How to Stain Acacia Wood in 5 Steps

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Acacia wood stands out as a favored pick for furniture and flooring. It’s well-loved for its strength, lovely appearance, and ability to fend off bugs and moisture.

Yet, to really make it shine and shield it from wear, staining it right is crucial. That’s where you need useful and effective tips. We’re here to give you straightforward steps on how to stain acacia wood the right way.

Properties of Acacia Wood

Acacia, like many different kinds of wood, has a naturally occurring antibacterial property, and as a result, it is excellent to use this for preparing or serving food.

Acacia wood has a natural variation in color and grain pattern, ranging from light to dark brown, with a distinctive swirling pattern that adds character to the wood. 

It has a medium to coarse texture with a straight or wavy grain, making it easy to work using both hand and power tools. 

Acacia wood slab

Due to its natural oils and hardness, Acacia wood is resistant to moisture and insects, making it an excellent choice for outdoor Acacia furniture and flooring.

Acacia also has remarkable water-resistant characteristics and it won’t distort easily. Plus, it is highly resistant to fungus. Acacia’s hardness is also one of its known strengths, which means that it scratches less easily than other types of wood.

What Happens When You Stain this Wood?

There are compounds in Acacia wood that make it resistant to water. Because of this, you will not achieve satisfactory results by using the same sort of dye or following the same procedures that you would use on other varieties of wood, such as ash or maple. 

Acacia is most successfully stained with oil-based wood stains. This is because these stains are designed to penetrate deeply into the wood to alter its appearance. 

Can You Stain Acacia and Does it Stain Well?

You can stain Acacia wood. However, staining Acacia wood can be hard. The fact that it is hardwood means that the stain will have a more difficult time entering the wood fibers stand, which is one the disadvantages of acacia wood.  

stained Acacia cutting board

A few additional steps on staining Acacia wood need to be taken to guarantee that the final product will meet your expectations.

Supplies You'll Need for Staining Acacia Wood

tools for painting

Steps to Staining Your Acacia Wood Pieces

Step #1: Sand Your Acacia Wood

To stain Acacia wood, the first thing you need to do is prepare the wood for staining. It is the same as it would be for any other type of wood. 

In order to attain the desired appearance, it is necessary to sand the wood until it is suitable for staining. 

Once the Acacia wood has been sanded to the desired level of smoothness, the subsequent step will gently enhance the grain.

sanding block

Raise the grain, apply the stain, and then use the finest grit sandpaper to smooth the wood. Knocking down the wood grain’s high peaks with mild sanding would suffice.

Step #2: Raise the Wood Grain

Properly preparing your Acacia wood is a crucial step for achieving impeccable staining results.

The wood grain can be raised to facilitate specific staining. Natural-looking hues can be achieved with this method as well.

In addition, the wood can take on most of the stain’s gorgeous hue. You can now add the stain after the wood fibers have stiffened.

Do the Wetting Process

Water on a cloth can be used to remove the wood. You should dry the cloth or mop thoroughly to prevent water from dripping. 

absorbent cloth for cleaning

The fabric can be dampened with water and wrung out so it is not dripping wet. Wiping is the only way to moisten the wood effectively.

Allow Enough Time to Let Dry Completely

Ensure the wood is completely dry before moving on to the next stage. No amount of moisture should be left on the wood. Wood needs at least 30–40 minutes to dry before handling.

You must now determine whether or not the wood can be stained. One way to do this is to rub one’s hand along the grain of some Acacia wood to feel for signs of dryness. 

The wood is rough around the edges, so be careful. Further, sanding is required once more. You can confidently claim that it is prepared for staining at this stage.

Step #3: Apply the Wood Stain

Now, you use the brushes and materials for application. To stain Acacia wood, use even strokes when applying the stain.

wood stain

Avoid leaving any black splotches on the wood. You should only dip your cloth or sponge into the stain and blot it out before applying it to the wood.

Applying the stain evenly is as simple as wetting the Acacia wood, so changing your technique is unnecessary. Do not apply the stain for Acacia wood over the same areas twice.

This will cause a variation in shading between different areas. You must also ensure that your application follows the grain pattern.

Marks left by water dripping onto wood are tough to remove. So, it is incumbent upon you to address this. One stain application may be sufficient if the wood’s natural appearance pleases you.

drying stain

Also, after 15 minutes, you can add another layer or a second coat if you want an even deeper color.

Step #4: Sand Again

You can sand again after staining if you want your creation to feel utterly smooth to the touch. If the project was water-popped, this might be necessary.

