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Make your own wood stain

If you enjoy making projects with pine, you will be glad to know that you can make your own wood stain with nothing more than white spirit vinegar and steel wool.


I'm busy making an extremely large farmhouse table for outdoors and wanted to give the table an aged, distressed look. I could leave the table outdoors for a couple of years and let nature do it's work - or I could use vinegar and steel wool to instantly give the wood an aged look.


White spirit vinegar

Steel wool, fine

Mutton cloth

Glass or plastic containers/jars






1. Place the steel wool in a plastic container, preferably one you don't need, or a glass jar. Pour vinegar over the top of the steel wool and stand back. As the reaction occurs between the vinegar and steel wool a smelly gas is released, which is why I recommend you do this outdoors or in a garage.

GOOD TO KNOW: You'll want to leave this to do its thing for a day or two. I only waited a day before doing the test you can see below.

2. After letting the vinegar and steel wool sit, use mutton cloth to filter while you pour into a clean, glass or plastic jar.

For the purpose of this article I dipped a piece of pine into the mixture (before decanting) to show the result.

I didn't water down the solution, but you can do this to achieve lighter finishes, depending on the look you want. I've also included a video below for those that need to see exactly what you need to do to make your own wood stain.



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