DIY Wood Stain Using Food Coloring

My husband is the king of the ‘Honey Do’ list. Not only does he do everything on his ‘list’, he also proactively searches for projects. “Want me to mow the lawn? How’s the disposal? Do you need me to build anything today?” Very productive. So, when I asked him to build me a spice shelf on Monday, I shouldn’t have been surprised that by Tuesday, I had two, with the only difference being their length, so that I could decide which was a better fit for over my stove.

After paint, after sand, before stain

Now it was my turn. You know- to sand, paint, and decorate it as I wanted. This, however, took several months, as it just sat in my garage with me contemplating what paints or varnishes I might want to purchase. I finally decided that I didn’t need to run to the craft store but would take care of it with what I had at home, which ended up being cheap craft paint, food coloring, and clear spray paint. After all, “Necessity is the mother of invention”- and I NEEDED to get this darn shelf finished!

*four food coloring vials (red, blue, green, yellow)
*paper towels
*gloves (!)

For my project, I simply painted my shelf turquoise and then sanded off the corners/sides to make it look ‘shabby chic and rustic’.

I squirted
1/2 tsp red
1/2 tsp blue and

THIS is why you use gloves..

1/2 tsp green into
1/8 cup of water.

Once mixed together, I used a paper towel to soak up the concoction and apply to my sanded, raw corners (USE GLOVES HERE). Once it had dried, I used my spray paint to coat the stain, keep it from bleeding/running, and protect my shelf. You can use any kind of clear paint or polyurethane.

And guess what? That’s it. The fun thing, though, is that, depending on what color of stain you want, you can create almost anything with food coloring just by mixing and matching, then applying the stain to an extra piece of wood to make sure it is your desired hue.

Look at that lovely, cost-effective stain

Only downside of this stain is that you do need a clear spray paint/polyurethane to protect the color from transferring to another surface, but once it’s protected… BOOM. You are ready to go! And since you can’t argue with the price… (what are we talking here, three cents on this project?) it’ll be my new go-to for staining wood!

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