You can make your own wood stain – it should be easy if you follow these simple steps. You can save money and get the exact color you’re looking for. Here’s how.
1. At the paint store, buy latex paint the color you want the stain to be. To make future matches easier, try to choose paint from an established manufacturer, and keep your color choice within their guidelines. Buy half as much paint, or a little more, than it would take to paint the project. Since you are going to be thinning it, you may want to make the color a little stronger – richer, deeper, etc. – than you would for painting. Also buy an empty can the same size as the can of paint you are buying.
2. At the grocery store, buy a gallon jug of distilled water. Buy more only if you bought more than one gallon of paint.
Back at the job, or home, shake the can of paint really well.
3. Then open it and observe how full it is. Pour paint from the can of paint into the empty can until each can is equally full – about half as full as the original one was.
4. Close one of the cans and set it aside.
Add distilled water to the other can until it as full as the paint can was when you opened it. Close that can and mix it – shake it – until it is well mixed.
Congratulations. You’ve made a can of stain. It’s ready to open and apply.
This stain can be used for bookcases, cabinets, tables, chairs and other wood items to be used inside. Because it is water based, it will raise the grain of the wood, so you may want to lightly sand the surface after it is well dried. This stain also does not do much to protect the wood. For protection, the wood should be lightly sanded and coated with one or two coats of a clear sealant such as polyurethane varnish.