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How to Stain a Wooden Sword: Unleash Your Inner Warrior

How to Stain a Wooden Sword: Unleash Your Inner Warrior


Wooden swords are not just for kids' playtime; they can also serve as elegant decorations or even functional training tools for martial arts enthusiasts. To make your wooden sword stand out and protect it from the elements, staining is an essential step. Staining not only enhances the sword's aesthetics but also helps preserve the wood. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of staining a wooden sword, turning it into a beautiful, functional work of art.

Materials You'll Need

Before you begin, gather the following materials:

  1. Wooden Sword: You can either purchase a pre-made wooden sword or craft one yourself.

  2. Sandpaper: Different grits (from coarse to fine) for smoothing the wood's surface.

  3. Stain: Choose a wood stain of your preferred color. Water-based stains are user-friendly and less toxic, but oil-based stains offer a more traditional look.

  4. Brushes: A variety of brushes, including foam brushes, a bristle brush, and a fine brush for details.

  5. Staining Rag: An old cloth or an old sock works well.

  6. Drop Cloth: To protect your work area from drips and spills.

  7. Gloves: To protect your hands from the stain.

  8. Safety Gear: Safety glasses and a dust mask for sanding.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Prepare Your Workspace: Find a well-ventilated and well-lit area where you can work comfortably. Lay down a drop cloth to protect your workspace.

  2. Sand the Wooden Sword:

    • Start by sanding the wooden sword to remove any rough spots, splinters, or imperfections. Begin with coarse-grit sandpaper and gradually move to finer grits until the surface is smooth to the touch.
    • Pay special attention to the edges and any carved details to ensure they are smooth.

  3. Clean the Sword: Use a damp cloth to wipe away any sanding residue. Allow the wood to dry completely before proceeding.

  4. Apply the Stain:

    • Shake or stir the stain thoroughly to mix the pigments evenly.
    • Dip your foam brush into the stain and apply an even coat to the wooden sword's surface.
    • Work in the direction of the wood grain to ensure an even finish.
    • If you desire a darker color, you can apply a second coat after the first one dries. Be sure to let each coat dry completely before applying the next.

  5. Detail Work:

    • For any intricate carvings or details, use a fine brush or staining rag to work the stain into those areas.
    • Ensure that all the details are evenly coated, but avoid excess stain buildup, which can lead to streaks and drips.

  6. Allow Drying Time:

    • Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the stain can for drying times, but generally, you should allow the sword to dry for at least 24 hours.

  7. Protective Finish (Optional):

    • If you want to protect the stained finish further, consider applying a clear coat of polyurethane or a similar protective finish. This step is optional but recommended if the sword will be subjected to wear and tear.

  8. Final Inspection:

    • Once the protective finish has dried, give your wooden sword a final inspection for any touch-ups or uneven areas. Make any necessary adjustments with stain or clear coat.


Staining a wooden sword is a rewarding DIY project that can enhance its appearance and durability. Whether you're crafting a wooden sword for display or for practice, taking the time to stain it properly will yield a fantastic result. Remember to follow safety precautions during each step of the process, and take your time to ensure the stain is applied evenly and beautifully. With your newly stained wooden sword, you'll be ready to channel your inner warrior with style and grace.

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