6 Essential Homemade Wood Finishing Recipes

6 Essential Homemade Wood Finishing Recipes

I’ve rounded up my little slips of paper full of chalk paint, chalkboard paint, stain, and wood recipes to make this awesome printable for you…and me.

If you’re like me, you have to search for a homemade paint and furniture recipe every month or so. These recipes have lots of variations on the internet, most of them work great. These are just my current favorites. I’ve included these recipes: 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.

I’ve included some space for notes or adjustments on each recipe and empty spots for your own recipes. Yea! Print this reference guide and hang it in your garage or work space, so you’ll never have to search for that recipe again.

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. Or you might want to 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. Well, these mixes are easy to use and now I’ve made them very handy too.

Note: Vinegar is environmentally safe and very cheap, but doesn’t work for all floors, stones or woods. Waxed floors and stones can be damaged by the acid in vinegar. And frequent vinegar use may cloud or soften the finish on some engineered and hardwood floors. Follow the manufacturers directions or research your materials before applying vinegar.


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Disclaimer: Make sure to always read the directions for any products or tools you use while building. Always check for square and double-check those measurements too. Read the full disclaimer.


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.
Mixing up a batch of the Homemade Wood Cleaner
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 Wood Cleaner and Restorer Recipe

Cleans and nourishes that wood, without the waxy build up. Store in an plastic or glass container. Works on leather and stainless steel too. Shake up before each use. Apply with a clean rag.

  • 3/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Distilled White Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
Homemade Recipe for Beeswax Furniture Polish

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.

Homemade 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. 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
Homemade Whitewash 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)
Chalk Paint Recipe with Plaster of Paris

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. Will be runnier than regular latex and needs extra coats. Sand lightly with fine grit sandpaper between coats. Protect with polyurethane or wax.

  • 1/4 cup of Warm Water
  • 1/2 cup Plaster of Paris
  • 2  cups Latex Paint (flat, matte, or eggshell work best)
Homemade Chalk Board 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 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.

Here’s a preview of the PDF. I’ve included these recipes: 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.

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.
Download the actual PDF at the end of this post.
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.
Don’t forget to Pin Me

Looking for more information on DIY Chalkboard Paint? See why some DIY Latex Chalkboard Paint recipes work with some latex but not others and find out how to troubleshoot and mix that paint properly.

Step by step photo guide to mixing and using latex chalkboard paint


Email Subscribers can download the 6 Wood and Furniture Finishing Recipes Here.


Feeling inspired? Want to try one of these: 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? Follow the links above to get the things you’ll need. 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!

15 thoughts on “6 Essential Homemade Wood Finishing Recipes

  1. This is so handy Steph! I’ve used the wood cleaner, stain and whitewash and they’re all great. I especially love the stain – it darkens without any red/orange that a lot of ready-made stains have. xx

  2. OMG!!! I did not know anything about these. Thank you so much for sharing with us these homemade wood finishing recipes 🙂

  3. 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!

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

  5. What great homemade recipes I must try some of these

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

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