How to Stain Wood With Acrylic Paint

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Things You'll Need

  • Fine grit sanding paper

  • Water

  • Paint mixing cup

  • Staining sponge

  • Clean dry cloth


Work quickly to wipe away the excess paint when it has been applied to the wood. If left too long, it will bleed more deeply into the wood than you may wish and alter the look of the stain.

Acrylic paint can be diluted to create a tinted wood stain.
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With a quick hand and a steady eye, it's possible to stain wood utilizing practically any type of paint available today. This attractive finish allows you to key wood accents within your home such as furniture or trim with the room in which the accents are placed. The beauty of the wood is shown through the light coloration of staining rather than hiding the wood grain beneath a layer of opaque, boring paint.


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Step 1

Place the wood to be stained on a level, solid surface, then use the sanding paper to smooth away any rough edges, particularly in the ends of the wood where the color is likely to penetrate much more deeply and stain darker than the rest of the wood. Use the clean cloth to thoroughly clean away any dust, dirt or debris which remains on the wood.


Step 2

Pour your choice of acrylic paint into the paint mixing cup to the 1/4 full mark. Dilute the acrylic paint with tap water by adding half as much water as you added paint. This will allow the color to remain, but will remove the paint's thickness.

Step 3

Dip the sponge into the paint and then completely coat the wood to be stained with the acrylic color. Saturate the color completely into the wood, but work quickly so that the acrylic color does not yet begin to dry.


Step 4

Fold the cloth several times over itself to create a tight ball of cloth, then quickly wipe away the excess paint before it dries onto the wood. By doing this, you will allow the tint of the color to remain in the pores of the wood while wiping away any excess drip marks which would indicate that paint was used rather than stain. To darken the color, apply more of the acrylic paint in another coat and then wipe again. The more coats you add, the darker the stain will become.