Re-purpose to Craft in Style, Part 3: Staining

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Now we’re to the fun part — bringing the wood back to life.

Since I was dealing with 2 different woods, I decided to stain the table top and just use tung oil on the rest to seal it. I typically use tung oil rather than stain. It lets the true beauty of the wood come through and you control the level of shine by how many coats you use. I tend to use just 1 or 2 coats because I like a more matte look. I used the tung oil first then bought a stain to match the color I got, so it all blends back together again.

What you’ll need:

  • Tack cloth
  • Tung Oil
  • Desired stain
  • Staining pads
  • Lint free cotton cloth
  • Work gloves
  • Gallon zip bag

Before using the tung oil or stain, please read the directions on the cans and follow the disposal directions.

What to do:

  1. Go over the entire piece again with the tack cloth to ensure it is dust free
  2. Put on your gloves
  3. Pour a small amount of the tung oil on a staining pad
  4. Evenly wipe the areas you just want to seal with the tung oil (if you get too much on, wipe it away with the lint-free cloth)
  5. Coat all areas you want to seal
  6. Go back over the oiled areas with a cloth, rubbing in a circular motion (if your cloth sticks, put a tiny bit of oil on the cloth to help it glide over the surface easily)
  7. Allow to dry
  8. If you like the sheen of the surface, you can put the tung oil away & properly dispose of the pads & cloths used with it
  9. If you want a bit more shine, repeat steps 2-8 until satisfied (more coats = shiner fininsh)
  10. Next, apply the stain to the other areas of the piece using a fresh staining pad
  11. Apply a liberal amount of stain to the pad
  12. Rub the stain into the wood going with the grain
  13. Wipe off any excess
  14. Allow to dry
  15. Apply 1 layer of tung oil to seal the surface following steps 2-7 (I only use 1 coat to keep the finish matte, but you want the sheen to match the rest of the piece)

You’re done! Instead of adding more plasticized particle board to the world, you brought back the beauty of a solid-wood piece, probably made by hand before you were even born. You should be proud!

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To keep your piece clean, simply dust with a dry cloth or a slightly damp cloth. If you need to clean something off, I recommend Orange Glo wood cleaner. Stay away from any & all wax!! If your piece gets a lot of wear & tear, simply apply another light coat of tung oil as needed.

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So go hit the antique stores, estate sales, garage sales, etc & find a piece that speaks to you that you can re-purpose. Most importantly, have fun with it!


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