Best Stain for Pine

The most common wood used by almost every homeowner and woodworker is pine, partially because it is readily available and partially because it is affordable. But many new woodworkers would instead opt for pine than hardwood because they think they are easy to work with, so they literary avoid them. However, I would rather tell you the truth that pine comes in handy with its challenges, either machining the wood or staining and finishing the wood, but it has its challenges.

Most home pine projects you undertake will require you to stain or varnish them. However, you may find it challenging to choose the right stain for your pine, as they come in a wide variety. But you shouldn’t worry about that. In this guide, I will walk you through the different types of wood stains available for your pine, so you can complete your project and achieve the best results. Take your time to read this article carefully, and you will get the best results.

What to consider when buying stain for pine

  • Type of stain – you will find different varieties of pine stains in the market, such as water, oil, and gel. You must know that each variety has its advantages and disadvantages. Oil-based stains pride themselves on their durability and the minimal maintenance they require. On the other hand, water-based stains are quick to dry with low odour. In addition, compared to water and oil-based stains, gel stains are thicker and thus easier to apply. Moreover, they will give your pine project a bright but transparent colour. 
  • Stain colour and transparency – you will find stains for the pine of various transparencies and colours. You should never put your pine wood project at stake for mere guesswork. That’s why you should purchase stains of different kinds and colours, then apply the same in patches on a piece of scrap wood. However, I would advise you to decide the outcome you need before you dedicate your effort and time to the entire staining work. That’s why colour is of the essence in the three best stains for pine I am about to recommend. 
  • Absorption – you will need a stain for your pine wood project that absorbs well and leaves no room for blotching. Compared to other wood species, pine wood will absorb different stains differently from one spot to another, thus posing a significant challenge to pine staining. Some colours will leave your pine wood darker and light at other parts, thus blotching the wood, and if you are a severe woodworker as I trust you are, you will cringe at this. Luckily, the stains I recommend come in handy as a solution to this issue.

3 best stains for pine

1. Minwax 70004 Ipswich Pine Wood Finish Oil-Based Wood Stain – Editor’s choice

You would never wish to go wrong on your pine wood project. Right? Well, Minwax pine wood stain penetrates deep into your pine wood. This oil-based stain offers beautiful colour and enhances your pine wood’s natural grain in just a single coat. And if you have an interior pine wood project you would like to stain; this is a perfect choice.

I was impressed by how this stain dries fast and thus making the staining of pine wood projects quicker. Thanks to its unique formula, the stain will have penetrated the pine wood pores within 15 minutes of applying. In addition to fast-drying, Minwax pine wood stain resists lapping, enhancing beauty in your pine wood project. 

The best thing about Minwax Pine Wood Stain is that you don’t have to be an expert to use it, as it is easy to apply. With just a wood stain brush or a clean cloth, you will apply it towards your pine wood grain direction. After five to 15 minutes of using, wipe away any excess stain. I wouldn’t wait for long since the colour may become darker. If you need deeper colours, you will need to reapply coats.


  • It dries fast and quicker.
  • It offers rich, even colour to your pine wood project.
  • It is easy to apply. 
  • It offers beautiful and light pine colour.
  • Perfect for interior pine wood staining.


  • Old stock may be insufficient for your pine wood staining project.

Varathane Oil-Based Interior Wood Stain, Rust-Oleum Brands 211714H – Runners up

Varathane Oil-based Interior Wood Stain offers excellent and more natural colour to your pine wood projects. The stain is embedded with a high-performance oil-based formula, which ensures the stain penetrates deeper into your pine wood and offers more authentic colours. 

And with this stain, you will not have to worry about its drying up since within two hours at most, the stain will have dried to touch. But check this out! Wiping this stain applies even without even blotching or frequent stirring. After just two hours, it will be ready for recoating. I noticed that this stain enhances wood grain details for pine wood with a durable translucent stain, credited to its premium pigments. 


  • It dries fast, within one to two hours.
  • It penetrates deep into the pine wood.
  • Thanks to its superior soy oil base formula, it offers more authentic colours.
  • It enhances the natural wood grain detail of the pine wood.


  • It may be darker than regular Ipswich pine.

Defy Extreme Wood Stain Natural Pine – The budget choice

This is the perfect choice if you want a low-budget yet effective stain for your pine wood project. Defy Extreme Wood Stain is a water-based stain that will allow your pine wood grain to show through only with a beautiful semi-transparent, natural matte finish.

One thing that impressed me with this cost-effective stain is it is like sunscreen to any pine wood, thanks to its zinc Nano-particle technology. This technology reflects UV rays and protects your pinewood from premature colour loss and greying.


  • It is durable and of quality.
  • It is easy to apply and maintain.
  • It reflects damaging UV rays.
  • It allows the pine wood grain to show.


  • If instructions are not followed keenly, they may not deliver the intended results.


I don’t doubt that all you need is the best outcome for your pine wood project. That is why I have gone the extra step to recommend to you the best of the stains in the market that will deliver the best results ever. Minwax is the perfect choice for deep penetration and beauty of your pine.

Varathane Oil-based Interior Wood Stain is the best for more authentic colours and easy drying; that is why it won the runners-up position. And if you want your pine wood grain to show, Defy Extreme Wood Stain is the perfect water-based stain for the job at a low budget.