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The Lost Art of Wiping Stain

wiping stain windows project
Photo: Basurto Painting

Have you heard about the lost art of staining? Here’s a project we were recently consulted on due to our expertise in the meticulous practice of wiping stain! Staining is a bit of a lost art, so it requires the right painters with the proper skill sets. Though everything may seem straightforward, staining demands a high level of expertise and care for your craft. For this project, we were assigned to stain the windows on this beautiful home in West San Jose!

The owner had a vision for her home and expected nothing less than we’re able to provide- the highest level of our expertise for her home! 

A Client with a Vision

The owner knows her home’s value and wanted it treated with respect, so it was important to hire the right professionals to do the work correctly. Not every painter or painting company will know how to do fine finish work, like the ‘wiping stain’ she desired for her windows. There are many clients who see their home as an investment and only want certain professionals to handle their home, since only they will handle it with the appropriate care!

This client took matters into her own hands and began going to her local paint store to get a match of the stain she needed. She had described to the paint salesman that there were painters currently working on her stain, but she wasn’t completely satisfied. The salesman, knowing the client’s demand for fine-finish artisanship, suggested giving us a call saying “If anyone’s going to help you, it’s Nico and his team at Basurto Painting!”

Our team worked hard to get the windows to be the perfect shade. She was still very skeptical, and asked to be shown the first couple of windows to make sure it was the correct shade of stain. We worked diligently the week through to get the correct level of stain. On the fourth day, she was satisfied with the look and let us carry on, but called us back to adjust anything that wasn’t a perfect reflection of what she wanted and expected from Basurto Painting.

Making our Wiping Stain Mark

“Do you find difficulty behind every opportunity or opportunity behind every difficulty?” Even though this quote came to us via a fortune cookie, it encapsulates our mindset. We at Basurto Painting didn’t shy away from the difficulties of doing the wiping stain but rather took it as an opportunity. Where we could’ve easily declined, instead we stepped up our game, built up our relationship with the homeowner, with the contractor, and helped solved the problem they had at hand. In the end, a good reciprocal relationship was established. 

Wiping stain consists of a color liquid that, when applied to raw wood, changes the wood color and enhances the wood grain to a beautiful finish. This is how we stained our client’s windows to perfection:

We began by cleaning all raw wood surfaces by lightly sanding, to remove grease, dirt, wood glue, and mill glaze.

Next, we removed all the hardware, such as handles, locks, weather strips, etc. Every piece was labeled to ease its re-installation.

We then test the color on the frame for absorbency and the desired color intensity. In some cases a wood conditioner is used to help eliminate blotchiness in the wood.

Once the stained wood dries, it has to be dusted/vacuum to remove the dust and debris. From there, the first coat of the selected protective coating is applied. This can be either a waterbase, waterborne, or a solvent base.

A second and sometimes even a third coat of clear protective material is applied, depending on the porosity of the wood.

When fully dry, every hardware piece is re-installed and tested for proper fit and function, and then the window is at last ready to be returned to the window jam!

Do you have a wiping stain project that requires the highest of standards? Please schedule an appointment with us today, and we’ll walk you through our complimentary consultation. We specialize in the jobs other painters turn down, the custom homes that call for incredible quality backed by a lifetime of industry knowledge and experience. Call today, and see if you’ll make us your go-to painter. Maybe you resonate with this client that has Elevated Standards, who chose us when she needed her fixed windows, swing-out windows, fixed door panels, doors, and some second-story windows done with an elegant wiping stain. Complete the fine-finish residential painting your home deserves by contacting Basurto Painting at (408) 206-4906 or