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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Dollar Store DIY: How to Make Paint Look Like Stained Wood

Get the look of stained wood with this super easy painting technique.

Do you ever find something at a dollar store, thrift store or on clearance and wish it were a different finish or color?  It's easy to repaint something to match your decor, but what if you prefer the look of stained wood instead?  The good news is, you can easily achieve the look of stain using paint in just a few simple steps.

How to get the look of stained wood with paint

The other week, I shared my recent Dollar Tree purchases and a few new products that caught my eye.  One of those items were black pedestal candle holders that I have been in search of for months.  Even though they aren't made of wood (they are more of a plaster material) and they don't have the best reviews, I was still determined to update them to resemble the look of wood.

Supplies needed to make inexpensive Dollar Tree pillar candle holders look like stained wood.
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- White (I used plaster) chalk paint
- Black craft paint
- Dark brown craft paint
- Light brown craft paint
- Paint brush
- Paper towels

Dollar Tree pedestal candle holders before

Paint supplies for giving painted dollar tree candle holders a stained look.

STEP ONE: Give your pedestal candle holders a fresh coat of white, cream or antique white chalk paint then let dry.  This will give your candlesticks a good base coat and cover any imperfections.

Dollar Tree painted pedestal candle holders before
step one: apply white paint to candle holders
Using a paper towel or old cotton rag, apply antique wax over the entire candle holder and let dry.  Make sure to apply a generous amount in the creases where stain would naturally collect.

step two: apply antique wax over over white paint with a paper towel or old cotton rag

applying antique wax over white paint
Apply dark brown and light brown craft paint and blend together (while wet) to create the natural look of stain.
Step three: apply a mix of light and dark brown paint to give the appearance of stained wood

For a darker stained look, let the paint completely dry then blend a bit of black paint sparingly throughout the candle holder.  I found it best to dampen a paper towel, dab it into black paint, blot off the access then rub the paint onto the candle holder.  Keeping the paint thin and wet allows it to easily blend into the rest of the colors.

If you prefer an aged or more distressed barn wood look, use gray tones (light and dark) then apply white paint over the candle holder the same way I did the black..  

The end result, is a blend of colors that perfectly resembles the look of stained wood. 
How to make paint look like stain

An easy tutorial for giving paint the look of stained wood

How to achieve the look of stained wood with paint

How to easily get the look of stained wood using paint

how to turn any painted surface into stained wood

In just a few quick and easy steps, I was able to give cheap looking Dollar Tree pedestal candle holders a more expensive, beautiful stained look.  The beauty of this technique is you can make your "stain" any color and use it on almost any type of material or decor piece.  The possibilities are endless!

How to easily get the look of stain with paint


Would you like to comment?

  1. Terrific technique! Thanks for the easy step-by-step directions.

  2. Great Minds!! I bought the white ones. Going to repaint, not sure how yet. I bought four so I could attach two together to make a taller candle holder for the center, with the two shorter ones in front, on each side.I love groupings of three or five :) Really enjoy your blog and your ideas :)

  3. Wow, shocking! This is super fabulous

  4. These candle holders turned out amazing!