How to Stain Pine to Look Like Oak? (4 Steps)

Pine wood is an affordable softwood with a light color shade, ranging from yellow to light brown. Oak wood is an expensive hardwood with a light, gold, or medium brown color shade.

You can stain Pine wood to look like Oak wood by applying a dark oak wood stain color shade over it. The oak wood stain will create the same color shade (or tone) as the Oak wood.

To stain Pine wood to look like Oak wood, prep the Pine wood, apply wood conditioner, apply wood stain, and seal the finish.

Can You Stain Pine To Look Like Oak Wood?

You can stain pine wood to look like oak wood by applying dark oak wood stain color shade. Once the wood stain dries, the finish will make the same color shade (or tone) as oak wood.

While pine can look like oak wood, both wood types will have different grain patterns, and an experienced woodworker can spot the differences. Oak wood has straight-grain patterns while pine wood is riddled with twists, swirls, and knots.

Since pine wood costs less, you can stain it to look like Oak wood. The furniture front parts are made with original oak wood, while the hidden parts are made with pine wood (stained to look like oak).

How to Stain Pine Wood to Look Like Oak Wood?

To stain pine wood to look like Oak wood, do the following things.

  1. Prep the Pine wood.
  2. Apply Wood Conditioner.
  3. Apply Wood Stain.
  4. Seal the Finish.

The tools you need for this project are listed below.

  • Medium-grit and fine-grit sandpaper
  • A portable vacuum
  • Sander
  • Lint-free tack cloth
  • Wood filler
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Wood conditioner
  • Oak wood stain.
  • Painting Equipment.

1. Prep the Pine Wood

Prep the Pine Wood

Clean the Pine wood with a damp rag to remove dust, dirt, and debris that can prevent the wood stain from penetrating and adhering.

Sand the Pine wood with medium-grit sandpaper (100-grit) to remove surface imperfections and bumps. Ensure to sain along the grain and not against it, and don’t apply pressure while staining.

If the Pine wood surface is riddled with imperfections, holes, loose knots, or cracks, apply wood filler to fix the surface imperfections and make the surface even. Once the wood filler dries, sand it with fine-grit sandpaper (220-grit).

2. Apply Wood Conditioner

Apply Wood Conditioner

Apply one (1) wood conditioner coat over the Pine wood to cover the surface pores and prevent stain over-absorption. Ensure to cover the whole wooden surface and wait until the wood conditioner is dry before sanding it with very fine-grit sandpaper (440-grit).

3. Apply Oak Wood Stain

Apply Oak Wood Stain

Apply two (2) oak wood stain coats over the Pine wood using a lint-free cloth. Wait until one coat dries, wipe the excess, sand the finish with ultra fine-grit sandpaper (440-grit), and apply the next coat.

You can use golden oak wood stain, walnut wood stain, or weathered oak oil-based wood stain. Since Oak wood varies in colors, it’s difficult to choose a color shade that makes the pine wood look like it. It’s recommended to test different color shades on small pine wood boards until you find one that you like.

4. Seal the Finish

Seal the Finish

Seal the oak-stained pine wood finish with a moisture-resistant sealer to protect it from moisture, water, scratches, or weather elements. If you want a darker finish, use an oil-based wax sealer, or use polyurethane if you want a lighter finish.


Is Pine Wood Easy to Stain?

No, pine wood is hard to stain as it doesn’t accept wood stains well or even. Pine wood is a softwood type that has uneven texture, knows, and pores.

What is the Closest Color to Oak Wood?

The closest color to Oak wood is golden-brown. If you apply a transparent wood polish over Oak wood, the finish will have a golden-brown color shade. However, the exact color shade depends on the wood type you are using.

White oak is the most popular type used in woodworking and construction and it has a brownish appearance while red oak has pink to red-brown undertones.

Related Read: How To Stain Oak Wood?

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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