Can You Use Wood Stain On Metal Surfaces

Wood stain is a great way to add depth and color to countless surfaces made of this organic material. However, in terms of utilizing colorants to steel surfaces, are wooden stains an appropriate choice?

You can use wooden stain on metal, based on what variety of stain it is. Classic wooden stains are a ways too thin to be used successfully on less porous surfaces; however, gel stains are a lot thicker and are excellent for use on several different materials.

In this article, we are able to take a look at why traditional wooden stain isn’t effective for use on metal and what makes gel stain effective. We are able to also point out some gel stains for sale and a way to apply those finishes to a metal surface. If you’re looking for a distinct choice to paint to use on metal, examine on.

Gel vs. Liquid Stains for Metal

There are many benefits of using stain over paint, the subtle tones which are created via the semi-transparent choice being one the most appealing.

The traditional wood stains that many people have used are drinks that upload prosperous colour and a protecting layer to wood. They work by means of soaking into the deeper layers of the wood, not like paint that truly coats the external of the surface. Unfortunately, the low viscosity of those stains signifies that they aren’t efficient for coloring metal.

They are also inherently inappropriate for use on metallic due to the indisputable fact that they have got to be absorbed to supply their colour and protection, an motion that’s not possible on dense substances like metal.

Gel stains, at the other hand, are a long way thicker than liquid stain varieties. Many of these gel stains are designed to be used on surfaces other than wood, usually specifically to be used on metal. Minwax is an instance of a product that’s fantastic for wood and metallic and may even recreate the advent of wooden grain on steel surfaces.

Old Masters also produces a line of gel stains which can add color to a wide variety of materials, adding wood, fiberglass, and metal.

Now that we realize the will for this specific variety of stain to be used on any surface besides wood, we can check out how to apply those colorants. Staining a metallic door provides the ideal instance to show this straightforward process.

How to Stain a Metal Door

Now that you’ve decided on using a gel stain for your metal door and feature picked a company and color that you like, we will get down to the business of utilizing the stain.


You will want some specific bits of material to complete this process:

  • Drop cloth
  • Paint roller
  • Wedge paint brush
  • Two empty, clean plastic cups
  • Gloves
  • Vinegar
  • Gel stain
  • Clean rags
  • Steel wool

Staining Metal: Step-by-Step

  1. The first step is to lay your drop material (this stuff may well be messy) outdoors or in a well-ventilated room and region your door on appropriate of it.
  2. Use the metal wool to completely scuff the whole surface of the door. Use a rag to brush any shavings off the door while you’re finished.
  3. Pour a mixture of 1 aspect vinegar to 5 parts water in certainly one of your cups. Placed on your gloves and use a clean rag to wipe the door clear with the mixture. The gloves will preserve your fingerprints from marking the surface.
  4. Open your gel stain, stir it thoroughly, and pour about 1 cup into your second container.
  5. Using your roller, paint a layer of the gel onto the door, ensuring to go with the grain of the steel. Use your paintbrush to get in the tight spots. It’s critical that you paintings quickly, as such a lot stains will set within a few minutes, and in case you brush over a in part set stain, it’s going to come off the door before it’s absolutely dry.
  6. Allow the stain to dry for around 5 minutes, then wipe it down with a clean rag eliminating the excess stain.
  7. Wait 24 hours. On the way to practice a moment coat, paint the stain on at 90° to the first coat. Such a lot manufacturers suggest a minimum of two coats.
  8. Allow the gel to therapy for the time period suggested via the manufacturer, usually 48 hours.

You’re now able to reattach the hardware and hang your newly stained metal door back in its frame.

Related: Wood Stain Vs. Varnish Vs. Paint: The Professionals and Cons


As you can see, utilizing wood stain on steel is a straightforward way to revitalize an uneventful surface and add somewhat of color to your home or the other piece of metal, as long as you are using the right product.

Luckily there are a number of gel stains on the market, so you’re certain to discover a color and brand that suits your needs.

If you want to take away paint from metal, check out this article for more information.