Homemade Eco Wood Stain

3 Materials
3 Days
I had made a previous post where I used a natural stain that made fresh wood look like barn wood and there were a lot of questions about the stain so I thought I would do a post on how to make your own stain from items found in your kitchen. I went out to look for a cheap wood table to use for my tutorial, i really wanted to illustrate what difference a good stain could make to a simple pine table. I wasn’t able to find any in the stores that would work so I quickly whipped one up the other night. The video is about wood staining but I threw in the pictures about how I made the table for anyone interested in making one themselves
Building the Table:
Step 1: Gather your supplies
I went to my local hardware store and got a wood board, some two inch wood strips, four legs and a bunch of little L brackets. I already had wood glue and wood screws.

Step 2: Cutting wood down to size
I cut my wood so that with the legs the under frame would come in 2.5 inches from each side i did this by taking the width of the top (w) minus 2.5 from each side (so w-5) minus the width of the legs (which was 2.25)  so W-5-4.5= the size of the wood I needed to cut. And then i did the same formula for the length. I cut two of each size.

Step 3: Building the under frame
Here I attaching the first piece using an L bracket. I will be the first to admit that there is better ways to make a table, but that if you want to make a table in an hour this works great.
Here’s the second piece of the frame, I just went around attaching each leg to each piece in this way. It was a little shaky, but i knew it would stabilize when I attached it to the top.

Step 4: Attaching the top
I added wood glue all around the top of the legs and frame before I attached it the top, this keeps everything nice and tight. I then attached the top using 4 L brackets on the inside of the frame. Last step in the table is wiping up any wood glue that squeezes out from the cracks when I screwed the top on.
Now here’s the table before. You’ve probably seen a lot of cheap pine wood tables that look similar to this. I actually find the lines very elegant, and with a little stain, this table will look much more expensive.

Making the stain:

Step 1: Gather your supplies
All I used for the stain was vinegar and steel wool.

Step 2: Add them to a jar
I added the steel wool to the jar and then poured the vinegar over. I let it sit for three days. You MUST open it once a day as the making of the stain produces gas, from the terrible smell i can guess sulfur, and if you let the stain just sit for three days the pressure in that jar could cause it to either explode or be impossible to open.

Step 3: Brush on the stain
I added the stain making sure to carefully cover it evenly.
Here’s what I started with.
This Is after one coat.
This is after two coats, I went for three layers but you can stop at whatever color you like.
This is after three coats. Also remember that it will still get a little bit darker in the days after you have stained it.
In this picture the legs look like they are a different color that the rest of the wood but in real life it doesn’t look like that.
Look at the difference that a good stain makes!
Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 9 questions
  • Shellygilley Shellygilley on Dec 07, 2016
    How long does it set until you can use it?

  • Haysha S. Haysha S. on Feb 28, 2017
    how long will it last?

  • Peggy Peggy on Apr 02, 2021

    your table is so nice! my question is ...

    ‘how long of a time frame did you wait between coats of stain?

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