Dry Brushing Stain
Dry brushing stain is an acquired skill. Dry brushing in general is a term used to describe several different techniques like brushing stain over a painted surface, brushing to achieve a distressed look, brushing to highlight specific areas on a stained piece of furniture or wood, etc.
Dry brushing stain in this case was used to darken and highlight the grain on hand stained and wiped maple. The customer had factory finished cabinets and they wanted us to match that finish on new trim/doors and on a custom staircase.
Maple is a softwood so first it needed to be sanded and preconditioned. You usually want to precondition any soft wood prior to staining to achieve a uniform appearance. The “softer” areas of the wood soak up the preconditioner and this help to achieve a more uniform finished piece.
We make our own preconditioner on site and adjust the formula accordingly. We then sanded again and hand stained the wood using pieces of sheep skin. Once stained and dry we dry brushed additional stain to achieve the desired look. Often if you try to wipe stain a second time you will “wake up” the original coat of stain and actually remove stain from the wood rather then add to it.