Stain is a type of finish that is applied to wood to enhance its appearance but keep the natural texture of the wood visible. Stain can either change the color, like a redwood stain or protect the layer with a clear coating.

    Stains and paints are similar, but the difference is that paint is meant to cover a surface with a flat color while stain adds color or coating without removing the visible grain of the wood. Various types of woods affect how well a stain will absorb into the surface. Stains can be oil or water-based. The advantage of oil-based stain is that the coats look more even and the stain will last longer, although it takes longer to dry during the process. Water-based stain dries quickly and can patch quickly, but needs more coats for an even look on the wood.