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Can You Burn Stained Wood? (Quick Answers)

Stained wood is different from natural wood. Generally, staining wood means changing the color and appearance of the wood by applying colors. But these colors are not the same as paints. Because the stain is soaked by the wood and changes the outlook completely.

So, burning natural wood and stained wood is not the same. You might be thinking about whether you can burn stained wood or not. Generally, we have to think about the fume and released gas before burning something.

So, let’s see whether it will be appropriate to burn stained wood or not.

Can you burn stained wood?

You can’t burn stained wood. It doesn’t mean that stained wood will not burn. But you should avoid burning stained wood. Generally, stained wood has many toxic chemicals that might not harm you when it is around us. But burning the stained wood will release toxic fume that is unsafe.

You might think now you can burn the stained wood outside or in the fire pit. But burning stained wood might not be right at any place. So, let’s see where you can burn stained wood.


Burning stained wood is dangerous. It doesn’t matter whether you burn it inside the house or outside. The toxic fumes released from the wood stain will make the air polluted.

Moreover, the fumes will spread through the environment that can be pretty harmful.

Even burning stained wood in the backyard or around your house can cause air pollution. So, you should not burn stained wood outside.


You can’t also burn stained wood in a fire pit or fireplace. Generally, fire pits and fireplaces are situated inside our home and sometimes around our home. If you burn stained wood in a fire pit or fireplace, toxic chemicals will release from the wood.

Generally, the stains contain toxic chemicals. So, when the toxic fume comes out, it might become unsafe to breathe in that place. Moreover, it can cause many health problems.

Log burner:

Like the other ways, you can’t burn stained wood on a log burner. When you put the wood in a log burner, it will release toxic chemicals that are dangerous for your health.

Even these toxic chemicals are harmful to kids and pets. Moreover, if the stain is pretty old, it becomes more toxic reacting with the environment. So, burning stained wood in a log burner is also prohibited.

Is it dangerous to burn stained wood?

Yes, it’s dangerous to burn stained wood. It doesn’t matter wherever you are burning the stained wood. But burning stained wood will cause some dangerous problems.

First of all, when you burn stained wood, the fume releases toxic chemicals. These chemicals are dangerous for both humans and animals. Moreover, the fume makes the air toxic. So, you might not breathe well in the area where stained wood is burning.

Besides, old stained wood contains lead. So, burning old stained wood will release lead fume that is very dangerous. So, you can’t burn stained wood at a random place.

What happens if you burn stained wood?

It’s not recommended to burn stained wood. Because burning stained wood is very dangerous. So, if you want to know what happens if you burn stained wood, here is a list of consequences of burning stained wood.

Toxic chemicals:

You might have already known that burning stained wood releases toxic fumes. These fumes become toxic from the toxic chemicals. Sometimes, the fume contains lead that is unsafe.

Moreover, the toxicity spreads in the air you breathe. So, it’s completely unsafe to burn stained wood knowing that it releases toxic chemicals.

Air pollution:

When you burn stained wood outside, the toxic fume releases into the air. This air becomes polluted and the polluted air is harmful to humans, animals, and the entire environment. So, burning stained wood will cause air pollution.

Health problems:

When you breathe the polluted air from the stained wood burning, it will cause health problems. You might face difficulty breathing instantly. Moreover, many short and long-term health issues might arise.

Even animals can also face health issues if they are close to the fume of burning stained wood. So, burning stained wood is unsafe for health.

Should you burn wood before or after staining?

You must burn wood before staining. Generally, burning stained wood will cause releasing of toxic chemicals into the environment. Basically, the toxicity comes from the stains you are using on the wood.

So, if you burn wood after staining, the fumes will be toxic and chemicals from stains will release with the fume. But if you burn the wood before staining, the fumes will be only from the wood. Toxicity and chemicals will not release if the wood is not stained.

So, you should burn wood before staining.

Should I sand the wood before burning it?

You can sand the wood before burning it if you don’t stain the wood first. Generally, you have to follow a process to prepare wood for burning. If you want to stain the wood, you have to prepare it first.

For example, you can sand the wood, burn it, and then stain it at last. But if you stain the wood first, it will not be beneficial to sand the wood later. So, you can sand the wood before burning it.

What kinds of wood that should not be burned?

You can’t pick a random wood to burn in your fireplace. Even if you want to burn the wood outside, it might not be safe for the environment. So, you have to choose the wood carefully. Some woods are so toxic that you should not burn them for your safety.

So, let’s see some woods that should not be burned.

Stained and treated wood:

Stained and treated woods are dangerous to burn. These woods contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Stained wood can contain lead and treated wood can contain arsenic.

Both of these elements are highly toxic to the environment. So, you should not burn these woods.


You should not burn softwood. Generally, softwood contains resin. So, the resin is a polymeric material that should not be burned. Burning softwood will create dark and thick fume that will clog the chimney and pollute the air.

Wet wood:

Generally, wet wood contains moisture content that makes the burning process difficult. Moreover, burning wood with moisture content will result in creating dangerous creosote build-up. So, you should not burn wet wood.

Moldy and rotten wood:

If you burn rotten wood, it will produce high heat more than regular wood. Moreover, it can release toxic elements that built up in the rotten wood. Besides, you should not burn wood that has molds.

Moldy wood contains food content, dirt, moisture, and other elements that might create toxic fumes.

Pressure-treated wood:

Pressure-treated wood might not be safe to burn. It can contain toxic elements from the manufacturing process. So, you should not burn pressure-treated wood.

How do you stain over wood burning?

You can’t burn wood that has been stained. But you can stain the wood after burning. It will not cause any harm to the environment. So, if you want to stain over wood-burning, you have to follow a process.

After burning the wood, you have to clean the surface with a brush. Then you have to wipe the surface. These are the surface preparation before staining the wood. Then you have to stain the wood with a brush. Don’t stain on a large area at a time.

Choose a small area first, then move to the next. If you want a thick texture, you can coat it another time with the stain.

How do you seal wood burning?

Sealing the wood-burning will increase the lifespan of the wood. Even you can reseal the wood for better performance. If you want to seal the wood-burning, you have to use a drying oil such as linseed or tung oil.

This oil will give protection from the weather. Moreover, the oil will save the wood from moisture and damage. So, sealing the wood-burning with oil increases durability.

Final Thoughts

You should not burn stained wood. Generally, burning stained wood is not safe for the environment and to breathe in. Besides, stained wood contains toxic chemicals that make toxic fume. So, you can’t burn stained wood in your fireplace or outside. Because toxic fumes can also cause health problems.