Choosing the right stain for your pine furniture or flooring can make all the difference in how it is protected and how it looks. This means that it is a very important purchase and one that should not be decided on simply by price.

To make sure you don’t end up with a poor-quality product, we have crafted this guide to help you choose the best stain for pine wood. Compare, contrast, and read our helpful tips to help you choose the right one for your project needs!

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Stains for Pines

Before you make any final purchases, you should remember that there are many kinds of stains.

We have included a full range of options and these should be carefully considered before you make your final choice.

  • Gel. These stains are easier to apply as they do not run or have drips as often. This means that if you are new to staining furniture, you should generally opt for a gel stain.
  • Wiping. This type of stain is applied by wiping and usually, several coats are required to get the desired color. This means that wiping stains will provide a more specific result for those that know exactly what color they want their pine furniture to be.
  • Oil. Oil-based stains are the most popular for pine due to their ease of application and how easily they are absorbed into the wood.
  • Sealer. Some stains come combined with a sealant that will protect the color. This means that a second layer does not need to be applied and this saves a great deal of time and money.
  • Varnish. You must be very careful when choosing this kind of stain because the results can sometimes look cheap and low quality. Often varnish stains will be used on parts of the furniture that aren’t always on show.

Top 10 Stains for Pines Comparison Table

PictureNamePine FinishPrice Rating (1-5)
Pine Finish
Rating (1-5)
1. General Finishes Golden Pine Gel Stain Pint Golden Pine$$4.7
2. Ready Seal 510 5-Gallon Pail Golden Pine Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer Golden Pine$$$$4.7
3. Old Masters 12504 Wip Stain, Puritan Pine Puritan Pine$$4.3
4. Rust-Oleum 211714H Varathane Oil Base Stain, Quart, Ipswich Pine Ipswich Pine$$4.5
5. Minwax 222104444 Wood Finish Penetrating Interior Wood Stain, 1/2 pint, Ipswich Pine Ipswich Pine$4.4
6. Old Masters 24980 Gel Wood Stain Puritian Pine, 1 pint Puritan Pine$$$4.7
7. Minwax 70003444 Wood Finish Penetrating Stain, quart, Puritan Pine, Quart Puritan Pine$$4.4
8. Rust-Oleum 262012 Varathane Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain, 32-Ounce, Ipswich Pine Ipswich Pine$$4.5
9. Minwax 61310444 PolyShades - Stain & Polyurethane in 1 Step, quart, Honey Pine, Satin Honey Pine Satin$$4.5
10. Rust-Oleum 224496 Varathane Gel Stain, Half Pint, Ipswich Pine Ipswich Pine$4.4

Choosing the Right Stain for Your Pine

As you will be able to see from our list, we have provided the different types of shade that the pine will go once it has been stained. By choosing the right one, you will be able to get the exact look and style that you want your furniture to have.

Here are the ones included on our list:

  • Ipswich Pine. This is the deepest and richest option for pine stain and will provide your wooden furniture with a refined style. When you want a rugged yet carefully finished look to your pine then you should certainly opt for this type of stain.
  • Puritan Pine. For those that want the simple pine look that isn’t too light or too dark, you should turn to Puritan Pine stains. This is the classic pine style and has the added benefit of matching almost any theme or color scheme.
  • Honey Pine. This is the lightest stain option and is familiar to those that love the look of traditional pine furniture. It has a golden color but remains very light.
  • Golden Pine. While this stain is also golden, it has a deeper color than the honey pine options. It is very warm and inviting without being as dark as the other stains mentioned on our list.

Top 3 Best Stain for Pine Reviews

1. General Finishes Golden Pine Gel Stain Pint

The General Finishes Gel Stain is the one that will make it feel the most like you are staining and applying a finish in one application. This stain even works with woods that are not as easily stained as aspen or pine.

All you need to do is wipe the stain on the wood with a cloth or a foam brush to ensure that there are no splashes or drops and then wait.

This stain comes in a variety of colors for you to choose from so you can get the exact stain that you want. You can also be sure that the stain color you choose will be true to the name and the picture of the color regardless of the kind of wood being stained.

If you are working and notice there are blemishes or you are not happy with the coat, then you should know that a bit of sandpaper will remove the stain and reveal the bare wood to start again.

2. Ready Seal Pail Golden Pine Exterior Wood Stain

The Ready Seal 510 Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer is the best stain for pine because it has been designed to work specifically with that kind of wood and it does not require a primer beforehand in order to be effective.

You can use this stain with a brush, roller, or sprayer. This also makes it much more time-effective if you are doing a lot of staining, especially if you are planning to stain wood that is already mounted in your home.

This is an oil-based stain, so keep that in mind when using it. It should be noted that this is a semi-transparent option. This means that it works as a stain as well as a finish.

It enhances the natural beauty of the pine as it makes the color pop without blocking out the texture and the graininess of the surface. The formula has also been designed to combat elements such as mold and UV exposure, which is always a benefit of using this wood over time.

3. OLD MASTERS 12504 Wip Stain, Puritan Pine

Old Masters 12504 Wiping Stain is a versatile stain that lets you protect and add value to your pine without breaking the bank or your back in the process. This is a long-lasting stain solution that can be used both inside and out. It is highly durable, though if the wood will be outside then there should also be a protective coat on top of the stain to add longevity to the color.

As this is a wiping stain, it is thicker and more substantial than other penetrating stains. This leaves you more in control of the results you would like to achieve as the stain can be used to cover up blemishes or achieve a darker stain.

One of the best things about this kind of stain is that there are also many colors available. All of them are equally effective and rich, so the one that is best for you just comes down to taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Finish for Pine Wood?

If you want to stain pine wood, use a gel stain since it will go evenly. You can also put on a clear polyurethane to give it a golden look. Another option is to put several coats of shellac but it’s not as durable as a wipe-on varnish.

Does Pine Wood Stain Well?

The grain of pine is unevenly dense and the pine’s surface has pockets that make the stain look blotchy. Before you stain, clean the surface and sand thoroughly. Add two coats of conditioner to control blotching. Keep the surface wet until you wipe it.

Is Pine Good Wood to Use as a Table?

Pine is a pretty good option for a table. The wood is durable and strong, plus it’s really affordable.

The only downside to using pine is that it’s a soft wood, so if you’re looking for something sturdy and long-lasting choose another type of wood.

If you’re buying furniture for kids or teenagers in the family, pine is a good choice because of its strength. It can stand up to lots of wear and tear from chairs sliding across tables, etc. Plus, it won’t break the bank!