Unfinished Wood Bookcases
We suggest bookcases made out of real wood with quality
that can't be hidden under a layer of paint.
Few peices of furniture are more attractive and add more warmth and character to a room
than unfinished wood bookcases. They will have been chosen from the most appropriate woods and
hand finished by the owner with the stains or paints to fit his or her own unique requirements. Then they will be
populated with the most cherished books and objects, be they knicknacks, memoirs or collectibles. There are truly
few things that can match an unfinished wood bookcase for sheer character and uniqueness.
Since bookcases usually occupy a central place in homes, they are chosen with care to make
a statement and few objects make a clearer statement than an unfinished furniture bookcase. The quality stares you
in the face because there is nothing to hide—the quality of the wood and construction is open for all to see,
unlike in many peices of finished furniture which attempt to hide inferior materials and other defects.
The process of staining the wood is a craft that should not be allowed to fade into
history and it is a great way to learn patience, pride in work and develop the artistic nature inherrent in all of
us. The result is usually a peice of furniture that will proudly be passed through the generations. This is an
excellent activity for families to participate in and to teach children follow through and responsiblity—a far
better activity than sitting in front of the TV.
Unfinished Wood Bookcase Staining Tips
Each solid wood bookcase is an original work of nature, with its own grain pattern, color
and character. Most unfinished peices need some additional sanding before finishing. The trick is to always sand in
the direction of the grain. Though painting and varnishing are viable options, one of the most common finish
choices is staining and top coating. Here are the steps and tips to acheiving the best results:
- Fill all nail holes with wood fill, making sure it is of a type that accepts stain.
- Sand in the direction of the grain, not against it. On pine use #150 sandpaper
and on hardwoods use # 120.
- Make sure to stir all cans and read all instructions on the
- Apply the stain in the direction of
the grain by brushing it on and then wiping it off right away.
- Do small areas at at time.
- Stain the entire piece inside and out.
- If you need a darker color, allow the first coat to dry thoroughly and then apply a second coat of
- Apply polyurethane using long, even strokes and allow to dry.
- Sand lightly with finer sandpaper, perhaps a #400, remembering to sand with the grain. Then remove all
- Repeat the coat of polyurethane and follow with a repeat of the #400 sandpaper as above, removing all
- Apply a third coad of polyurethane and allow to dry thoroughly.
- Apply paste finishing wax using #0000 steel wool. This will depend on whether you use oil-based polyurethane
only. Allow to dry for about 15 minutes and then buff with a soft cloth.
- Allow a minimum of 48 hours to dry. Some products may need longer cure times.
Below are a couple of videos illustrating the staining of wood:
How To Stain
Types of Wood Stain