Staining a piece of furniture or molding can completely transform the look of your home.
As great as staining wood can be, there are some safety precautions that you need to take when you are completing these projects.
As with all home improvement and DIY projects, safety needs to be your primary concern.
We have put together a few of the most commonly asked questions about staining wood indoors and whether or not this is a safe process for you to be completing.
Is It Safe to Stain Wood Indoors?
With the proper safety precautions and ventilation, you can stain wood indoors.
You will need to follow some very specific guidelines to make sure you are protecting yourself from any type of injury or issue.
When staining indoors, you can subject yourself to breathing problems and allergic reactions if you don’t set this project up properly.
If you are trying to avoid having these issues, there are some steps to follow to make sure they don’t happen.
Of course, if you have major medical issues that require you to breathe very clean and purified air, you should never attempt to stain wood indoors.
Protection for Staining Wood Indoors
The following precautions should be taken when staining wood indoors.
Each of these parts of the process is important and should not be taken lightly.
When they gave stain its name, they certainly meant it!
If you get stains on anything, even things that are not wood, it will soak in, and it will stain.
This is a major problem for your hands.
Many times, the stain is applied with a rag, and therefore, your hands are having to touch the rag and dip your hand into the stain.
This can leave your hands directly exposed to the stain.
To avoid this, you can use a disposable nitrile glove.
With a disposable glove such as this, the stain will not penetrate to your fingers, and you won’t be left with any allergic reactions or stains on your fingers.
If you do happen to get stains on your hands, wipe it off as quickly as possible.
It will leave marks that will take a very long time to get rid of.
You will certainly be able to tell that you have been doing home improvement projects.
While you are staining wood, either indoors or out, it also makes sense to wear older clothing.
If the stain happens to drip onto your clothes, you will need to ensure that you are not ruining your good clothing.
You will not be able to get the stains out, and therefore the clothes will be ruined.
2. Safety Glasses
Although staining wood may not seem as dangerous as drilling holes or using a saw, it can get dangerous rather quickly.
When you are staining, you will probably be working with a rag or a paintbrush.
When dipping these into the stain, you may have an issue with a small splash of stain.
If this small splash were to make it to your eye, it could cause some major vision issues.
In most workplaces where staining is done, there are eyewash centers to help prevent an injury.
However, for most homeowners completing a project on their own, this is not the case.
Therefore, it is going to be necessary to make sure you are appropriately protecting your eyes from any potential splash of stain.
Safety glasses and goggles come in many different sizes, and they can be quite comfortable to work with overall.
3. Fire Safety Precautions
Most people don’t know that stain is highly flammable.
If you are completing a staining project indoors and it is wintertime, you must make sure that you do not have anything near the stain or the staining rags that could create a spark.
You need to be diligent about where you store stain cans after you are finished using them to make sure they stay far away from stain.
If you are staining something in your home, be mindful about where you are working on the project.
Don’t use your kitchen as your main area for working, as it typically has more chance of exposure to heat and open flames.
An open room where you can be in the center of the room and have plenty of space and air around you will be the safest place to complete your indoor staining project.
Potentially the most critical factor when it comes to staining indoors is ventilation.
If you do not have the proper ventilation, your staining project can leave you with a headache or more severe breathing issues.
The best type of ventilation to have for a painting project is fresh air from the outdoors.
You will want a room that has windows on both sides of the room and a cross breeze across the room.
The cross breeze helps to move air and will make it much easier to breathe.
Another great thing about ventilation in a room when you are staining is that it is going to help the stain dry much more quickly.
The faster the stain dries, the easier you can move on from your project.
5. Clean Up
Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking their painting project is finished as soon as the wood is covered.
When it comes to staining, this is not the case.
You will need to do a few things after finishing the project to ensure that it is not going to result in a fire.
As we mentioned, stain is highly flammable, and even after you are finished, there is a chance that the rags can catch on fire.
To prevent this from happening, you will need to make sure that you put the stain rags in a bucket of water when you are finished with them.
Taking a dry rag filled with stain and tossing it in the garbage can is a problem.
However, after the rags have soaked for quite some time, it is much safer to toss them into the trash.
It’s a good idea to store the trash outside so that your home doesn’t smell of the stain.
Also, keep the ventilation in the room going strong while the rest of the smell dissipates.
Sometimes it can take a few days.
Is It Better to Stain Wood Outdoors?
Anytime that you have the opportunity to stain wood outdoors, you should take it.
Staining outdoors is much easier to accomplish and set up, and most people will find that the fumes from the stain will impact them considerably less.
There is plenty of fresh air outside to help reduce the smell of the stain, but you should still wear your gloves, old clothes, and safety goggles.
The only thing you need to be careful of when staining outdoors is that you are in an open area where no debris will blow into your project.
If you are in an area where leaves are dropping or sand is blowing around, you must make sure that you prepare for this.
When the stain is wet, it is very tacky, and anything that is flying around in the outdoor air can stick to your project.
One option that many people try is to paint in their garage with the garage door open.
Having the garage door open means that plenty of air will be able to get in and allow for excellent ventilation.
Most of the time, you won’t have windows in your home that provide as much ventilation as a garage can.
Most of the time, the floors of your garage will not need to be as well protected as the floors of your home when you are completing a staining project.
This makes setup and cleanup all that much easier.
Always make sure that you check the forecast so that it does not rain on your newly painted project.
Can You Stain Wood on a Rainy Day?
Regardless of whether you are staining wood indoors or outdoors, it is best to do it when the weather is nice.
If the weather is not all that nice, you will be left with the inability to open the windows to the home.
Also, when it rains, the dewpoint is a bit higher, and it is harder for the paint to dry.
Increases in humidity make it harder for the stain to adhere to the surface, and you may end up having to do more than one coat.
Check the forecast before you start your next staining project and make sure that the weather is suitable.
It is safe to stain wood indoors as long as the proper precautions are taken.
If you are not going to be safe and careful about this process, you could be exposing yourself to danger.
The most essential factor is ventilation.
If you ever feel lightheaded or short of breath while staining indoors, be sure to move outside into the fresh air as soon as possible.
Be smart about how you complete your staining projects, and you will be able to transform your house to be exactly the home you want it to be.