10 Best Stains for Pine 2022

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

To ensure 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, which should be carefully considered before making your final choice.

  • Gel. These stains are easier to apply as they do not run or have drips as often. If you are new to staining furniture, you should generally opt for a gel stain.
  • Wiping. This type of stain is applied by wiping; several coats are usually required to get the desired color. This means that wiping stains will provide a more specific result for those who know exactly what color they want for their pine furniture.
  • Oil. Oil-based stains are the most popular for pine due to their ease of application and absorption 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, saving a great deal of time and money.
  • Varnish. When choosing this kind of stain, you must be careful 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 can 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 can get the exact look and style 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. You should certainly opt for this type of stain when you want a rugged yet carefully finished look to your pine.
  • 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 classic pine style 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 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 various colors for you to choose from so you can get the exact stain 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 blemishes or 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 does not require a primer beforehand 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 plan to stain wood 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 by making the color pop without blocking out the surface’s texture and graininess. 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. This long-lasting stain solution can be used both inside and out. It is highly durable, though if the wood is outside, a protective coat should also be 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 many colors are available. All of them are equally effective and rich, so the one that is best for you just comes down to taste.

Tips for Staining Pine

When staining pine, one of the most important things to remember is that the wood is soft and porous. As a result, it tends to absorb a lot of stains, creating an uneven finish. To help prevent this, applying a wood conditioner before staining is important. This will help to even the absorption and give you a more consistent finish.

Another thing to keep in mind is that pine is a light-colored wood, so it will usually take on a darker stain color. If you’re looking for a lighter finish, you may need to apply multiple coats of stain. Finally, keep in mind that the dryness of the wood can also affect absorption.

If there are areas that are drier than others, they will tend to absorb more stains and appear darker. The wood conditioner will help to prevent this by evenly hydrating the wood.

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 affordable.

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

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

Is It Better To Paint Pine Or Stain It?

When it comes to pine wood, there are two main options for finishes – paint or stain. Both have their unique benefits, and the best option for you will depend on the look you are going for. If you want to cover up the knots and grain of wood, then painting is the way to go.

However, staining is the better option if you want to embrace the natural beauty of wood. In addition, the stain is generally more durable than paint, so it is a better choice if you want a long-lasting finish. Ultimately, deciding whether to paint or stain pine wood is a personal preference.

Why Is My Wood Stain Blotchy?

When staining wood, it’s important to avoid blotchiness. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to achieve an even finish. One common cause of blotchy wood stains is uneven drying. Wood boards often dry out at different rates, with some parts remaining damp while others become quite dry. This can cause the drier parts of the board to absorb more stain than the damp areas.

As a result, the drier sections will appear darker than their surroundings. To avoid this problem, applying a wood conditioner before applying the stain is important. This product helps to even out the moisture levels in the wood, reducing the likelihood of blotchiness.

By taking this simple step, you can achieve a beautiful, even finish on your next staining project.

What Happens If You Put Too Much Stain On Wood?

Applying too much stain to wood can result in some issues. First, the stain will take longer to dry, leaving the wood vulnerable to dirt and fingerprints. Second, the excess stain will be sticky and goopy, making it difficult to apply a smooth finish.

Finally, the stain may not adhere evenly to the wood, resulting in an uneven appearance. If you find yourself in this predicament, don’t panic! Simply use a clean cloth or paper towel to remove the excess stain. Wipe in the direction of the grain for best results. Once you’ve removed the excess stain, you can continue with your project.

How Long Should Stain Sit Before Wiping Off?

When staining wood, it is important to give the stain enough time to soak in and properly adhere to the surface. However, you don’t want to leave the stain on for too long, as this can cause it to become tacky and difficult to remove. Wait five or ten minutes before wiping off the excess stain for the best results.

If you are working on a large project, you can start at one end and work your way to the other, wiping off the stain as you go. Once you have finished applying the stain, allow it to dry completely before adding a sealer or topcoat.


Pine wood is a great option for those looking for an affordable and durable wood. It is important to note that pine can be tricky to stain, so follow the proper steps to ensure even coverage. Additionally, if you use pine wood outdoors, add a protective coat over the stain to extend its lifespan.

We hope this article was helpful. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions. Happy staining!