The Easy Way to Stain Wood

how to stain wood staining furniture

Sanding dust, toxic fumes, rags, steel wool, and so many coats and so much time - that is what I think of when I think of refinishing wood. Ugh. Not a fun task, but in my business, it is hard to avoid. I really love wood. Does that surprise you? I know I am a furniture painter, but I only paint furniture that has too much damage, cannot be refinished again, and has no other hope. If part of the wood is still in good shape I only paint the parts that aren’t.

My goal is to make the piece pretty again. Painting is not always a requirement. But the whole refinishing process- yuck. That was until I was introduced to DIY Paint’s Dark & Decrepit Liquid Patina. When I first started selling DIY Paint I really had no clue what to do with the Dark & Decrepit. I tried to use it like dark wax, but I found it applied too dark and was hard to control for a newbie like me. At that time I didn’t know you could wipe it back. I also didn’t know you could dilute it with water. Since I couldn’t figure out how to use Dark & Decrepit I decided I would never use it. Then one day I was watching Karen Berg from Redoux and she showed me how to use it as a stain. My world was changed. Dark & Decrepit as a stain? It was a water-based product with no fumes and looked so easy and it was. Here is how I use Dark & Decrepit as a stain so you can avoid all my past mistakes.

First, I sand the piece and remove all the old stain and sealers. I use my orbital sander and use 80-100 grit sandpaper.

Next, I removed the dust by wiping the piece with a Lysol wipe or damp rag. 

Then I applied the Dark and Decrepit. I use a brush and brush it on like paint. If you want the “stain” darker you apply more coats. If you want the color lighter you can wipe it with a clean cloth or use water in a spray bottle to dilute it.


Dark & Decrepit is water-based and it has no fumes.  No small.  Nothing. You can safely use it indoors and around your kids without any worries. Clean up is also easy because it is water-based. You can use Dawn dish soap (I only use the blue one) or a Paint Pixie Suds Soap to clean your brush as you would with paint. You can read more about my favorite way to clean brushes in my post How to Clean Your Brushes the Easy Way.

Sealing is easy, too. I just use DIY Paint Big Top which is also water-based and also non-toxic. I usually apply 2-3 coats to protect the surface. 


Thanks to DIY Paint I actually enjoy refinishing wood only furniture. Still not convinced? Check out just a few pieces that are finished with Dark & Decrepit.

Want to get some DIY Paint Dark & Decrepit to try for yourself? I sell a full line of DIY Paint products at my Project Booth at Plaza Antiques & Collectibles Mall in Lincoln Park, Michigan. If you are not local you can shop online and have it delivered to your door.  

Need more tips on staining?  Check out my YouTube videos.

If you hate staining wood the old way you have to try this. Happy Painting!


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