I have mentioned in my previous blog post, DIY Pallet Wood Clock, that I often mix up my own DIY wood stain using vinegar and steel wool. This recipe is easy to use, costs next to nothing, and you probably already have the ingredients you need in your house!

Video tutorial included! How to make your own DIY wood stain using vinegar, steel wool, and various other ingredients!

I use this stain on pallets all the time. It is perfect for most softwood and changes new lumber to a weathered wood look. Watch this video tutorial for the recipe and tips for mixing up your stain.

Here are a few questions about the DIY wood stain not answered in the video:

Q. How long does the stain keep in the jar?
A. About a year, I have never tried keeping it longer so I don’t know if it would work.

Q. Does the stain fade or discolor with time?
A. For indoor applications, no. In direct sunlight or outdoors in the elements, yes. After using this stain, I recommend putting a clear protective coat over it like polycrylic or polyurethane if your project will be heavily used.

Q. Does it have a strong vinegar odor?
A. It smells strongly of vinegar the first day and after about two days, it does not smell at all.

Q. Do you have to strain the solution after it sits?
A. Yes, it is recommended to strain out the steel wool particles and any other ingredients you added so the stain does not continue changing color in storage.

Q. How long will the stain continue changing color?
A. The stain applies clear and changes to a darker color for up to an hour. Give it at least an hour before a second coat so you can see what color it is going to be.

The creamy soft stain color from this DIY stain recipe is gorgeous!

This sign has two coats of my DIY wood stain and I love the creamy soft color it developed. While my tape lines for the arrow didn’t come off completely clean, I think this sign was a huge success! Don’t forget to pin!

Video tutorial included! This DIY wood stain recipe is easy to use, costs next to nothing, and you probably already have the ingredients in your home!

Later this week I will share part 2 of sign-making with a trick for perfect hand lettering!

Thanks for reading!

Signature welcome to the woods

DIY Wood Stain Using Vinegar & Steel Wool

One thought on “DIY Wood Stain Using Vinegar & Steel Wool

  • January 24, 2018 at 4:31 AM

    Thank you Melissa for the tutorial. I found it to be an awesome process and am going to do it. A while ago I had heard of this homemade stain and forgot about it. I am so glad you brought it back to my attention. Great idea!


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