Staining pine wood - that works?

Pine wood is a very versatile wood, but its color is often felt to be unsuitable. In this article you will find out whether you can stain pine wood and what problems can arise. In addition, what you have to pay attention to in general when staining and especially with pine wood.

Suitability of pine wood for staining

Pine wood can basically be treated with stain, but the high resin content of pine is problematic. Not all pieces of pine have the same resin content. Pickling is usually still possible on the less gummy pieces.

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Resin removal from pine

If the resin content of the wood is rather moderate to low, you can try resin removal to improve the staining effect and make staining easier. Resin removal agents can be different, but they are usually:

  • Lye (wood soap, curd soap, soft soap)
  • Solvents (petrol, alcohol) or
  • Turpentine oil

The de-resinification of wood is also called "deresination" in technical terms.

Protection of the stained wood

Regardless of whether the pine wood is to be used outdoors later or is possibly exposed to moisture, stained wood should always be protected with clear varnish. If the effects of moisture are to be expected, good protection against fungi is essential, especially after pickling.

Choosing the right stain

Pine wood is usually stained in darker shades, while light staining of pine is rather rare. It is important: Softwood stains are - in contrast to hardwood stains, always so-called "positive stains". You definitely have to take that into account.

Positive and negative stains

Coloring pencils (where in which color pigments penetrate into the wood and dye it) always produce a so-called "negative pickup " in case of hardwood: the soft parts of the piece of wood take the color much better than the harder parts of the grain. Therefore, the grain is less strong or less darkened than the wood itself. Positive microsmaps are exactly the other way round, here is the grain stronger (or even darker) dyed than the remaining wood. This reinforces the optical effect of grain.


There are also stains - even for pine - not only in wooden colored sounds, but also in many other colors. The grain of the wood remains always visible in every color. You should always consider that in the selection. Bang green wood with clearly visible grain does not always look good in any case.

Tips & Tricks The resin content of many pieces of pine wood can also be problematic with varnishes and glazes. Also, pay particular attention to the fact that many pieces of pine tend to become resinous at high temperatures.