How to stain: using an old towel.

Do you have a bunch of old towels hanging around your house? Ever wonder what to do with them? I have a solution for you! Use them! Not like you would think, use them; but repurpose them. Use them when you craft! How? you ask. Well, I’m gonna show you, how to stain a wood project using an old towel, right now.

Whenever I am staining a project, I ALWAYS use old towels. I hated how the stain would eat away at my sponge brushes. And I didn’t want to clean out the paint brushes every time, especially after a small little project. So I had the idea to use my old towels lying around. You know, those towels that are not soft enough to use after you shower, but are still not old enough to throw out? Yeah, those ones! Here’s how I do it!


The project I will be demonstrating with today is a small wooden frame. If you want to make one for yourself, click here!

Step 1: How to prep your old towel

When you have your supplies all gathered, you want to start by cutting a small (4×4″) square from your old towel. If your towel is old enough, you can cut a small slit and then just tear the rest.

Be sure to pull any strings that are left around the edges. Spread the rest of the towel out on your work surface to protect it.

Step 2: How to stain your wood project with an old towel

When you have your towel laid out and your project on top, put gloves on and then open your can of stain. (Be sure you have mixed it well otherwise the color is not as deep)

Dip the small square of towel into the stain and then rub it on your wood project.

Repeat as many times as you need and rotate the project to coat all areas.

Step 3: How to wipe off the excess stain using an old towel

After you have coated the entire project, close up the container and set the small towel piece on the top of the can. Using the towel you spread on your work surface (the left over of the old towel) begin wiping all the excess off of your project. The harder you wipe, the more stain will come off and the faster your project will dry.

Make sure you wipe all sides, edges, corners, and crevices. If there is a crack or split in your wood, you want to focus on that part a little extra because sometimes it can hold a more concentrated amount that, later, will run.

When you have wiped off all the excess stain, set your project aside and let it dry for at least 24hrs before working with it again (sometimes I even wait a week) You want to do this to make sure it is dry and doesn’t get any residual on anything else. I know, that’s a long time and we can be impatient these days, but I promise the one time you don’t wait long enough and you accidentally ruin something, you will say, “I wish I listed to her!” Trust me, I know!

Once your project has dried, you are free to work with it however you choose!

I hope you have found this old towel staining technique useful. Whenever I use it, it saves me time. Craft away my friends! And enjoy getting rid of some old towel clutter in the process!


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