A Mansion for Building Your DIY Skills
dark mode light mode Search
burned stained wood

Can You Burn Stained Wood? Is It Safe?

Wood carvings and wooden objects are beautiful, but they get more enhanced when they are stained with shiny paint which makes them more adorable.

The rough and harsh surface of wood becomes smooth and glossy once it is coated with a layer of paint. Such wood is known as stained wood. 

While it is a common practice to burn wood for various purposes, primarily, at a fireplace, the question strikes: can you burn stained wood? Is it dangerous to burn stained wood? What can happen if you burn stained wood? Can you burn wood that has been stained? Can you burn stained wood outside? Can you stain wood after burning it? Well, we are here to find answers to all these questions. 

Can you burn stained wood?

Can i burn stained wood? Can you burn wood after staining? No, you can not burn stained wood. Not only is it advised that you should not burn stained wood, but it is also even illegal in some cities because of the hazards that are caused by burning stained wood.

Burning stained wood results in the release of certain toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. 

Chemicals such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, VOCs, and POMs are emitted when stained wood is burnt. These chemicals are toxic and extremely hazardous to the environment as well as health.

Breathing in the presence of these chemicals can lead to serious diseases such as bronchitis. Therefore, you should never burned andstained wood. In certain places, it should never be done, such as-


Outside burning or open burning of stained wood should not be done as the burning of stained wood would release toxic chemicals into the air. These chemicals are hazardous to the environment. Not only do these chemicals cause air pollution, but they are also the reason behind several diseases. 


Stained wood should not be burnt in a firepit or fireplace. Burning stained wood within the boundaries or in the firepit releases chemicals such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, volatile organic chemicals, and polycyclic organic matter. These substances are toxic to the environment and cause air pollution.

•Log burner

A log burner is not capable of burning certain types of wood which include stained wood as well. Keeping that in mind, you should not try to burn stained wood on a log burner. It would lead to incomplete combustion or at times, the burner can become inefficient as well.

Is it dangerous to burn stained wood?

burn stained wood

Yes, it is extremely dangerous and harmful to burn stained wood. Stained wood emits toxic substances such as sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides when it is burnt. These chemicals are considered to be hazardous for the environment and the health of an individual as well.

Breathing in the influence of these chemicals or the smoke emitted from the nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides is a major cause of various diseases such as bronchitis.

A person can also have burning eyes and a running nose if he or she breathes in a place where stained wood is burnt.

Not only is burning stained wood dangerous, but it is also risky. Stained wood is more flammable than a normal piece of wood. At times, this results in burning and destroying the entire wood even when you might not be wanting to do so. Consequently, all your efforts become useless.

What can happen if you burn stained wood?

Burning stained wood has inevitable hazards that can not be ignored under any circumstances. Stained wood should never be burnt, however, you can burn the wood before staining it. The following are the hazards associated with burning stained wood-

•Toxic chemicals

Whenever stained wood is burnt several toxic chemicals are emitted into the air. These chemicals include nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, volatile organic chemicals(VOCs,) and polycyclic organic matter(POMs). If you are constantly around these chemicals, you will experience itching in the eyes, and a running nose, and these toxic substances can also cause ailments such as bronchitis. 

•Air pollution

Stained wood, if burnt, releases toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. These chemicals are not safe to be emitted into the surroundings which are why they end up causing air pollution. Because stained wood causes air pollution, it is prohibited to burn it in several cities. 

•Health problems

Apart from the environmental hazards caused by burning stained wood, you are likely to face health problems as well if you stay in the smoke emitted by burning stained wood for an extended period.

In the early stages, you will suffer from burning eyes and an itchy nose. If this happens continuously, you will face a serious illness, that is, bronchitis. 

Should you burn wood before or after staining?

Wood should be burnt before staining. First and foremost, burning wood with stain is not hazardous to health or the environment, rather it ends up enhancing the outlook of the wood.

On the other hand, if you burn the piece of wood after staining, it falls under the category of chemical wood. Burning such kinds of wood is even illegal in some states. 

Moreover, the practice of burning stained wood would lead to the emission of harmful substances and chemicals into the atmosphere. Burning stained would be likely to impact and affect your health as well.

Another reason to not burn stained wood is that the flammability of the wood increases when it is stained. Therefore, instead of only burning the surface, you might end up burning the complete piece of wood, and ultimately your efforts would end up being in vain.

Should you sand the wood before burning it?

Uneven woods or wooden surfaces need to be sanded to smoothen the surfaces. Usually, it is suggested that the wood surface is sanded at 220 grits before burning. Having done that, the wood should be made wet, and then it should be allowed to dry.

Once the wood is dried out, sand the wood again to smoothen it even more and ensure that no uneven or disturbed patches remain on the surface of the wood. It is important to sand the wood before burning it if the surface of the wood is uneven.

What kinds of wood should not be burned?

Certain kinds of wood should not be burned. They are-

•Stained and treated wood

Stained or treated wood should not be burned as the chemicals used in stained and treated wood expose and release toxic substances into the surroundings. 


Burning softwood results in the emission of thick and dark smoke that ultimately causes pollution and even chokes the chimney. As a result, you should not burn softwood. 

•Wet wood

Wet wood releases an excess amount of smoke when it is burnt. The smoke and moisture combine to create creosote which can clog the chimney and can then lead to a fire hazard.

•Moldy and rotten wood

Rotten wood is generally wet. As a result, it forms creosote and clogs the chimney when it is burnt. So, you should not burn moldy or rotten wood.

•Pressure-treated wood

If pressure-treated wood is burned, the chemicals used in pressurizing the treated wood are emitted into the atmosphere. These chemicals are toxic and can cause health problems. Therefore, you should not burn pressure-treated wood.

How do you stain over wood burning?

Before you decide to stain wood over wood burning, it is important to have an even surface of the wood. The wood, if uneven, would not give satisfactory results. You can sand the wood to ensure that the surface of the wood becomes the same throughout. 

Further, do not apply too much stain on the wood at once. Put on the stain slowly and carefully so that it could be removed easily if needed. All you need to do is brush on a coat of stain and then remove it after 5 to 10 seconds. Apply as many layers of the stain as you prefer. Once the wood is dried, sand it over again.


1) How do you seal wood burning?

If you want to seal wood burning, the best outdoor sealant that you can use is polyurethane. Try to use an oil-based polyurethane as it is water-resistant and therefore it is considered a better and more effective choice. 

2) Is it safe to burn stained wood in a fireplace?

No, it is completely unsafe to burn stained wood in a fireplace. Burning stained wood releases several toxic gases such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides. If the concentration of these gases increases in the atmosphere, they cause environmental pollution and health problems. 

3) Is it safe to burn finished wood?

You can burn finished wood, but if it has a layer of polyurethane, it will take longer to burn. As a result, it will lead to more environmental hazards and pollution. It is advised that you sand the finished wood, stain it or leave it in the natural color.

4) Is it OK to burn old decking?

Yes, it is fine to burn old decking. Old decking has lost the chemicals and they have got dissipated over a few decades. Therefore, it is OK to burn old decking. For health reasons, try not to burn it in a fireplace. 

5) Can you stain the wood after burning it?

While it is completely unsafe to burn wood once it is stained, it is equally safe to stain a wood after burning. It does not include any health-related hazards it beautifies the wood even more.

Final Thoughts 

Stained wood is not safe to burn. The emission of gases can be very toxic for the environment as well as for the people.

Apart from the air pollution caused by nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides released when stained wood is burnt, various health problems are also to be faced by an individual who stays in the surroundings where stained wood is burnt. Hence, you should not burn stained wood.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *