How to Stain Floating wood shelves? 5 Easy Steps Explained

How to Stain Floating wood shelves? 5 Easy Steps Explained

I have been wanting to spice up my new apartment for quite some time now. But I didn’t want the process to be too hard or complicated. So I thought of installing new stained floating wood shelves on my bedroom walls.

Then it got me wondering, how to stain wood shelves?

Turns out it’s not as hard as I thought. You can easily stain your wood shelves without any professional help at the comfort of your own home. All you need is a few necessary tools and you are good to go!

But the process could be a bit complicated for you if you don’t know what you are doing. This is why we are here to help you out.  

To make your staining process easier we noted down all the necessary information that you may need to do it. So if you want to know how to stain your floating wooden shelves, then keep on reading.  

Let’s get started.

Painting Vs Staining Shelves

If you are planning on coloring your wooden shelves you might be torn between two options. Painting and staining. Although both serve the same purpose they are very different from one another. Starting from the application to the result.

So which one should you pick for your wooden shelves?

To answer that question we elaborated both of the processes below.


Paint is more expensive than satin and provides more options when it comes to colors and finishes. It leaves behind a smooth surface over the wood eliminating the natural finish of the wood.

Paint is also very easy to change. You can simply repaint it whenever you want. When it comes to stains you need to put a lot of effort into removing the initial stain to apply another stain. But paint also has a tendency to chip off that stain doesn’t.

Highly absorbent woods take up a lot of time for it to absorb the wood stain. But you won’t take that much time to paint the same wood. Painting wood is a lot faster and easier.


In staining the stain is absorbed by the wood without ruining the natural finish of the wood. It simply adds a tint over the existing pattern. Unlike paint, it doesn’t require any primer and is easier and faster to use.

It usually requires only one coat of stain to complete the entire process. It is applied using a cloth or brush so it doesn’t leave behind any paint strokes and ensures an even application. It is also easy to control. If there is too much stain you can simply just wipe it off.

The stain stays on your wood for a long time and doesn’t chip like paint. It highlights the natural beauty of wooden furniture and preserves it nicely.

Materials you’ll need to stain wood

You will be needing the following materials to stain your wood shelves.

  • Sandpaper
  • Drill machine
  • Level tape measure
  • Saw
  • Wood filler
  • Wood stain
  • Wall brackets
  • Sponge brush or a clean cloth
  • Pre stain conditioner
  • Gloves
  • Protective glasses
  • Rag or towel

3 Steps to Stain wood shelves

Staining your wood shelves might sound a bit hard but don’t be intimidated! It is a very easy process that you can do by yourself in the comfort of your home if you have the right tools for it. To make it easier for you to grab the procedure we broke it down into five fundamental steps that you can follow if you want to stain your wooden wood shelves.

Step 1: Cut the wood

The first step of setting up stained wooden shelves is to have your wooden slabs ready.

Put on your protective glasses and hand gloves then cut your wooden slab following your measurements and requirements with any saw of your liking. If you want to fit it in a specific place such as between the hollow space of two walls then make sure to correctly measure the available space to fit it properly.

Step 2: Prepare the wood

Before staining your wooden shelves you must prepare them first. If your wooden slabs have holes or cracks in them, then fill them in will wood filler and smooth it out with a putty knife.

After it dries down lightly sand the wood with any sandpaper to smoothen out the surface. A smooth surface will ensure a proper and neat application of the wood stain. While sanding the wood put on protective glasses and hand gloves.

Step 3: Stain the wood

After you’re done prepping the wood it is finally time to stain the wooden shelves.  

To make the staining process better you can use a pre-stain conditioner. It penetrates the wood and ensures a uniform acceptance of paint. Apply the pre-stain conditioner with a sponge or a clean cloth and let it dry for 15 minutes. Then take your desired wooden stain and apply it all over the surface with a rag or towel. After it dries down reapply the stain if you feel like you are yet to get your desired color.

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