DBIW Cabinetry & Woodwork

Finishing-Step Three-Raising the Grain


Raising the grain aids in stain absorption

Continuing the fundamentals of woodwork, we reach an important step in preparing to use a dye based stain for your project.

We begin by raising the grain of the wood. The only tools you need for this step is a sponge and some water.

Water soaks into the wood and swells the fibers, resulting in fine “whiskers” on an otherwise perfectly sanded surface. This is necessary to  raise the grain of the wood, deliberately. You can then sand off the whiskers before applying water-based dyes.

To do this, simply take a clean sponge or rag soaked in warm water, wet the surface of the wood, and let it dry. Once the wood dries lightly sand off the raised whiskers with 320 grit sandpaper, sand only enough to remove the whiskers; too much sanding will cut through to the un-raised grain underneath, defeating the purpose. It’s important here to remember. Use a sanding block on flat surfaces. You also need to remember, this process should be repeated a couple of times.

By the third wetting you should feel no more raised grain.


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