Upgrade Your Furniture with Gorgeously Floral Wood Stain Art

Craft & Design Furniture & Lighting Home
Upgrade Your Furniture with Gorgeously Floral Wood Stain Art

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plain table wood stain
It’s hard to imagine that the painted and stained table above started as this very ordinary garage sale purchase.

Painted furniture can be quite beautiful, but the paint can sometimes chip or lose its luster. An awesome and unique solution to this is to paint with wood stain!

Bethany from Sawdust and Embryos has a talent for using wood stain to paint images on furniture and it looks like a lot of fun:

Doing wood stain art is soooo addicting for me. I wouldn’t call it ‘instant’ gratification, but the transformation happens over the course of a couple hours… and it’s so fun to watch it unfold!


In a blog post from a few years ago, Bethany talked about how she first started shading with wood stain. It was a few years ago that she first experimented with this technique and her first project was a simple petal/flower design she did on a bar.

You may not know this about me, but I love to draw with charcoal. I love the shading, and the instant gratification of seeing a masterpiece unfold before your eyes. I can’t draw a person to save my life… but I can shade, yo!

I get an inordinate amount of joy from coming up with new ways to make furniture (or a room) unique and beautiful. And I started thinking about how, in theory, you should be able to get the same charcoal shading effect using STAIN on wood. I was realllllllly excited to give this a try!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsE22so4G8Y]

The process is really straightforward and all you need to do this yourself is a cotton cloth (she first started using a paintbrush but found it much easier to work just with the cloth and her hand) and wood stain (she sometimes works with multiple wood stains for a design)! Then, like most pieces of art, you need an idea. Bethany finds flowers to be perfect for this shadowing technique, so in the video above you can see her painting a dahlia.


Once she has the image drawn out, she uses a projector to transfer the image onto the furniture she is working on. Then, it’s all about the technique.

Learn the trick to her wood stain shading in the video below (she starts by showing herself working on a table, but you can skip to about 5:20 if you are really eager to learn how she does it).

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIQUHlAWqJ4]
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Nicole is a former Editorial Intern at Make: She is a long time maker and previously worked for Instructables.com (Penolopy Bulnick). Every day she is inspired by something new and wishes there was more hours in the day to make!

View more articles by Nicole Smith