You invested in bamboo furniture as they are durable, sustainable, and overall natural aesthetic. However, there might be instances when you think of changing the colour of the bamboo to better fit your interior design. Or maybe you simply want to restore faded bamboo furniture—its vibrant hue is long gone because of the years of use.
No matter what your reasons are, you don’t have to replace or discard your bamboo furniture. Instead, you can try staining it. Doing so not only enhances its colour but also protects it from irreparable damage.
However, staining bamboo can be quite overwhelming for beginners. You must follow a set of instructions to ensure it would stick to the surface and look good. To guide you, here are some tips on how to properly stain your bamboo furniture.
6 Tips on How to Stain Your Bamboo Furniture
1. Clean Your Bamboo Furniture
Before staining your bamboo furniture, you must clean its surfaces first. This would ensure that the paint or stain would properly adhere to your furniture.
First, you should prepare a cleaning solution. You can use detergent or a strong bamboo fence cleaner with water, depending on the use of your furniture (outdoor or interior). Once the cleaning mixture is ready, pour it into a spray bottle for application.
After, you can start spraying your bamboo furniture with the cleaner. Make sure to allow it to stay on the surface for about 30 minutes. Then use a cleaning tool (preferably a nylon bristle brush or a soft cloth) to scrub off all the dirt, mould, or residue found on the bamboo surface.
Tip: To remove stubborn mould growth on your bamboo furniture, you can try adding vinegar to your cleaning solution. Make sure you remove every trace of it before staining your bamboo.
2. Give Time to Air-Dry Bamboo
Once you have thoroughly cleaned your bamboo furniture, you should allow it to air-dry for at least two days. This would ensure that the furniture is completely free of any moisture.
Apart from letting bamboo dry, you also have to protect it from exposure to rain, wet weather, or accidental water spillages. Doing so minimizes any complications when you apply the stain to the furniture.
3. Sand the Surface
After the bamboo furniture is completely dry, you can start preparing its surface for proper absorption of the stain. It’s extremely important to do so since bamboo has a natural protective coating that makes bonding a challenging task.
Use a 100 grit sandpaper to gently remove the top layer of the bamboo’s protective covering. You should then grab a 200 grit sandpaper to roughen the furniture’s entire surface. Make sure to sand the furniture following the grain of the bamboo. You should alternately clean the sand dust using a tack cloth.
Once you’re done, wipe the furniture with a slightly damp cloth. Avoid getting the bamboo too wet as it would cause warping.
Tip: You don’t have to sand bamboo furniture if it has developed a greyish appearance because of sun exposure. This simply means the natural protective coating of bamboo has already faded.
4. Check the Environment
By now, you’ve cleaned and sanded your bamboo furniture in preparation for the staining. The next step would be to ensure that your environmental conditions are fit and ideal for the actual staining.
Make sure that the temperature is not overly humid or hot. Do not stain bamboo furniture below 10°C (50°F). You should also check weather forecast for the next two days. If rain is expected, you might want to postpone staining the furniture as it should be allowed to properly dry.
5. Wear Protective Equipment
It’s important to wear latex gloves in order to protect your hands from the staining product. You may also want to wear safety glasses to shield your eyes from possible splashes. In addition, you should keep your children and pets away from the project area until the stain is completely dry.
Lastly, use newspapers or plastic covers to keep the stain or colour off your floors and other pieces of furniture.
6. Apply the Stain
Now that you’ve cleaned, sanded, and checked the safety of people around you, you can finally start applying the stain to the bamboo furniture.
Grab a brush or sponge and soak it with the staining product. Then carefully apply the stain in an up and down motion, making sure to work in the direction of the bamboo grain. Let the first coat dry and apply paint using the opposite side of the brush or sponge. Alternatively, you can use a spray to stain hard-to-reach areas.
Make sure to constantly check for missed spots then apply another layer of stain, if needed. Feel free to re-apply your staining product until you reach your desired colour.
Once you have entirely coated the furniture, you should wipe off the excess stain using a rag or an old cloth.
Lastly, apply a varnish to further protect the surface of your bamboo furniture.
Staining your bamboo furniture is ideal if you want to enhance its natural color and achieve a protective layer. At first, the process might be daunting to beginners. However, if you follow these simple tips, you’ll have a piece of furniture that you are completely satisfied with.
George Katsoudas is a Digital Marketing Professional who works as the Managing Director of Low Cost SEO, a digital marketing firm in Sydney, and a Digital Media Manager for House of Bamboo, offering Australia a premium bespoke design option for all things bamboo and sustainable materials.
Established in 1972, House of Bamboo is Australia’s trusted source of eco-friendly and high-quality natural materials that are known for their bespoke designs. Our range encompasses sustainable bamboo feature panels, wall cladding, ceiling panels, rattan cane webbing, and DIY maintenance products such as WOCA oil, bamboo cleaner, and bamboo protector.