Do You Stain Ikea Furniture Before or After Assembly?

Do You Stain Ikea Furniture Before or After Assembly?

Assembling your IKEA furniture can be quite challenging, and you must be careful throughout the entire process. One of the major contemplations when carrying out this process is whether or not IKEA furniture should be stained before or after assembly?

The choice of when to stain your IKEA furniture is solely dependent on certain factors. You can actually stain either before or after assembly, but know that both ways come with their particular advantages and perks as well.

Truth is, staining your IKEA furniture before you assemble them will make things easier for you. But, if you can’t afford the time because your furniture is already in an assembled state, you can go ahead and stain it. In this piece, I’ll share with you the different sides to staining preassembled or dissembled IKEA furniture, and the steps to achieve that.

Can You Stain Your Ikea Furniture Before Assembly?

Do You Stain Ikea Furniture Before or After Assembly?

There are different opinions on when to stain your IKEA furniture. Without taking sides, I’ll like to explain how each choice works and leave the decision to you (deal?) Let’s go!

If you plan to stain your purchased piece afterward, you might consider not assembling it yet. If your piece came already assembled and is quite long, it’s alright to go on with the staining.

However, you should beware that cutting corners will cause the following steps to take longer. 

While some agree that staining before assembly produces a neater finishing, there’s a flip side to this. For one, the stain or primer needs several days to dry out into a complete hardness. So, you can’t guarantee not to scrape off the stain from one piece with another. 

Another factor should you stain before assembly, is having sufficient space to place each piece of furniture so they can dry out well. Except you have a room with a reasonable amount of space, this could be a challenge.

Also, you may not like to spend time you could use for something else staining parts of furniture that will remain hidden. I mean, what’s the use of doing all that work for some pieces of furniture that will never experience daylight? A suitable example is the inner portions of a dresser.  

Should I Stain Ikea Furniture Before or After Assembly?

I’ll suggest that if your IKEA furniture is a new piece, the most effective idea will be to stain before joining the pieces together. There’s no problem post-staining as well, except that the former gives your new purchase a professional outlook. So you may want to do your staining before exploring the ideograms contained in the assembly manual.

Working this way, you’ll get a wider scope and better control, especially in closed corners, and as well prevent excess lags and drips. Ensure you unload the pieces and sort the parts you’ll need to stain from those you won’t, like the cabinet interiors. Below are the vital steps for staining your IKEA furniture:

The project will need; papers or plastic sheets, buckets, trisodium phosphate-TSP, rubber gloves, 180/220 grit sandpaper, sponges, and a clean cloth.

  1. Look for a spacious room, with sufficient light, air, and that is well dried. Set your newspapers or plastic sheets on the ground. Lay out the pieces in an orderly manner, either by placing them on your workbench or setting them up against a surface.

If you’re staining already joined pieces, take out the handles, drawers, and remove the hinges and doors.

  1. Unpolish and wipe the surfaces to roughen the current finish with fine sandpaper. Afterwards, use a bucket to blend half a cup of trisodium phosphate into a gallon of warm water. Apply this solution over the finish of the parts you’re about to stain. Ensure your hands are covered with rubber gloves to protect them from the de-glossing TSP agent.

Pour clean water into another bucket and use a sponge to wash off the TSP. The sponge should stay damp and not drip wet. Allow the entire pieces to dry out, then gently roughen the finish using 180/220 grit sandpaper.

  1. Use a spray can, roller or brush to coat the primer on the exteriors. Make sure the primer is shellac based or a solid latex, so it’ll glue to the finish, making the new paint stick. A single thin coat of primer is enough.

Next, you scuff the primer with 220-grit sandpaper when it is dried. Scuffing amidst coats creates the distinction between a regular finish and a solid-smooth one. Then you dampen the clean piece of cloth and remove the sanding dust with it.

  1. Paint, roughen, and repeat the process. Buy a spray handgrip that fits on aerosol cans to help you spray with ease. Remember to spray, roll, or brush the first layer of the stain finish.

Is It Better to Stain Ikea Furniture After Assembly?

Do You Stain Ikea Furniture Before or After Assembly?

Staining your IKEA furniture after assembling it is a perfect way to cut corners and dodge the stress that comes with it. When you also think of the time you’ll need to spend staining all the pieces, this option kinda evens out in the end.

If you still decide to stain your furniture assembled, some regions may need to be masked off. To achieve this, use a painter’s tape in order to produce clear lines. Thereby, reducing the chances of the stain overflowing into portions you don’t want it to. 

Also, staining IKEA furniture after assembly grants you the room to paint angles that fill-in the rifts between the pieces. Doing this will result in a more consistent and skilled finish. 

On a final note, there is one critical thing people who choose to pre-stain their furniture don’t put into consideration. Ever thought of what would happen if after staining the entire piece, you discover there’s a missing gear? After staining the furniture, you know it won’t be possible to return it.    

By now, you should know what you’re in for, whether you decide to stain your IKEA furniture before or after assembly.

Gui Hadlich

Hi there! I'm Gui. I've had to move 12 times in the last 6 years, and I've learned a thing or two about moving, decorating, and buying and selling furniture. I've started Budget Friendly Furnishing with the intent of helping people furnish their homes in style without having to break the bank!

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