Paint With Stain

9 Materials
6 Hours

Had a little side table and I have been wanting to try to use Stain to Paint the top of it. I finally decided to give it a try. And Of course I forgot to take a before Picture. It was one of those Orangey stained Oakey looking finds that I saw at a yard sale that just had the best legs!

I sanded off all of the Old orange stain from the top and then just kind of roughed up the bottom stain with my sander since I was going to paint the bottom I didn't need to remove all of the old stain, just roughed it up enough to accept the new paint and I had to smooth out a few old nicks and bumps the ol gal had received along the way. Hey haven't we all right?

I used Milk Paint on the bottom and ended up putting about three coats of paint on before I was happy with the finish. I really love the color and the smoothness of this paint, it has a sort of self leveling to it that helps with brush marks. And This color really has a depth to it. This was my first time using this particular paint.

I found photos online of some Roses that I liked so I enlarged them and printed them out. Then I taped them to Transfer Paper and traced along the lines of the roses. here is the link that I used to get the images that I used.

After I traced the rose Photos to my table I then used small paint brushes and cotton swabs to stain/paint the Roses onto my Table. I am by no means an artist so this took a while and I used the Photo's that I found on the internet as reference. I used black and white Photos because they showed the shading on them it was easy to look back at them to know where to add darker stain that I wouldn't get with color photo's.

I used all Minwax stains... Walnut, Ebony, Antique White and then the table top is Briarsmoke. The top of the table came out a little more Grey than I was after but it is growing on me. And I did sand down the White stain a bit after this Photo as well.

I used a White Wax to Finish her that really doesn't show up well in the photo but it gives a nice antique look to her. Then I gave her a Nice little Crystal Knob for her Drawer. She needed some jewelry. hahaha. My First try at Using Stain as a Paint. Overall I am pretty happy with how she turned out.

I Definitely learned a few things I would do differently. I would have thinned down the white stain a bit. etc. But I think its a Win. Anyone thinking about trying this, let me know. I'm happy to share my advice, pitfalls along the way. Its actually much easier than you think. Give it a try! What's the worst thing that could happen? Paint?

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Jacqueline Roussy
    on May 12, 2019

    Did you apply the stain for the rest of the tabletop over the roses as well? I really love this idea and would like to try it now that you have generously told us how to do the roses.

    • Cathy Hays
      on May 12, 2019

      I painted the Roses first then stained around the Roses. I used a small water color paint brush to get around the Roses with the Stain. Since I used Black lines on the outside of my Roses it was fairly forgiving. If you were trying something with no border or a very light border that may get tricky since stain isn't as easy to control as paint. But its not an exact science. Mine has a few bleeds through the lines and it still looks fine, heck its not going in a museum, its going in your home for you to enjoy so go for it! Post pictures when you're done!

  • JPG
    on May 12, 2019


  • Suesredbug
    on May 12, 2019

    Are you maybe using transfer paper rather than tracing paper?

    • Darkroomdiva
      on May 13, 2020

      Ha! I still have my dad’s old Underwood from the forties; there’s probably some carbon paper in the case, too. 😎

Join the conversation

3 of 82 comments
  • Mary Smith
    on May 13, 2020

    It’s beautiful. I’d like to try this on my coffee table.

  • Guppy Tharp
    on May 14, 2020

    I may not try this, but it is beautiful! It surely is a keeper. You were right about the legs. The complete table is lovely!

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