Does Ash Stain Well? How To Stain Ash? (2023 Guide!)

does ash stain well

Ashwood is a popular wood for flooring, furniture, cabinetry, and many other woodworking projects. Light color beige to light brown tone and straight grain of ash wood is an attractive unique look to your loving furniture and other woodwork.

When I was working with ash wood making furniture, I was always wondered Does ash stain well?

Here’s what I discovered in looking into it:

Yes, Ash stains well. Ash accepts any color of the stain easily because of having large pores structure. Basic oil stains penetrate evenly through ash wood and do not turn into a blotchy surface like many other kinds of wood. Ash can stain evenly without losing its beautiful grain and texture.

But that’s not all there is to know about does ash stain well and how to stain ash properly.

So, in this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about staining ash wood. such as best stain for ash wood, does ash need to be conditioned before staining, how to get dak stain on ash and many other frequently asked questions about ash staining.

So, let’s get going!

Is Ash Wood Easy to Stain?

You won’t find any other wood that stain well as ash wood does. The stain will penetrate easily throughout the whole ash wood surface and absorbs the stain well.

Mostly woods with tight grains are hard to stain because of having small pores structure. The vessels that are connected to those pores are small in diameter and cannot penetrate the stain deeply inside.

Pine, cherry, maple, and birch are some common wood examples that are hard to stain.

But when it comes to ash wood, vessels that are connected to pores structure are large. Therefore, the stain will easily penetrate deeply into the ash wood surface evenly without making blotches and streaks.  

Those vessels absorb lots of stains and display a dramatic look without destroying the smooth wood grain. As you can see, ash wood is easy to stain when compared to many other kinds of wood that we use in our day-to-day lives.

Best Stain for Ashwood?

Any color of stain absorbs evenly throughout the ash wood surface without any issue. But you need to make sure the undertone of ash wood matches with stain color perfectly.

Otherwise, you’ll mostly end up with a bad appearance and wood will look older than it is.

Ashwood has a beige to light brown undertone with straight attractive wood grain. So, you need to pick up the right stain product that matches the color of the ash wood so well.

Here are some of the best stains for ash wood available in the market.

  • General finishes oil-based gel stain
  • Minwax penetrating wood finish
  • Varathane classic wood interior stain
  • Rust-oleum ultimate stain
  • Ready Seal exterior stain and sealer

So, let’s discuss each of the stain products one by one with their specifications and how they act on the ash wood surface to give the nice tone you wish.

General Finishes Oil-based Gel Stain on Ash Wood

General finishes oil-based gel stain is known as one of the best stain products for ash wood.

It has a very complex formula that is specially designed to penetrate deep inside the wood evenly.

Because of having a gel, it can avoid uneven application and spillage more than any other type of wood stain.

Even though ash wood is very much less prone to the blotchy surface, by using General finishes oil-based gel stain you’ll be able to guarantee there will be no single blotch or streak all over the wood.

Most importantly, General finishes oil-based gel stain does not mask out the beautiful wood grain of ash wood.

There are some occasions I notice woods with large pores structures as ash wood overly absorb stains and that’ll waste lots of stains with no use.

But by using General finishes oil-based gel stain, will limit the amount of absorption all over the ash wood reduces wastage.

Drying Time8 Hours
The number of coats needs to applySingle coat for a nice finish Three coats for a rich finish
ApplicationsFor all interior furniture and woodwork

Minwax Penetrating Wood Finish on Ash Wood

Minwax penetrating wood finish is a common product that use to stain ash wood among woodworkers.

Minwax penetrating wood finish penetrates deeply inside the ash wood and highlights the wood grain.

It does not mask the wood grain and stain evenly all over the ash wood surface.

After applying two-three coats, you’ll recognize a unique color tone that can go deep color with a high number of coats and can go lighter using mineral spirit.

Minwax penetrating wood finish is great for new ash wood projects, and it acts best with sealer.

Here are some specifications I’ve noticed working with Minwax penetrating wood finish on asking wood.

Drying Time2 Hours
The number of coats needs to apply2-3 Coats
ApplicationsCabinetry, Wood furniture, Doors

Varathane Classic Wood Interior Stain on Ash Wood

Varathane classic wood interior stain is great for interior woodworks and furniture made of ash wood which is easy to use and enhances the natural wood grain by taking stain evenly.

By applying Varathane classic wood interior stain on ash wood, you’ll be able to get the rich appearance as you wish.

It only gives shade to the ash wood but also protects the wood from environmental elements.

You can clean Varathane classic wood interior stain using mineral spirit and ultimately it’ll give the attractive rich color to your beautiful ash wood furniture.

Drying Time2 Hours
The number of coats needs to apply2 Coats
ApplicationsInterior furniture

Rust-Oleum Ultimate Stain on Ash Wood

Rust-Oleum Ultimate stain is great for ash wood flooring because of its high-grade exceptional quality.

It also has the fast-drying ability and mostly single coat of rust oleum ultimate stain will do the job perfectly.

It will enhance the natural grain of the ash wood without masking it out and penetrate evenly throughout the ash wood surface without any issue.

It seals the ash wood perfectly and gives moisture resistance as well. Therefore, while keeping beautiful natural grain, ash wood will be protected from environmental defects.

Drying Time1 Hour
The number of coats needs to apply1 Coat
ApplicationsInterior furniture, Wood floors, Cabinets

Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer on Ash Wood

Ready seal exterior stain is great for ask wood outdoor furniture. This product does sealing and staining tasks both.

Therefore, Ready seal exterior stain and sealer can change the tone of the ash wood while giving good protection to the wood at the same time.

This is why Ready seal exterior stain and sealer is considered as one of the best stain products for outdoor ash wood woodworking projects and furniture.

Mostly Ready seal exterior stain and sealer have natural cedar wood color, but it has many other shades as well. You can select what color tone matches your ash wood best according to your personal preferences.

Most importantly, Ready exterior stain will penetrate to your ash wood surface in several minutes and stain evenly.

Staining does not slow down because of outsider temperature variations and no back brushing is needed.

Whenever you want to reapply the stain, you don’t have to sand or strip the wood. Therefore, the application is so much easier than many other stain products.

Drying Time48 – 72 Hours
The number of coats needs to apply2-3 Coats
ApplicationsExterior furniture, Wood floors

Now you have a clear idea about what are the best stain products you should go with when working with ash wood to get the finish as you wish.

Does Ash Need Wood Conditioner Before Staining?

Ash is known as one of the easiest woods to stain. Ashwood stains well and evenly throughout the wood without the need for a wood conditioner.

So, there is no need of applying wood conditioner on ash wood before staining.

Because ash wood takes stains well and evenly without making streaks or blotchy surfaces.

How to Stain Ash?

Ashwood is easy to stain evenly than any other wood, because of having a large pore structure with nice wood grain.

Here are some requirements you need to have before stain ash wood.

  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Stain
  • Rags
  • Gloves
  • Paintbrush

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to stain ash wood properly.

  1. Clean and sand the wood.
  2. Apply the stain.
  3. Let the wood dry completely.
  4. Apply the second coat of stain.
  5. Let the wood dry completely after the second coat.

So, let’s discuss each of the above steps one by one to get a good idea about staining ash wood evenly.

1. Clean and Sand the Ash Wood

First, you need to sand the ash wood using 220 grit sandpaper. Never go for any finer sandpaper, because if you have sanded with too coarse grit, the wood will scratch and destroy its beautiful wood grain.

So, do the sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and remove the sawdust using a damp cloth.

After you have done the sanding all over the wood, leave the wood for 24 hours until it dries completely before applying a stain.

2. Apply the Stain

When you step on to this stage you need to have a clear idea about what type of stain matches your ash wood to fulfill your purpose of staining.

So, take the stain can, dip the paintbrush in it too, and apply the stain all over wood along its wood grain to take the stain evenly.

When you’re applying stain, stain pigments will send through large pores structure of ash wood and create dark deep color in wood grain.

If you have gone with a thin coat of stain, you’ll end up with the lighter color of wood grain and if you have gone for a thick coat of stain, the dark deeper color of wood grain will result.

I highly recommend always going with a thin coat of stains. They are easy to dry and highlight the beautiful wood grain of ash wood is evenly more.

To get the dark deep color you want, make sure to increase the number of coats, not the thickness of the individual coat.

3. Let the wood Dry Completely

After the application of stain all over the ash wood evenly, let the wood dry completely before going for the second stain coating.

The average drying time of ash wood is nearly 24 hours.

Before applying the second coat of stain, you need to make sure the wood is completely dry because a wet surface will eventually destroy the wood.

4. Apply the Second Coat and Let the Wood Dry

After the wood is completely dried after the first coat, go for a second coat of staining along the wood grain of ash wood.

The stain will penetrate through the large pores structure of ash wood within 15 minutes.

Once you’re done staining evenly all over the surface, let the wood dry completely for nearly 24 hours before finishing the task.

Likewise, you can apply several coats of stain until the wood reaches the color you want, for dark deep colors go for a higher number of coats, and for lighter results go for less number of coats of stain.

But always make sure to dry the wood completely between two the application of two coats.

How to Get Dark Stain on Ash?

You can get the dark stain on ash by applying dark color stain on ash wood, or by applying a higher number of stain coats on ash wood.

My recommendation is to always go with dark color stain if you’re looking to get dark stain color on ash wood because you can get the result without wasting stain and spillage. 

Did I cover all you wanted to know about: Does Ash Stain Well?

So, in this article I have deeply talked about does ash stain well and how to stain ash properly without getting into any trouble.

Ash is known as one of the easiest woods to stain evenly, but you should always make sure to buy quality stain products and apply stain along its wood grain to achieve the best results.

We have discussed the best stain products available in the market that goes well with ash wood with their specifications and applications.

Now you know what stain product is good to use for your ash wood furniture according to its application.

Also, we have mentioned step by step process to stain ash wood evenly and with that, even a beginner in woodworking can do the job successfully while having fun.

Hope you’ve gained good knowledge about does ash stain well and how to stain your beautiful flooring, ash furniture, cabinets, or other woodworks easily. So, let’s give it a try and have fun in woodworking!

Walter Parker is a woodworking enthusiast. He is passionate about woodworking projects & plays with woodworking tools having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Woodworking Planet. He wants to make people love woodworking! Read More About Him! Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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