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6 Great Homemade Wood Finishing Recipes: Easy DIY Steps and Printable

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!

Image showing lemon, vinegar, and olive oil for a post about how to make DIY wood cleaner and 5 other homemade wood finishes and stain.

Check out my tips for perfect furniture distressing if your looking for an easy way to give your furniture a unique look!

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.

Mixing up a batch of the Homemade Wood Cleaner.

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.

Follow the link to get the Printer-friendly PDF. Print it out and hang in your garage. Room for your recipes included. Save these 6 Recipes for woodworking and furniture finishing to your Pinterest boards. Homemade Wood Cleaner and Restorer Recipe, Chalk Paint Recipe with Plaster of Paris, Chalk Board Paint Recipe, Homemade Wood Stains, Homemade Whitewash Recipe, and a Recipe for Beeswax Furniture Polish.
The Finished Homemade Wood Cleaner

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.

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

You can see how I used this homemade whitewash for a rustic look on my DIY Scrap Wood Table Top or these Easy DIY Drawer Boxes.

Adding a whitewash finish to this DIY Scrap Wood Table Top.

DIY Chalk Paint Recipe with Plaster of Paris

Chalk Paint is definitely my most used homemade wood finish. I use it on everything, like this DIY Gray Chalk Paint Furniture Makeover or this Easy DIY Long Wooden Table Tray.

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.

Watch this video to see everything you need to make your own DIY chalk paint at home. And, check out my guide for how to get a smooth finish with chalk paint too.

How to DIY Chalk Paint at Home - Easy Recipe using Latex Paint and Plaster of Paris

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.

Save these 6 Homemade Wood Finishing Recipes for woodworking and furniture finishing. Homemade Wood Cleaner and Restorer Recipe, Chalk Paint Recipe with Plaster of Paris, Chalk Board Paint Recipe, Homemade Wood Stains, Homemade Whitewash Recipe, and a Recipe for Beeswax Furniture Polish. Printer-friendly PDF to hang in your garage. Room for your recipes included. #homemade #furniture #recipe #stain #chalk
Don’t forget to Save or Share this list of DIY wood finishing and cleaning recipes.

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.

Homemade Wood Filler with Sawdust - DIY Steps and Tips

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!

My poor front door takes a serious beating from the hot Texas sun. This 1-step fix moisturizes my Dry Wood Front Door, gets rid of heat haze, brings back the shine, and protects the door from sun-damage.

Check out these handy steps for How to Clean Marble Shower Tile and safely Kill Mildew without etching the marble.

Here's the easy to follow DIY steps for How to Clean Marble Shower Tile, safely kill that gross mildew, and seal your marble. With How-To Video and DIY Marble Tile Cleaning Steps.

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.

How to Whiten Grout with a quick and easy DIY Grout Renew.

Here’s How to Stain Wood Furniture without Stripping the Old Stain.

Easy DIY Steps to Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping the Old Stain. I'm using General Finishes Java Gel Stain for this makeover.

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!


Friday 24th of January 2020

Great post, I'll definitely be trying a few of these recipes! Thanks for sharing your recipes with us at the Creative Muster. Looking forward to seeing what you’ll be sharing next week. Pinned! Robin 😊


Saturday 25th of January 2020

Thanks so much, Robin!


Wednesday 12th of July 2017

Fantastic post. This is going to be a continuous resource. Pinning in a couple of boards.


Wednesday 12th of July 2017

Thanks so much, Leanna. So glad you liked it. :)

Amber Harrop

Tuesday 11th of July 2017

What great homemade recipes I must try some of these


Wednesday 12th of July 2017

They are handy to have around. :)

Kimm at Reinvented

Tuesday 11th of July 2017

Your chalk paint recipe is fantastic. I have not seen this before... Thanks for sharing at Waste Not Wednesday.


Tuesday 11th of July 2017

Thanks, Kimm! Have a great week!

April J Harris

Thursday 6th of July 2017

What a fantastic resource this post is! I love that so many of your finishing recipes contain natural ingredients too. I'd love it if you'd share this post with us at The Hearth and Soul Link Party, which is live on my blog now! Pinned!


Monday 10th of July 2017

I'll check it out, April. Thanks!!

Comments are closed.