How to Stain Black Locust Wood?

Black Locust wood is a beautiful wood, the color of the wood can be pale greenish-yellow to a darker brown. It is an excellent choice for making beautiful furniture, fence posts, boat building, flooring, etc.

Black Locust wood is an extremely hard, durable, and stable hardwood. It is native to the Central-Eastern United States. The wood of the black locust comes from deciduous trees, which are 12 to 18 m (40 to 60 ft) medium-sized hardwood trees.

Why should you stain Black Locust Wood?

Staining preserves the natural color of the wood and also closes the open pores of the wood so that the wood does not absorb moisture. Staining makes the wood live longer and reduces the cost of maintenance.

Woods that change their color over time, such as black locust wood, mahogany, etc. The stain preserves the natural color of the wood for a long time.

Stain Black Locust wood

Oil-based stain is an excellent choice for black locust hardwood while a water-based stain is used for softwood.  Oil-based stains take time to dry and have a strong odor. It provides a uniform finish and won’t make lap marks.

There are many different types of wood grain stains such as Oil-Based Stain, Water Based, Lacquer, Water-Soluble Dye, Metal Dye, Varnish Wood, and Gel.  

Step 1: Sanding and Cleaning


The first and most important step is sanding. The main reason for sanding is to remove scratches, and dings from the wood and open pores, allowing more stains to absorb and creating a darker and more vibrant color.

Start with 80-grit sandpaper to remove any small dents and move up to 120-grit to get the surface smooth. But if you are working with fresh or new wood that hasn’t been painted or stained, you can start with 100-grit and finish with two passes of 120-grit.

After sanding the wood, clean the wood surface with a wet cloth so that all the dust from the surface is thoroughly cleaned.

Step 2: Apply pre-stained wood conditioner 

Usually, a wood conditioner is not required for locust wood. You can apply a stain without a wood conditioner. But using wood conditioner creates a much more uniform stain coat and provides extra protection to stain for long life.

Wood conditioner helps the wood to accept wood stains evenly and create a uniform look.

A wood conditioner is used for softwoods such as pine, cherry, maple, birch, and alder. These woods are the most likely to blotch. Wood conditioner seals the wood to even out the rate of stain absorption and eliminates the possibility of blotchy staining.

Apply 2 coats of wood conditioner to get the best result and apply the second coat after the first coat is completely dry. Generally, the wood conditioner dries in 5 to 15 minutes.

Before proceeding to the next step, make sure that the wood conditioner is completely dry.

Step 3: Stain the wood

Stain the wood

Use a clean rag or cloth to apply stain because it is a great way to control the amount of stain. Avoid sponges because when you apply them on wood it absorbs the stain causing an uneven stain.

Apply the double coats of stain evenly in the direction of the black locust wood grain. Oil-based stains take five to fifteen minutes to penetrate the wood but allow the first coat stain to dry for 2 to 3 hours so that the color becomes darker than applying the second coat.

Step 4: Wipe off excess stain 

Remove the excess stain with a clean rag. Oil-based dries very quickly, so clean off the excess stain before drying. If the stain is too dry, loosen it by applying the stain and rubbing it vigorously.

Step 5: Apply Sealant as Needed

Sealant is a clear coating that is applied to protect wood surfaces from moisture and dust. It does not affect the stain color. If you are working on an exterior project then you must use sealant.

Important Things You Should Always Keep In Mind


Stains and varnish contain various amounts of harmful organic chemicals or VOCs, which can make you allergic, so before working, cover the exposed part of your body and wear safety glasses to keep the stain out of your eyes.

Dust-free environment and clean tools

Use a clean brush and rag, and choose a dust-free environment. Because there is a high probability that the dust sticks to the surface of the wood along with its stain. So that your stain gets spoiled and does not get a smooth finish.


Black Locust Wood is a beautiful wood that can be used for both exterior and interior purposes. The stain enhances the natural appearance of the wood as well as protects the wood from moisture.

There are many ways to stain Black Locust wood. Some people like to use a sealer to protect the wood from moisture and other elements. Others like to use a stain that will give the wood a more natural appearance. 

Others like to use a natural wood finish that is made with oil, wax, or beeswax. Whatever finish you choose, be sure to read the instructions carefully to ensure a perfect result.