How to Finish Blue Stain Pine? 8 Easy Steps

Applying finish to any wood feels good and looks good, and pine wood is no exception to that. Because pine wood is available and friendly, they offer great service when it comes to DIY or other woodworking projects.

But this wood is not easy while applying a finish because of its soft-colored blue stain on the surface. That’s why learning how to finish blue stain pine is an important topic to learn about. Many species of pine get attacked by this particular fungus and it creates this blue stain on both softwood and hardwood.   

There are some steps to follow to apply a finish on blue stain pine. Also, some finishes are great for blue stain pine and you need to take care of that too.

Table of Contents

1Sand the blue stain pine with progressively finer grit sandpaper, starting with 80 grit and finishing with 220 grit.
2Wipe the wood clean with a tack cloth to remove any dust or debris.
3Apply a sealer to the wood to ensure an even application of the finish.
4Apply a thin coat of oil-based finish, such as tung oil or Danish oil, using a brush or rag.
5Allow the finish to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
6Lightly sand the wood with 320 grit sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections.
7Apply a second coat of finish and allow it to dry.
8Repeat step 6 and apply additional coats of finish as needed.
9Allow the final coat of finish to dry completely before using the wood.
10Periodically maintain the finish by reapplying as needed and avoiding harsh chemicals and direct sunlight.

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What Should I Use for a Finish on Blue Stain Pine?

As blue stain pine has the habit to suck the finish instead of letting it stay on the surface, you need to be choosy while picking a finish for this type of wood.

This pine wood is also known as beetle kill pine and the blue or yellowish or off-shite hues prevail on the surface distinctively. Therefore, finishing beetle kill blue pine requires effective finishes for sure.


Varnish is a very good choice for a finish on blue stain pine wood. It has a special quality that resists the wood to suck up the finish. Thus the finish remains on the surface and works as a good finish. The transparent look on the surface that this varnish provides is amazing to look at.  

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Shellac is another best choice for blue stain pine wood. This finish also comes with almost the same quality as varnish. Also, many professionals have recommended this finish for their mellow finishing formula. It provides proper nourishment to the wood and most importantly, makes the blue stain pine legit attractive.


If you are out of varnish and shellac, use polyurethane as the alternative and you will not be disappointed at all. The best thing about polyurethane is it can stay on the surface creating a very tough bond. You will see the bond getting stronger with time as it cures along with it. Also, for resisting moisture to attack your blue stain pine wood, polyurethane provides the best service.


Many people think of using lacquer as a finish because they provide a durable finish with its solvent-based texture. You can get different finishes using it including matt finish, ultra to high gloss finish, and so on. For extra charm or enhancement from the finish, you can polish as much as you like after it is completely dry.


Wax as a finish is not so popular because it does not have durability. But you can still make it work as a finish on your blue stain pine. But for that, you need to be prepared to take a lot of care of the finish. If you sustain its high maintenance then you can adopt wax finishing. Otherwise, for careless or free uses, you should avoid this finish.

How to Finish Blue Stain Pine Step by Step

How to Finish Blue Stain Pine

When you try to apply a finish on a blue stain pine wood surface, the crucial moment will catch you by the incident. It is because this type of pine wood has the bad habit to suck up all the important agents of a finish and that’s why you can see no effective result. Only following the right steps can prevent your wood to behave inappropriately.

Step 1: Sand the Surface

Initially, if your wood is still raw and untouched, you need to do some sanding on it. To make the surface even properly you can use 80 to 120-grit sandpaper. Then, start sanding and leveling the surface properly.

Also, make sure you are sanding the edges as well to get a better result. Later on, to smooth out the surface you can use a different grit sandpaper. Use 150-grit sandpaper for this as it can smooth the place professionally.

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Step 2: Clean the Surface

There will be many dust and debris after the sanding process. That’s why you need to clean the surface properly, otherwise, the application of finish will not work if you keep the dust and debris left on the surface.

However, with the help of a damp sponge, you can remove the sawdust and debris from the surface. Then you need to wait till the surface is completely dry.

Step 3: Apply a Wood Conditioner

The crucial stage begins as your blue stain pine easily absorbs water. And it has the tendency to absorb a finish too. That’s why it is important to apply a preconditioner prior to the application of a finish. A conditioner of wood can allow the finish to sit on the surface without being sucked up by the wood.

With the help of a brush, apply the conditioner all over the space. It also locks the pores of the wood to a great extent. This process is almost like pre-sealing the pine surface and blocking the empty spaces within the grains.

Step 4: Let the Conditioner Dry

After the application of the conditioner, you need to wait for 10 to 15 minutes. And then with a rag wipe out the extra conditioner from the surface. This will help the surface to dry up quickly and prepares the surface as it makes the surface more even. After that, before going to the next step, make sure the conditioned surface is dried completely.

Step 5: Clean the Surface Again

Now that the conditioned surface of blue stain pine wood is completely cured, you need to clean the surface again. With a wet rag, gently conduct it on the surface and clean it with a light touch. Don’t give it a vigorous clean because that will only make the situation worse.

The coating of the wood conditioner might get damaged and the surface might get uneven again. That’s why you need to be careful about it.

Step 6: Apply Polyurethane

Now the most important part arrives. To apply a finish you can use varnish, shellac, or other quality finishes instead of polyurethane. However, we found polyurethane more effective for this job so we are using it for today’s instruction.

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First of all, shake the bottle of polyurethane properly. Then take a bristle brush and dip it into the polyurethane. With the brush apply the finish properly on the surface. Make sure you apply it to the edges as well with the same effort.

Step 7: Apply a Second Coat

After applying the first coat of polyurethane, you need to give the wooden surface a day to make it dry completely. Also, we suggest not applying a thick coat on the surface. A thin coat provides better service and you can get a clear and transparent surface. Both the first and second coats should be thin.

Step 8: Sand the Coating and You are Done

Now that you have applied two coatings of polyurethane on the surface, sanding the surface with a tolerant sand grit is important. With 180grit sandpaper sand the surface gently with a back and forth motion.

After sanding clean the sawdust with soapy water or a damp sponge and see your blue stain pine wood turning all clean and transparent with a great charm. That’s all you need to do to finish stained pine wood.

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What is the best finish for blue pine?

As blue pine is a bit more unnatural than regular woods, not all types of finishes suit them. They can suck up finishes and that’s why they require quality finishes. Mainly, polyurethane is good as a finish for them. But there are other topnotch finishes like varnish and shellac that work pretty effectively for them.

How do you get blue stains out of pine wood?

Some people do the bleaching process to get blue stains out of pine wood. There are several types of bleaching processes there but the 10 percent solution of sodium hypochlorite is more efficient as it does not damage the wood surface.

What is blue stain pine?

Blue stain pine is a type of pine wood that has been stained blue by a fungus.

Why should I finish blue stain pine?

Finishing blue stain pine can protect it from wear and tear and enhance its appearance.

How do I prepare blue stain pine for finishing?

To prepare blue stain pine for finishing, sand it with progressively finer grit sandpaper and wipe it clean.

Should I use a sealer before applying the finish?

Using a sealer before applying the finish can help to ensure an even application.

How many coats of finish should I apply?

It’s recommended to apply at least two coats of finish to blue stain pine.

How long does it take for the finish to dry?

The drying time of the finish can vary depending on the type of finish used, but typically takes a few hours to a day.

Can I use a spray gun to apply the finish?

Yes, a spray gun can be used to apply the finish to blue stain pine.

How do I maintain the finish on blue stain pine?

To maintain the finish on blue stain pine, avoid harsh chemicals and direct sunlight, and periodically reapply the finish as needed.

Is it necessary to sand between coats of finish?

Yes, it’s recommended to lightly sand between coats of finish to ensure a smooth and even application.