To alter the appearance of wood, a finish called a stain is applied. Stains can change the color, enhance the grain, or protect the wood from damage. During the finishing process, stains are pigmented to offer different shades of colors, usually resembling natural wood colors such as oak, walnut, or pecan. Stains also reveal the natural characteristics of the wood. Some woods do not absorb stains easily, and achieving a smooth and even appearance can be challenging, requiring multiple rounds of staining and sanding. Binders such as oil-based, water-based, and gel stains are used to create stains. Woodworkers, cabinetmakers, and carpenters must carefully choose a stain based on the wood and the project’s purpose.