Thursday, February 27, 2014

DIY wood stain (that you can use indoors!)

  I have been working on a project that just didn’t seem complete without a wood stain.  Unfortunately, it’s far too cold outside for that, and using a traditional wood stain inside would definitely make me sick.  

  So I started searching google and pinterest for some DIY wood stains and found some great ideas.  I set up some experiments to see what I liked best…

…but nothing grabbed me.

  Then inspiration struck.  

  I grabbed my olive oil.  I grabbed some blue pigment.  I mixed them up and slathered them on and waited while the wood drank it in.  Then I rubbed off the excess and much to my surprise I had exactly what I was dreaming of! 

  The blue seeped its deepest into the lighter spots while the olive oil honeyed the darker knots in the wood, resulting in a very happy looking union of tones.  

  If you’d like to try this yourself, here’s my recipe:  1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to ¼ teaspoon of blue pigment (I used some of Evening’s Natural Earth Paints) and mix well.  Make as large a batch as you think you’ll need, since it will be hard to get an exact match from batch to batch.

  Apply a thick coat onto your sanded, ready-for-finishing wood with a brush.  It will look MUCH darker than the finished result at this point.  Leave that for the wood drink in for about an hour and a half. 

  While that’s happening, make a batch of beeswax sealant to protect your colour later.  You can make this with 1 Tbsp of beeswax with 6 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.  Combine the two in a glass bowl/jar/cup and set in a pan with about 2 inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, all the while stirring the wax and oil in the glass.  Once the beeswax has melted completely, remove from heat and set aside to cool.  

  Using a rag, begin to rub off the excess stain from your project.  Once finished, begin to apply the beeswax sealant with a fresh rag.  Apply thickly.  If you have any sealant left over, you can store for up to a year and use as a polish (though if you have any pigment in the jar like I did be sure to only use it on this project!).  

  Leave for one hour, then rub off with another fresh rag, revealing a beautiful and safe, natural stain on your wood.  

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