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Can I Stain Damaged Wood Veneer? (video included)

Let's just say you're out in the garage one day, sanding away on a nightstand, daydreaming about the gorgeous new stain color you want to use for the top when... you burn through the veneer.

You're thinking, "Well great. Now I have to paint it to hide the repairs!"

...Or do you?

Well, yeah. You'll probably have to paint it. But don't lose hope! I'm gonna let you in on a little secret—you can still achieve a GORGEOUS stained look by staining over your paint!

It's a simple technique that I use all the time to create grain-like blended finishes on wood furniture. Grab a brush, some rags, and your favorite stain, and let's get to work!


✔ A prepped wood surface

✔ Paint and paint applicator

✔ Your stain of choice and stain applicator

✔ Some rags

✔ Top coat, optional—check to see if your stain has a top coat built in!

For the demo in the video below, I used Fusion's Stain and Finishing Oil in the color Cappuccino. SFO is one of my go-to stains, especially for blended looks. Not only is it a great product to work with, but its built-in topcoat also makes it extremely durable. No extra topcoat is required! I've used this product on literally hundreds of dressers and different tabletops and it is phenomenal.

The stain-over-paint finish we're creating today is one of my most requested styles for accent areas like the tops of dressers. It gives such a cool look and is a great way to keep that wood-like feel while hiding any damaged or unattractive wood grain underneath.

Here's the wood furniture piece we're flipping -

You'll see that at this point, I've already painted it with Fusion Mineral Paint's Raw Silk. I love this creamy, off-white color to brighten up a piece without being too stark. As I've done here—make sure to let your painted furniture sit for at least 24 hours before moving onto the next steps! This will make sure your paint is fully dried and won't lift when you blend your stain over it.

Also yes, two of the drawers have totally different knobs on them right now. I haven't decided which direction I want to go with them yet (don't rush me, okay?!), so we're just going to sit with both options for a minute.

Let's get started!

Grab your Fusion Stain and Finishing Oil (I used the color Cappuccino for this piece). a foam brush, and some rags. You can do this technique with any stain, too! I particularly love this SFO or the Lilly Moon Gel Stains.

One of the things I love about SFO is that it has an open time of 10 minutes. That means that you have a full 10 minutes to work with the product on your furniture before you need to walk away. And yes, do you need to put down your brush and walk away at that 10 minute mark to avoid ruining your beautiful new stained surface!

We're just going to apply the stain with a good-quality foam brush like you would on an unpainted surface. I personally like to work in long strokes from one end of the dresser to the other for consistency. The trick with this process is more in how we wipe back the product than how it's applied.

Once your stain is evenly applied, go grab those lint-free shop rags. (I like these!).

Now all I do is wipe back the stain in those same long strokes we used to apply it. As soon as one section of my rag is loaded up with stain, I'll flip and fold it to have a nice clean piece. Keep wiping back the stain until you reach your desired look. For the piece in this video, I wanted a lighter look so I wiped it back more.

| Pro tip - When I'm working on a long piece like a dresser, I like to set my brush or rag in the right spot, then walk the length of the dresser. This makes sure you're keeping your lines nice and straight along the length of the piece. |

And here we go! The final look! I was really happy with this finish, so I only did one coat. If you want to build the color more you can wait for this to dry fully, then repeat the process.

If you try out this technique, I'd love to see! Be sure to tag @borninabarnboutique on Instagram!

What technique would you like to see next? Let us know in the comments!


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