6 Great Homemade Wood Finishing Recipes; including DIY Wood Cleaner, Wood Stain, Whitewash, Chalk Paint, Furniture Wax, & Chalkboard Paint.
Homemade Wood Finishing Recipes
Hi Guys! Today, I’m excited to share 6 of my favorite Homemade Wood Finishing Recipes with you all. You can make most of these with items from your kitchen and local hardware store.
And, you can grab the FREE printable PDF at the end of this post for your garage.
And, I’ve included some space for notes or adjustments on each recipe and empty spots for your own recipes. Yea!
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Check out my tips for perfect furniture distressing if your looking for an easy way to give your furniture a unique look!
Table of contents
- Homemade Wood Finishing Recipes
- DIY Homemade Wood Cleaner
- Homemade Beeswax Furniture Polish Recipe
- DIY Wood Stains with Coffee or Tea and Steel Wool Recipe
- DIY Whitewash Paint Recipe
- DIY Chalk Paint Recipe with Plaster of Paris
- Homemade Chalkboard Paint Recipe
- BONUS RECIPE: Homemade Wood Filler
Why I Use Homemade Wood Finishes Sometimes
Some of you might be wondering why you’d use homemade versions of paints, polishes, or cleaners. There are plenty of great and safe store bough brands out there.
But sometimes it’s just easier and cheaper to make your own DIY wood stain or DIY Chalk Paint or whatever you need. And, making your own means you can be sure about the ingredients being used.
Or maybe you just want an exact shade of chalk paint or stain that you can’t find in the stores.
So, it’s always handy to have a go-to DIY wood finishing recipe for whatever you like to use, so that you can whip it up when you need it.
DIY Homemade Wood Cleaner
This DIY Wood Cleaner cleans and nourishes wood, without the waxy build up of some store-bought cleaners. You can store it in an air-tight plastic or glass container.
This homemade wood cleaner works on leather and stainless steel too. Shake up well before each use. Then apply with a clean rag.
I used this homemade wood cleaner on this trash to treasure Office Chair Makeover.
- 3/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Distilled White Vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
Note: This homemade wood cleaner is for furniture, not flooring. Vinegar is environmentally safe and very cheap, but doesn’t work for all flooring. Waxed wood floors and stones can be damaged by the acid in vinegar.
And frequent vinegar use can cloud or soften the finish on some engineered and hardwood floors. Follow the manufacturers directions or research your materials before applying vinegar.
Homemade Beeswax Furniture Polish Recipe
Grate or chop beeswax. Then melt in a double-boiler. Once melted, remove from heat and add oil. Mix completely and store in a glass container. Use a wax brush or clean rag to apply and buff to a smooth finish.
- 1/4 cup Beeswax
- 3/4 cup Olive Oil
DIY Wood Stains with Coffee or Tea and Steel Wool Recipe
Put steel wool into a large mason jar. Cover that steel wool with the vinegar and coffee grounds or steeped tea. Let it sit for 3 days, shaking well every day.
Leaving it for longer will darken the stain. You can strain out the steel wool and coffee grounds with cheesecloth once desired color is reached.
Always shake well before using this Homemade Wood Finishing Recipe. Use a foam brush to apply. Brush away any grounds as you apply.
Experiment with different levels of tea and coffee for different shades of grays and browns. Tea seems to lean more gray and coffee more brown.
- 2 pieces of Fine Steel Wool
- 1 Tablespoon Coffee Grounds or Steeped Tea
- 2 cups White Vinegar
DIY Whitewash Paint Recipe
Whitewash really refers to the technique and effect, any color of latex can be used. Mix water and paint in a glass jar or plastic container.
This is runny so use a brush, roller, or even a rag to apply in light layers. Be sure to wipe away all drips.
- 1 part Water
- 1 part Latex Paint (flat or matte works best) or Chalk Paint
DIY Chalk Paint Recipe with Plaster of Paris
Add Plaster of Paris to warm water in a large Mason Jar. Stir and let the mixture dissolve and cool.
After the mixture dissolves and returns to room temperature, add Latex Paint and mix thoroughly. Mix again before each use. Apply with foam brush, roller, or chalk paint brush.
This will be runnier than regular latex and needs extra coats. Sand lightly with fine grit sandpaper between coats. Protect and seal with polyurethane or wax.
You can see also how I used this DIY chalk paint on my Laundry Room Cabinets (it’s the cream colored upper cabinets).
- 1/4 cup of Warm Water
- 1/2 cup Plaster of Paris
- 2 cups Latex Paint (flat, matte, or eggshell work best)
DIY Chalk Paint is actually hard to mess up. Some paints need more water, some need less. It depends on how thick the latex paint is.
Homemade Chalkboard Paint Recipe
Put grout in a clean container, use a plastic spoon or other hard object to break up lumps and make the grout as fine as possible.
Add Latex Paint, mix thoroughly, break up all lumps again. If it’s too thick add a bit more latex.
Apply with a good brush. Sand lightly with fine grit sandpaper between coats. Rub chalk all over surface to prep for use. You can see how I used this chalk board paint on my chalk board painted garage cabinets.
- 1 tbsp Non-Sanded Grout
- 1 cup Latex Paint (flat, matte, or eggshell work best)
That’s it! If you want to grab the free printable with all 6 wood finishing recipes, click the button below.
BONUS RECIPE: Homemade Wood Filler
Here’s a BONUS Homemade Wood Finishing Recipe. It’s not in the printable, but it’s super easy to make. Here’s my video steps and tips to make your own Wood Filler with Sawdust and Wood Glue.
More DIY Projects You Might Like
AND, this isn’t a DIY product. But, I really love this UV wax I found last year. I apply it to my sun damaged, dry wood door 2 or 3 times a year to protect it from the harsh Texas sun and it’s absolutely keeping the door finish shiny and as pretty as it was NEW!
Check out these handy steps for How to Clean Marble Shower Tile and safely Kill Mildew without etching the marble.
Get that professional store bought furniture look with this tutorial for how to stain a table top.
Here’s my favorite DIY way to make ugly grout look white and new again.
Feeling inspired? Want to try one of these: Homemade Wood Finishing Recipes? Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Or post pictures of your work and tag Abbotts At Home on FB, I’d love to see it!
Stephanie Abbott has been remodeling homes, updating & building furniture, and working on DIY home maintenance and cleaning tips for over 20 years. Her remodeling has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. And, her DIY YouTube channel has had more than 8 million views.
Most of the DIY tutorials and videos on this site focus on beginner to intermediate level DIY Projects that can be done in an affordable way without high-end, expensive tools. All of the cleaning tips on this website have been tested in her home.