How to Stain OSB Board

Updated February 21, 2017

Oriented strand board is a synthetic lumber made by compressing and adhering small chunks of wood together. Commonly used as sub-material in building construction, OSB also has an interesting surface texture that leads many homeowners to use OSB on their walls instead of drywall. Stain OSB boards if you want to alter the colour to fit better within your home's decor

Strip the wax coating from the sides of the OSB boards that will be stained using wood floor wax stripper. All OSB boards are coated with a wax finish, which will repel stain. Apply a thick coat of the wax stripper using a paintbrush. Allow the stripper to sit for the time indicated in the manufacturer's instructions.

Rinse the wood using a hose with a high-pressure nozzle attached. Allow the wood to dry for at least 48 hours.

Stir the stain thoroughly with a stir stick after opening the can.

Apply an initial coat of stain using an extra-firm varnish brush. The stiffer bristles make it easier to work the stain into the coarser texture of OSB. It also possible to use a sponge. Allow the strain to dry for the time indicated in the manufacturer's instructions.

Apply two to three additional coats of stain as needed to even out the coverage. Allow the final coat to fully dry.

Apply a coat of polyurethane to seal the wood and create a lustrous finish. Use a fine-bristled brush or a sponge brush. Apply multiple coats until the desired finish is achieved. Sand between coats with #0000 steel wool. Use oil-based polyurethane, not water-based polyurethane, if you used an oil-based stain. It is possible to use water-based polyurethane if you used water-based stain. It is not as crucial to sand between coats when using water-based polyurethane.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood floor wax stripper
  • Paintbrushes
  • High-pressure hose nozzle
  • Wood stain
  • Extra-firm brush or staining sponge
  • Polyurethane
  • Fine-bristled or sponge brush
  • #0000 steel wool
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.