For natural wood finishing, a good quality stain coat can be enough to make the timber look fantastic. However, a stain can be a little more complicated for processed wood like plywood and MDF.
For example, pressed wood is made where manufacturers recycle scrap wood, take the wood chips, and glue them together under pressure. While not as robust as plywood or MDF, its smooth surface makes a more attractive board for cabinet doors or pressed wood furniture.
You can ask, is it possible to stain particle board finished for kitchen cabinets or another woodworking project? It is possible to stain particle board pieces, yet you need to prep the pressed wood surface using a sealer before you do.
Here, particleboard and pressed wood have a porous surface containing microscopic holes allowing moisture to penetrate. Any stain on a laminate cabinet soaks right in, causing the wood to swell and appear patchy. You can find the best ways in our guide to getting the best possible finish on any pressed wood furniture or cabinet doors.
By the end, you’ll know how to stain particle board to look like wood and make your woodwork blend into your home like it was regular solid wood. (Read Can You Put A Chiminea On Wood Deck)
Can You Stain And Seal Particle Board?
If you want to create particle board projects, you’ll need to go through a few steps to make sure the oriented strand board can accept any coating, and the particle board durable surface remains that way.
Here’s the steps to effectively prepare and stain your laminated piece of wood.
Prepare the Surface
Because particle board is a porous material, it needs sealing first. This ensures equal staining and longer results. First, make sure the board is clean before staining it.
- Scrub the surface with a detergent wipe, and sand any uneven surfaces or stains in the wood.
- Wipe the surface with a moist soft cloth to remove dust.
- Wait for the surface to dry.
- To finish the particle board, apply an external stain or varnish protective layer if intended for outdoor use.
- Use a paint tray and a roller or a brush to cover the stain evenly.
- Depending on the size, roll your stain across the board surface in three-foot squares or smaller.
- Remove excess stain with a clean rag within five minutes.
- After 10 hours, inspect the surface. If you want a darker hue, apply a second coat and let dry.
Seal the Surface
- Apply two coats of sealer over the stain. Indoors, utilize acrylic or polyurethane sealants.
- If the particleboard is used outside, seal it with acrylic or oil-based sealer. After two sealer coatings have dried, your particleboard is ready to use.
- This method works well on an unpainted surface when staining particleboard. However, many people who already own particle boards want to refinish them.
- Refinishing particleboard is possible; however, re-staining it may not work. The best method is to sand through the surface and start over. You can generally only stain darker than the possible color.
- Paint the surface using water-based paints or oil-based paint. Painting particle board, especially particle board furniture, is easy and can make the piece.
Paint is a fantastic alternative if the surface has flaws that require extensive work to correct. It is possible to imitate wood grain on a surface using a technique that simulates real wood.
Can You Put A Finish On Particle Board?
Making tables and wondering, can you stain particle board cabinets? It is possible with exposed particleboard, although you must paint or stain the unfinished particle board to change its appearance. (Learn How To Cut Carpet)
Unfortunately, most particle boards are lacquered or covered with a thin layer of finished material.
It’s best to paint or use a stain/polyurethane combination instead of staining.
- Place your wood on a dust sheet or newspaper and keep your sanded particle board furniture in a well-ventilated area.
- A light sanding with medium-grit sandpaper eliminates dust and scuffs the laminate surface enough to receive primer. A good primer is essential for an excellent paint finish on particleboard.
- Fill a bucket or spray bottle with vinegar and warm water.
- Wipe down the particleboard using a dry cloth to remove dust and debris
- Apply an oil-based primer coat to the furniture, let it dry, then apply a second coat.
- Apply the brown glaze to the furniture with a clean paintbrush in random strokes to create texture. A Gel Stain can add more texture to the fake wood stain if needed.
Note: you can use these steps for most woods, yet unfortunately, laminate flooring or stair treads don’t fit into this and can’t accept stains.
You can find that MDF won’t absorb stain like natural wood. A polyurethane coat over is advisable unless you want to re stain, and you’ll then need a semi-transparent stain product.
Can You Re-stain Particle Board Cabinets?
Particle wood is an inexpensive and versatile choice. This flexibility to modify extends to the interior and the exterior. You can achieve this by staining it like any other wood.
Cleaning usually comes first. Use standard detergent, 1 oz dish soap per gallon of water.
Sand it and clean it with a tack cloth. Apply a sealer first and let it soak before wiping away excess. Then varnish or brushable lacquer, and done!
Particleboard stair treads:
Staining stair steps is one of the most typical uses of particle boards. Paint before you install it to make life easy for you. Although, you can apply wood stain after the installation as well.
Particleboard cabinets can also be stained before and after installation. You can also dye them differently than the usual wood colors. (Learn How To Paint Cardboard)
Here’s when things get tricky. Laminated particle boards are famously tricky to accept stain because of their lack of porousness. That doesn’t imply it’s impossible; it takes a lot of effort.
Because of the exposed layer, these are the easiest boards to stain. However, sand them smooth before coloring so nothing is jagged and wrecked.
Gel stain particleboards:
Gel staining particleboard is a fantastic idea because it works on laminate furniture. Unlike ordinary wood stains, this paint does not need to penetrate the outer surface layer.
Can I Make Particle Board Look Like Wood?
Staining the particleboard could revive the wood it’s made of and transform it into something new and fascinating with the proper application. (Learn How To Fix Bleach Stains)
While it will probably not look precisely like wood, you can get close enough to make it passable using wood stain.
- Use a brown-tinted finish that is preferably semi-transparent to replicate wood grains and look as close to genuine wood as possible to make your particle board look like stained wood. Regular wood stains can be used, or you can use gel-type stains.
- After that, apply a coat of varnish and seal it to give it a beautiful finish.
- Because particleboard is porous, it should be sealed prior to staining. Sealing the wood will prevent possible uneven coloring or darkening, as well as extend the life of the material.
- However, before applying a sealer, make sure the board is completely clean.
- Any sanding device will work nicely with a particleboard. Because there are no grain patterns, you can use an orbital or belt sander to randomly sand the particle board’s entire surface.
- If the top has recently been roughed up, use an orbital sander with 100-grit sandpaper to sand it smooth and free of any previously applied finishes.
- Using a putty knife, fill in the damaged area with wood filler or putty.
- In a bucket, combine some detergent and warm water, then soak a towel in it to clean the surface.
- Scrub it thoroughly, as debris and oil must be removed from the surface before starting the staining process.
- This is done to let the sealer and stain absorb correctly. Allow the particle board to dry for two days to ensure that all moisture has been removed.
- Seal using a clear acrylic sealant for protection.