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  • Nathan Singleton

Stain your bamboo

Whether you're Barry Scott, Ali G or a church window we all love stains. Staining bamboo can bring your old bamboo feature back to life or simply make it stand out that little bit more.

Whilst the natural bamboo gloss doesnt always take stains and varnishes as well as we would like there are still ways to get a great finish with a bit of work. Below we will show you the first way of getting that stain in the grain! (part 2 to follow).

Step 1 - Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Give your bamboo a good old wash with a non-abrasive cloth and a bit of dish soap and water. You can even use our eco friendly bamboo cleaner to speed things up. Let the bamboo dry completely before moving onto step two.

Step 2 - Rough it up.

Use a fine-grained sandpaper to lightly sand and remove the bamboo's natural waxy layer. All bamboo has this layer, and it will prevent the bamboo fibers from accepting the stain. Pay particular attention to the rough areas of the bamboo that may be difficult to get to. If you leave any of the waxy layer, the bamboo will accept stain in some areas, but not in others. This will give the bamboo a mottled look.

  • Be aware that sanding the bamboo will change the character of the bamboo since it removes the bamboo's natural sheen and reduces the nodes.

  • If the bamboo you desire to stain has been left out in the weather for several months, it may have turned a light gray color. Bamboo that has been weathered has lost its tough, waxy outer layer and will readily take a stain, varnish, or paint.

Step 3 - Always use protection.

Staining anything can be a messy job so please make sure to cover the area in newspaper or painter's sheets and get some good rubber gloves on.

Step 4 - Get that stain on like Mr. Miyagi.

Apply your chosen stain with a sponge or rag in wax on wax off circular motions. If you find some areas aren't taking the stain simply wipe, let dry and re-apply. Do not crane kick or karate chop your bamboo.

Step 5 - Let it dry.

Please read the label of your chosen stain and allow to dry for the recommended time. It's literally like watching paint dry but it's important.

Step 6 - Let it shine.

It's always best to seal your bamboo stain with a good quality varnish to bring back that shine you spent ages sanding away. Without varnish your bamboo could dry out and become brittle or take on moisture and become mouldy.

Step 7 - Enjoy.

Bamboo is a beautiful material so treat it right and enjoy it for many years. We unfortunately don't have a picture to go with this step but would absolutely love to see some so please send us pictures of you enjoying your beautiful bamboo.

Thanks for reading,


BS Bamboo

01282 863088