Use Paint To Create Your Own Stain

1 Material
$10
1 Hour
Easy

During the Entryway Console Build I couldn’t find the stain I had in mind so I decided to experiment with making my own. I really wanted a specific tone and I was concerned about traditional stain accentuating spots where I used glue or wood filler. By using paint, I could control the color and coverage. However, I still wanted to be able to see the pretty grain of the wood. By watering down paint, I was able to create my own soft, natural, stain wash and now I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to regular staining!

Choosing Paint Colors to Make Your Own Stain:

To make your own stain using paint you can choose absolutely any color. The options are endless! To achieve the same look I did, I started with a cream color. First, I picked up a little sample container of “ Gravelstone” by Behr. After the first application I felt like it was still a little too light. It needed more dimension. So I did another coat using a gray paint called “ Dovetail” by Sherwin Williams. Both were watered down by 30%.

After the first coat of using “Gravelstone”.
Mixing the Dovetail Gray

Application of the Paint Stain:

To create my paint wash I simply watered down my paint samples by about 25-30% and stirred well. Then I used a paper towel to wipe on the color with long organic strokes. Next, I used a clean paper towel to wipe it off and blend. Its essentially a white wash… or in this case a beige-wash?


The first coat was in the cream color, the second coat was in the gray color. This gave my piece some great dimension and the perfect soft wood tone.

The Result:

I love the way the paint softened the wood grain but didn’t hide it. Using the cream and gray colors gave me such a pretty natural wood color! Because it didn’t penetrate the wood as much as traditional stains, I felt like I had way more control. It dried faster too! Do you think you could use paint to create your own stain?

Before the first coat of stain and after!

Suggested materials:

  • paint sample

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