A light sanding will do the trick here. Be very careful to keep the staining here. Give it a light pass first to test if the wood is smooth enough. Only stop sanding once the surface looks just right.

Sand the area thoroughly with a coarse grit paper, such as 220 grit, to complete this procedure. Ensure the wood is completely dry before beginning to sand it to prevent surprises.

Step #5: Do the Finishing

You’ve just completed staining your Acacia wood. Finishing the Acacia wood here requires working directly with the wood’s surface. 

I suggest selecting a finish that works well with your wood flooring, furniture, or other projects. 

Acacia wooden shelf

Let the initial coat on the wood dry completely before proceeding. Use a whipping motion to test the wood’s smoothness. 

Further, additional sanding may be required if the grain is too harsh. But you should proceed with caution. If the wood feels smooth after the first coat of finish, you can set it aside to cure entirely.

The Best Stain Types For Acacia Wood

Oil-Based Stains

Because of the wood’s porous structure, Acacia benefits from oil-based wood stains. Putting a solvent like mineral spirits in the stain is common practice to dilute the oil and improve its ability to penetrate. 

Oil’s other benefit is that it helps keep the wood preserved. Linseed oil is a natural oil that works wonders as a wood preservative. Also, boiled linseed oil is long-lasting and applies well, but it takes forever to dry. 

Minwax oil based wood stain

You can also use tung oil. It dries hard after being exposed to air, leaving a layer that is see-through and dark, giving the impression that it is wet [1].

Water-Based Stains

Water-based stains, rather than oil, are used to dilute the stain before it is applied to the wood. 

These water-based wood stains are better at bringing out the wood’s natural grain and are more eco-friendly than their oil-based counterparts. These stains are fast-drying. 

However, they do not permeate the wood as deeply as oil-based stains. Although Acacia wood can be stained using this product, it will not be as protected as an oil-based stain.

Lacquer Wood Stains

Although lacquer stains dry quickly and are simple to apply, they damage the hardwood floor. These stains don’t have enough time to soak into the hardwood before they dry. 

spraying lacquer to dining table

Don’t use this kind of stain for Acacia wood or any other hardwood flooring.

Gel Wood Stains

The colorant in these stains is suspended in a thick gel. I won’t look into this stain, but you should know that it is not appropriate for any hardwood, including Acacia wood.

You might like this: Spar Urethane on Acacia 

Ideal Acacia Wood Stain Hues

Acacia typically takes on stains anywhere from a dark brown to a light reddish brown or golden brown. Most Acacia woods look well with these stain colors.

Since there are many kinds of Acacia trees, the color of your wood will vary depending on the type. The deeper browns of Acacia are reminiscent of walnut, while the lighter browns are reminiscent of oak.

How to Maintain the Acacia Wood Finish

Maintaining the integrity of your stain is essential if you want it to last. Use a UV- and water-resistant sealer or lacquer-based wood stain. 

Acacia center table

To keep your stains looking flawless, it’s important to steer clear of wet spots. When these stains encounter water or humidity, they can start to bubble and peel. So, it’s a wise move to avoid using them in damp areas.


What oil is best for Acacia?

The best oil for Acacia wood is an oil-based stain with a low smoke point since it resists combustion. Because of the high resin content of Acacia, the oil used to treat the plant must be relatively thin.

Can you stain Acacia wood darker or lighter?

You can stain Acacia wood darker and lighter. The lighter colors can be stained Acacia wood to imitate the look of darker oak woods, and the darker hues can mimic the look of walnut.

Is it advisable to restain Acacia wood floors?

It’s advisable to restain Acacia flooring if the prior stain on the entire surface has dried thoroughly. Staining over existing stains won’t work, so you must remove the previous stain first. 

When refinishing furniture made from Acacia wood, do light sanding before applying the new stain.

What can I do if my Acacia wood starts fading?

There are several ways to protect your Acacia wood furniture from weathering and fading. You can use a stain, sealer, or oil to protect your Acacia wood furniture. Applying a UV-blocking solution to Acacia wood furnishings helps decrease the effects of prolonged sun exposure.

Also Read: How to Stain Pine to Look Like Oak


Mastering the art of staining Acacia wood brings both fulfillment and durability to your furniture. This process not only elevates its inherent beauty but also shields it from potential harm, ensuring a longer lifespan.

Moreover, stained Acacia wood boasts a captivating hue that seamlessly complements various wood surfaces. By simply following the steps outlined above, you can effortlessly attain remarkable results in a short span.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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