Interior trim runs throughout the entire house, so it needs to be done correctly in order to look beautiful. Staining wood trim is not difficult to do as long as it is done correctly. If you are doing it yourself, you will be reassured to know that it can be easily done in five steps or less.

Materials you will need to stain interior wood trim: wood conditioner (optional), stain, clean cotton rags, brushes, and a top clearcoat.

You will find all these materials at your local paint store, home improvement store, or hardware store.

Step 1 to Stain Interior Trim: The first step is to choose an interior stain color. If you have extra pieces of the wood you will be staining, bring them to the store and have a sales associate apply samples of stain to your trim. This will help to give you an idea as to what the stain will look like.

Step 2 to Stain Interior Trim: It will be easiest to stain your trim if it has not yet been installed, but it may be stained after installation, as well. Lay the uninstalled pieces on a flat surface. If the trim already contains an old coat of stain or varnish, remove it by sanding all the varnish off, otherwise the stain will end up looking blotchy. Also, bear in mind that you will not be able to use a lighter stain over a darker stain color.

Step 3 to Stain Interior Trim: Some species of wood do not take stains evenly, so you may opt to use a wood conditioner before staining your wood trim. Apply the wood conditioner with a brush or clean rag and let it absorb for 15 minutes to two hours. If it sits for more than two hours, reapply the conditioner.

Step 4 to Stain Interior Trim: Open your can of stain and stir it often throughout the process. You may either apply the stain with a brush or a cotton rag in the direction of the wood’s grain. Experiment ahead of time to determine the length of time the stain will need to soak into the wood (depending on the desired shade). Then wipe the excess stain off your trim with another clean rag. You may apply a second coat if it is not dark enough.

Step 5 to Stain Interior Trim: Wait the recommended amount of time (check the label on the can) then apply the topcoat with a quality brush. Let it dry, lightly sand, and apply another coat.