most sprayer types work well with Weatherwood Stains due to its thin liquid consistency! *Weatherwood recommends an atomized sprayer with air compressor at 8lbs, 2.5 hp, 8 gallon, 90 psi*. Stir and strain prior to loading to prevent any possible particles from clogging. Following your sprayer’s guidelines, spray your stain in sweeping motions with good overlap to flood the surface.
WHAT QUANTITY WORKS FOR MY PROJECT?
1 Quart of Stain covers approx. 100 sq.ft.
1 Gallon of Stain covers approx. 350 sq.ft. (250 sq.ft. for rough wood projects)
1 Quart Topcoat covers approx. 100 sq.ft.
1 Gallon Topcoat covers approx. 350 sq.ft.
*Ask us to order in Gallon or 5-Gallon sizes for large projects! We readily carry Quarts in-store.
WHAT TOPCOAT SHOULD I USE?
Weatherwood Stains are topcoat-compatible, so they don’t have adverse reactions with topcoats from other lines/brands. However, the Weatherwood Topcoats absolutely preserve the oxidized wood look for the best for longest. Different topcoats may also provide different looks, or be suited to different surface uses. Here are some guidelines for choosing the right Weatherwood Topcoat:
Varnishes- Are ‘architectural’ quality for interior millwork, cabinetry, furniture, and high-traffic surfaces. Non-yellowing and water-based in the Weatherwood Stains line, in 3 finishes: dead flat, satin, and semigloss. They penetrate through the wood, protecting the longevity of each stain’s appearance.
Polyurethane- As a hard-shell topcoat, it’s suited for the heaviest traffic areas of the home, like flooring (allowing hardwoods to expand and contract properly over time). Non-yellowing and compatible with water-based finishes in the Weatherwood Stains line.
Exterior Waterproofer- Suited for interior and exterior applications- highly recommended for exteriors due to several years of waterproofing and UV protection! Can be used to seal stained and plain raw woods, as well as concrete. The Waterproofer penetrates the wood fully, encapsulating wood fibers to form a complete barrier. Mostly matte in finish with little to no color change once dried. Water-based, non-yellowing, VOC-free, commercial and residential. *Not to be used over other topcoats, or with other polymer-based stains because it cannot penetrate through. Reapply every 4-5 years! Not to be applied when temperatures are below 40 degrees F or right before rain.
Maintenance Oils- White Maintenance Oil holds color over light woods, lightens dark-stained woods, and gives a limed/white-washed look with multiple coats! Clear Maintenance Oil holds the color over dark-stained woods, darkens and warms lightly-stained woods, and removes blue or purple tones over stained oaks. Both are suited for commercial and residential use, with wipe-on, wipe-off application. They protect the longevity of the stain look by penetrating through the top of the wood. interior use only, reapply annually.
* We readily carry Quarts of all Varnishes and Exterior Waterproofer in-store. Ask us to order Gallons and 5-Gallon sizes in those- and ask us to order any quantity of Polyurethane and Maintenance Oils!
HOW DO I APPLY TOPCOATS?
Apply each topcoat according to its own specifications- Weatherwood Topcoats can be brushed, rolled, and sprayed depending on consistency and type:
Spray- For Varnishes and Poly, thin each product with 15-20% water, and use an atomized spray gun. spray on with broad sweeping motions with good overlap to ensure evenness. Apply 2-3 coats total. For Waterproofer, do the above and do not wipe off excess product- really saturate the surface evenly!
Brush- For Varnishes and Poly, apply in sections by keeping a wet edge as you move from one side to the next. For Waterproofer, evenly saturate the surface.
Roller- For Exterior Waterproofer, saturate the surface evenly like a stain.
Lint-free rags- For Maintenance Oils, wipe on from one side to the next and allow oil to sit for 2-5 min. Before wiping excess away. apply up to 3 coats, let cure for 24-48 hours.
CAN I USE POST-CATS?
Post-Cat stands for 'Post-Catalyst' when referring to lacquers and similar sealers. Post-Cats need a separate catalyst ingredient to be added to make the formula complete prior to use as a sealer. Once the catalyst is added, the Post-Cat starts to have a shelf life of a few months (Pre-Cats on the other hand include all ingredients and are ready to be used as a formula, however already have a shelf life and can go 'off' if not restocked properly). Some Post-Cats can yellow over time.
There are no negative interactions with the finishes durability or with it creating a good seal. With post-cat finishes, most wood types will turn out beautifully- like hickory, walnut, maple etc. Weatherwood states that the only species they have had interactions with Post-Cats is between different oak species. In their experience in these cases, the finish, wood, and Stain reacted and changed the color of the wood to a black or steel blue, but with the post-cat the finished wood became the color of fumed oak. They advise to test the use of Post-Cats on a sample of your oak prior to full use to ensure you like the result.
HOW CAN I GET LIGHTER SHADES OF THE STAINS?
There are 4 ways to get lighter shades of WW stains- some are more successful than others.
