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DIY Wood Stain

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Once upon a time I read a tutorial on making your own wood stain. It was soooo long ago I don’t even remember what I wanted to stain, but I made two different versions and then they sat on a shelf in the garage, along with a dozen other half finished DIY projects.

This DIY wood stain

is so simple and inexpensive that when I set out to re do my powder room on a budget and make my own Pallet Shelves I knew I already had exactly what I needed.

Make your own wood stain

How to make your own wood stain.

Starting with a glass jar and a metal lid. Tear up a fine #0000 Steel Wool pad and place in your glass jar. Fill your jar with either White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar. You’ll get a darker stain with the Apple Cider Vinegar, as you can see from my two jars.

Steel wool and vinegar wood stain

Place the metal lid on the jar and give it a good shake then, forget about it for a few years. (just kidding) But you will need to wait at least a few days to a few weeks before the steel wool oxidizes. The longer you let it 0xidize the darker your stain will be. You can speed up the process by shaking the jar every few days.

Once your solution steeps about two weeks or so it becomes a concentrated solution and you may need to add more vinegar (two parts vinegar, one part solution) depending on your concentration. Really, you can’t screw it up and it costs next to nothing so if you don’t like it you can always tweak it next time.

I’ve used this now for my pallet shelves and to give an old front porch bench a little bit of a face lift.

make your own wood stain, steel wool and vinegar

Make your own wood stain, vinegar and steel wool

All I did was clean this bench up with some of fine steel wool before applying my homemade stain. As you can see it still had some stain on the top that came out more when I used this DIY wood stain. I have this outside on my front porch and I didn’t really want to take the time to sand it down so I just put 3 coats of my homemade stain on, let it dry and then put it right back on my front porch.

I hope you’ll enjoy this simple and easy homemade wood stain!

Happy Staining.