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 just waiting to be created. Let’s begin!
Every great staining project begins with a piece of clean wood.
I have a tendency to use leftovers from house projects but if I was choosing new, I adore pine and cedar because both are easy to work with and have a simple grain.
Pine is fantastic for this paint stain technique especially if you’re making signs.
Many times you can find nice boards of wood in a scrap bin at any home improvement store for a fraction of the price over new. You can also salvage for reclaimed wood if desired.
Sanding Comes First
Before we even choose our paint color we must sand the wood first. 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 I use medium grade sand paper and just 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; they can be indoor or outdoor options depending on where your project will end up. This technique was discovered while I was cleaning out paint and wanted color on some wood for a piece I was tempting to make.
- Fusion Mineral 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 scrap wood and do a test run first 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 the project is 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.
The goal is to apply lightly so the grain seeps through.
To achieve your finish you may have to rub the paint in a little harder so use those muscles.
This piece was stained using Fusion Fork York Red.
This color is spectacular in person but look at the grain just grasping to appear through. Together they both compliment 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 defined detail to absolute perfection.
I really like the white; I’m looking forward to creating a future project using this technique. Staining with paint will be a new staple for many future projects so stay tuned for more.
Hope you enjoyed this staining with paint technique.