How to Make Homemade Wood Stain

Ever thought about making your own wood stain, but you weren’t quite sure how?

Well, let me tell you.

It’s actually pretty easy!

Here’s a couple of videos I made that show you how to quickly & easily make some using supplies you probably already have in your house.

Iron Acetate:

This first method creates a more traditional brown stain that deepens in color as it ages. It’s simply made from household vinegar and steel wool that soak together in a jar. It creates something called Iron Acetate that reacts with the tannins in wood (the stuff that gives wood it’s darker, reddish brown color) to create a really beautiful, easy to apply stain.

The other cool thing about this is that different types of wood react differently producing colors ranging from browns, to grays, and even near black. I actually tested it on a few different types of wood in this video over an extended period of time, so you can see how it gets darker over time.


Color Wash:

The second method is just as easy to make as the first, and you can make any stain color imaginable. It’s made from a mixture of regular, household, latex paint (like you’d use to paint a wall) and water. You can play with the ratio to create lighter and darker tones, and it applies easily with a rag or sponge. You can also apply extra coats to slightly deepen the color as well.

(*** I forgot to mention in the video, but I recommend running the stain through a paint or coffee filter before you apply it to your wood, to get rid of any floating globs of paint for a smoother, more consistent stain color.)


So there you go… pretty easy, right?

Both types are easy to make, and like any other stain, it’s always a good idea to test them out first before going full-on hoggy with your project.

Give them a shot. Tell me what you think!


– Kevin