Apply and wipe back off before reaction can completely occur. This is the recommended method for getting a lighter wood reaction for several reasons. This method will not affect the ageing or the topcoat bond. It is much simpler to control UNLESS you're using it on preinstalled solid surface like hardwoods or wainscotting. You still have to be careful about wiping the stain off uniformly and after the same length of time piece after piece. If your project is small or is completed piecemeal, it can be accomplished successfully.
Bleach the wood before applying stains, *only if using high tannin wood like oak.
Water down the stain. This works unless you're using it on preinstalled solid surfaces like hardwoods or wainscotting. If your project is done piecemeal it can be accomplished successfully.
Using a tint suitable for water-based products. This should work, as long as the product is compatible. *Please feel free to check compatibility with us and with Weatherwood, and to test prior to using over your whole project!
CAN I LAYER DIFFERENT WEATHERWOOD STAINS?
Yes! First work up a test over a sample of the same wood to achieve your ideal combination. You’re welcome to bring a sample by our Studio to do the same too.
MY PROJECT HAS SOME VARIATION FROM MY SAMPLE, WHAT HAPPENED?
This happens when you work up a sample from a small section of your wood, when your wood in fact has a large degree of variation. This is especially relevant for cedar and douglas fir. Some wood tannins can vary from plank to plank, piece to piece. In such a case, there is nothing wrong with the product, it is functioning just as it's supposed to.
However, to avoid this issue, it's best to work up larger wood samples, showing the color on a few different planks or pieces of your wood. Then you can see any expected variation across the scope of your whole project! We cannot encourage enough to test, test, test when you need a project to look relatively uniform- however feel free to embrace any variation for very natural, weathered looks!
CAN I ADD COLORANTS OR TINTS?
Weatherwood reactive wood stains are compatible with water-based pigments and powdered dyes. *When you tamper with the Weatherwood formulas, you are at your own risk. Altered formulas are not guaranteed.
CAN I USE WEATHERWOOD ON PRE-INSTALLED ("SAND & FINISH") FLOORS?
Yes! You will need to follow specific guidelines to ensure your application is even, however. When applying to a large flooring project it’s suggested to use a long-handled broom by itself, or a combination of sprayer and long-handled broom:
Prior to applying the stain, prep the wood floors by sanding with 80 grit and then vacuum up all dust. Then draw out the grain well- for such large surfaces it’s suggested to ‘water-pop’ the wood grain (grain raises when it gets wet!). Mix stain well before and during to achieve consistency.
Broom-only method- pour all stain into a large bucket (5 gallon). Dip the broom into the bucket and fully saturate it with stain. Work in small sections (a few planks at a time) by gently saturating the wood surface fully, including nooks and crannies. Keep your working sections separate- either tape off each section or keep a wet edge, because it’s hard to any kind of stain once it’s absorbed in some areas and not in others. Don’t stain one half of a piece of wood and come back later to stain the other half!
Sprayer plus broom method- load your sprayer with suggested guidelines, and spray with good overlap, using the broom to even out the stain without removing too much!
Fix any spots and remove bubbles while the floor is still wet.
Work from the back of the room toward the door so you can exit easily!
WILL I GET OVERLAP MARKS ON MY LARGE WOOD SURFACES- LIKE FLOORS, CEILINGS, OR WALLS?
You can successfully use Weatherwood Stains for large projects. A paint sprayer or a flood system are the recommended tool for larger projects, as they are the quickest. For installed wood floors, please see the above application guidelines.
I HAVE OVERLAP MARKS, WHAT NOW?
There are some things you can do to troubleshoot and fix them as best as possible:
For Oaking and Restoration, buff down the laplines with a damp cloth to even them out.
For Pining, Restoration, and Salvage, buff down with a hydrogen peroxide and water mix.
If the laplines are excessive, sand down the project and reapply stain with a better technique.
HOW CAN I FIX ‘SPOTINESS’ OF MY STAIN?
Sand down the entire surface in both directions with 80 grit sandpaper and reapply stain with a better technique. Spotiness can be caused by having sanded too finely and ‘closing’ the grain, applying too thin of stain coats, and even by further watering the stain down.
THERE ARE SPOTS WHERE THE STAIN DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE REACTED AT ALL. WHAT ARE THESE AND HOW CAN I FIX THEM?
These are usually sap spots. You can either sand the entire surface or sand only the sap spot with 80 grit sandpaper, and reapply stain and fully drench the surfaces. Buff down any overlap with fine steel wool (000 or 0000). Let dry.
MY WOOD LOOKS WATERMARKED, WHAT HAPPENED?
If you see water-marks, that’s usually because the stain was applied too heavily and/or dried too slowly. You can fix this by applying less stain and making sure your working environment has good air circulation with temperatures above 50F . Sometimes you can remove watermarks by buffing them with 0000 steel wool. If this does not work first, sand the wood back down and reapply stain with a better technique.
MY SOFT MAPLE TURNED PURPLE. HOW CAN I FIX IT?
This means that the soft maple heartwood was used. To fix it, evenly apply a layer of hydrogen peroxide to the affected areas, and let it fully dry. The wood and stain will turn to grey. In the future, use hard maple instead to prevent this issue (unless you like purple wood)!