Staining wood is a fun step in your refinishing process. Staining brings out and enhances the patterns in the wood grain and unifies an overall color scheme. You can use either a water- or an oil-based stain, each of which offers advantages and disadvantages. An oil-based stain creates more fumes and requires more care in use and cleanup, but it offers a richer color and added conditioning properties for dry wood. A water-based stain, on the other hand, presents less of a problem with fumes, and takes less care and cleanup, but it requires an additional step in the refinishing process—a sanding sealer.