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Can You Stain a Particle Board? (Explained)

Particle boards are a great alternative for homeowners on a budget who don’t want to compromise style for function. This board is not only inexpensive but also allows you to customize it to your heart’s content. Speaking of customization, the question arises-

Can you stain a particle board?

Particle boards can be stained on your own but there are some conditions that need to be met. Unfinished particle board is stainable like any other type of wood. But complications may arise if it has laminate flooring since the general consensus is that they cannot be stained.

Particle boards are an excellent source of building material, allowing you to cover it with a wood or plastic veneer too. An exposed particle board is certainly a choice when you’re making tables and cabinets with it, but you can always change it with a stain due to it being porous.

Can you stain particle wood? 

The particle wood is flexible enough as an option as it is cheap yet customizable. This ability to customize is not limited to the shapes you can make with it, but also the outer exterior as well. One of the ways you can do this is by staining it, just like you would with any other wood.

The usual method is you clean it before doing anything. Use regular detergent, an ounce of dish soap in a gallon of water should do the job.

Sand it and clean the surface with a tack cloth when done. Use a sealer before applying the stain and let it soak before wiping off the excess. After this use, a varnish or brushable lacquer, and you’re done! For specifics,

Particle board stair treads: 

One of the most common uses of particle boards, you can absolutely stain stair treads. Just make sure to do it preinstallation to make things easier for you and yours.

However, you can do it after the installation as well, so no worries there.

Particle board cabinets: 

Yet another popular choice, particle board cabinets can be stained pre- and post-installation. You can even go the unique route and color them differently from the common wood shades.

Particle board stairs: 

Same as stair treads, particle board stairs can be stained as well. Great for beginners who want to try their hands at staining.

Particle board floor: 

One of the most underrated uses of particle boards, particle board floor can be stained to give the room an enriched feel with full of depth and class. If done well, they can even look like dark hardwood flooring with glorious shine.

Laminated particle board: 

This is where it gets a little tricky. Laminated particle boards are notoriously hard to stain since they close off the porous quality that is heavily needed to correctly stain them.

This doesn’t mean it is impossible to do, however, just that they need more effort. Keep it in mind though, that most people think laminated particle boards that have been stained look “okay” and very few think it’s worth the hassle.

Raw particle board:

These are arguably the easiest boards to stain since they have an exposed layer. However, before starting the staining process, sand them smooth so nothing is jagged and ruins it all.

Gel stain particle board: 

Gel staining your particle board is a good call since it can be used on laminate furniture as well. This Is because this paint does not need to penetrate the outer surface layer like other regular wood stains.

Stain white particle board: 

Yet another contender for easiest particle boards to paint or stain. Think of them as a blank canvas and stain them to your heart’s content.

A quick reminder that when you’re staining your choice piece of furniture, always start by cleaning it properly. A well-done prep and prime session will act as your stitch in time, saving you from further hassle down the process.

Also, you don’t need to use a lot when staining a piece. Work with a small amount, do a thin layer, see where it gets you, and then reapply if needed.

Last but certainly not least, let the piece dry completely before introducing it to daily life to maximize its life and color vibrancy and expectancy.  

What happens if you stain a particle board?

So, you’re convinced you want to stain your particle board to make it more “you”, but are now wondering what happens to it once it is stained. Let’s talk about it-

Changes the Look:

This is a no-brainer. Staining the board gives it a new look, changing it from its unsightly exposed board state. You can go darker, lighter, or somewhere in between, it is all up to you.

Seals in A Protective Layer:

The process of staining the board properly includes sealing and resealing the piece, which means you’re covering it with a layer that will protect the piece from external factors that may harm your board. In a way, this stain is protecting you from unwanted staining.

Makes It Long-Lasting:

The protective layer not only gives a layer that seals in the goodness, but it also makes it last longer. Since this means water or dirt won’t affect the board as much as it would have unsealed and exposed.

Can you paint particle boards to look like wood?

Since staining gives a new image to your board, you can expect multiple looks from it. With proper application, staining the particle board could revitalize the wood it is made of and turn it into something new and exciting.

While it probably won’t look exactly like wood, you can get very close to the point of making it very passable.

How to stain a laminate particle board?

As mentioned earlier, laminated particle boards are rather more difficult to stain, compared to their non-laminated variant. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, however. Here is one of the ways you can laminate particle board-

Prep and Prime:

Before doing anything else, you should prep the board. Sand it as smooth as possible to prime it. This will make sure the following steps go well.

Paint and Stain:

Now to the real deal, paint or stain with preferably something that is oil-based. For better results, professional spraying equipment will be your best bet.

Seal the Deal:

To ensure this process lasts, use a sealant that locks in the color and let it dry before bringing it back indoors.

What to stain particle boards with? 

In case you are wondering what items you will need to stain particle boards; these are things you should keep near you-

  • Varnish
  • Stain
  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • Sealer
  • Rags
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Detergent

For stains, in particular, it is good to make sure they are semi-transparent (paint mixed with stain) so it doesn’t get too soaked and swell up the board itself.

What does stained particle board look like? 

A properly stained particle board will be shiny, smooth, and eye-catching. If done well, they can even mimic their wooden counterparts. Expect rich brown gorgeousness with intricate patterns and details from your stained particle board once you’re done processing it.

How do you make particle boards look like stained wood? 

To make your particle board look like stained wood, you have to use a brown-tinted glaze, preferably semi-transparent, so it can look like wood grains, looking as close to the wood as possible.

After doing this, make sure to add a coat of varnish and seal it so it can have a gorgeous finish. 

How to remove stains from particle board?

If unfortunately, a mishap happened, and you would like to remove the stains from a particle board. You will need a mix of baking soda, detergent, white vinegar, and/or toothpaste to properly remove the stain.

Make the concoction of your choice and rub it off with a soft cloth or microfiber towel.

Since particle boards are porous, staining them is not a hard feat. Keep it clean before staining it, make sure you’re well ventilated, and let it dry off after sealing it. If it is laminated, however, there are some extra steps you need to take in order to be able to stain it.

Final Thoughts:

Staining particle wood is a great way to express your style while you get involved with your indoor designs. Stay safe, do it properly and you will get to show off your next piece to your friends and family in no time. Besides, change the full look of your indoors and enjoy.