How to Make Your Very Own Wood Stain W/ Household Products

Ashley Thurman
by Ashley Thurman
My grandfather was a painter, and taught me how to do this when I was young! All you need is some steel wool, vinegar, and an old mason jar (because everything requires a mason jar ; ) You can use instant coffee to give it more of a brown look too! The longer you let it sit, the richer the color gets. UPDATE: If you are applying to actual wood for a finishing project, you will need to apply several coats until you get the desired darkness! It will not appear very dark until it soaks into the wood. I let the stain dry about 15 minutes between coats. It might not be completely dry, but it worked for me. Once, dry it will look very flat in color. You will need to seal it with something to get that "wet" look from the stain. It is really is not an exact science, so please test this out before you try it on something important!
Learn how to make your very own DIY Wood Stain
This is such a cheap alternative to use and it's safe to use indoors when you can't get outside.
Ashley Thurman
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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3 of 5 questions
  • Sandra Sandra on Sep 08, 2017
    I love this idea! So economical. I'm always up for trying something new... especially if it saves money. Just wondering... what is the purpose of the steel wool?

  • FL FL on Sep 10, 2017
    How long do you let the steel wool steep in the vinegar and at what point do you add the instant coffee? Thanks so much - I was JUST TODAY thinking that I need just a small amount of stain for a project and didn't want to spend the money! Thank you Universe, thank you Ashley Thurman!

  • Crystal Foster Crystal Foster on Oct 09, 2018

    Love this idea! Do you need to strip furniture down to raw wood?

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  • Brenda Zimmer Brenda Zimmer on Sep 20, 2016
    I have done this but used black tea not coffee. It has something to do with the tannin's in the tea. Gave a really nice old barn weathered wood look. I used the stain to make wood countertops.

  • Ran4284546 Ran4284546 on Sep 20, 2016
    How interesting! Would love to see examples. Especially the counter tops!