How to CREATE your own Wood Stain for PENNIES

Tired of looking for the perfect stain for your craft projects?  When you finally find that perfect shade the cost is more than the project itself.  Well time to move away from store bought products and learn to make your own.

Depending upon the depth of the stain will determine the items you will want to use.  Be creative, look around the house, gather up your objects and lets get to creating.  All stains require vinegar of some type and a mason jar.

Deep Rich Brown Stain – No. 1


  • White Distilled Vinegar
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Steel Wool
  • Mason Jar

Combine about 1/2 of a steel wool pad, 2 or 3 tablespoons of coffee grounds in a mason jar.  Fill mason jar about 3/4 full.

Dark Red Stain – No. 5

Ingredients:Red Wine Vinegar

  •   Fine Red Wine Vinegar
  •   Steel Wool
  •   Mason Jar
  •   Coffee Gounds (optional)

Combine about 1/2 of a steel wool pad and optional coffee grounds (for richness). Fill mason jar about 3/4 full.

Light Red Stain – No. 3


  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Steel Wool

Place about 1/2 of a steel wool pad in mason jar and fill it about 3/4 full.


Hoping for a Rich Red Stain – No. 4


  •                  3 Cinnamon Sticks
  •                  White Distilled Vinegar

Place the Cinnamon sticks in the mason jar and fill 3/4 full with vinegar.

Really Don’t Know What to Expect No. 2


  • White Distilled Vinegar
  • Rusty Nails

Place the rusty nails in the mason jar and fill 3/4 full with vinegar.

24 Hour Stain Test

Stains 24 hours

As you can see the stains are starting to develop nicely.  I will post several more pictures as time progresses so that you can see the changes.

Here is a picture of stains I created last year and am still using.  These are on old barn wood and unfortunately I do not recall which ingredients were in each, with the exception of  the darker one – it is coffee grounds, steel wool, and white distilled vinegar.

Stained boards


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