Staining wood with paint is similar to using regular oil stain. The difference is clean up is a breeze and you can incorporate colors that inspire any project.
Every great staining project begins with a piece of clean wood.
I have a tendency to use leftovers from house projects but if choosing new, I adore pine and cedar because both are easy to use and have a simple grain.
Pine is fantastic for this paint stain technique especially if you’re making signs.
You can also salvage for reclaimed wood if desired and many times you can find nice boards in the scrap bin at any home improvement stores at a discount.
Sanding Comes First
Before choosing our paint color we must first sand the wood. Staining with paint works best on smooth surfaces because our goal is to enjoy color without losing the grain of the wood.
For light staining use medium grade sand paper and prep the surface by hand.
Wood that needs additional help or even ink removed I use my electric sander. Remember with both applications always sand with the grain of the wood.
Types of Paint
The types of paint I use are normally leftovers from previous projects which is what led me to discovering this technique. I was cleaning out paint and wanted color on a project so it just kind of made sense to use paint like a stain.
Here are a few ideas:
- Fusion Mineral Paint or Dixie Belle Paint.
- Apple Barrel Craft Acrylic Paint – Inexpensive and easy to use – purchase at craft stores or online.
- Chalk paint – No specific brand it’s a breeze and I love it, purchase at craft store or online.
- Behr – Purchase at Home Depot in test containers great for interior and outdoor projects.
If you already have paint at home and you’re curious about this technique then look for small pieces of wood and do a test to see if you like it.
Getting the Paint Applied
Apply the paint using a clean cotton rag. In this project I’m using a piece of an old bath towel.
When finished I’ll toss it because there won’t be much left of it. Make sure your rag is cotton as it absorbs the paint making application a breeze.
Always begin on the back side first so you can get the feel and apply by rubbing in towards the grain of the wood. Take your time and enjoy the process.
To achieve your finish you may have to rub the paint in a little harder so use those muscles.
I used this technique on a regular basis at many of my Make and Take Workshops. It was easy to learn and everybody loved it.
This piece was stained using Fusion Fork York Red.
This color is spectacular in person and look at the grain appearing through. Together they both complement like it was meant to be.
More Colors using Chalk an Behr Paint
With these test boards I applied the colors the same as the red and green examples.
The white was from Behr and the application was smooth and simple. The brown was Waverly chalk paint and it really brought out the wood.
I really like the white and it’s given me some neat ideas for a future project. Staining with paint will be a new staple for future ideas so stay tuned for more.