How to Make Semi-Transparent Stain From House Paint

Semi-transparent stains can be made from house paint to add a touch of color to wood or other surfaces to be sure the stain will match and complement solid painted surfaces. Picture frames, wooden counters and dresser or other furniture are just a few ideas on which to use a custom semi-transparent stain. In addition, creating a semi-transparent stain from house pain will help to use up old pain and prevent it from having to be disposed of properly or ending up in a landfill.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Sealed container
  • Water
  • Latex house paint

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Choose the house paint color for the stain you want to create.

Mix 1 cup water with 3 cups of the house paint in a sealable container.

Apply to a test area or test piece with a rag going with the grain of the wood or in a single direction for other materials and wipe off excess.

Mix a measured amount of paint for a darker, more dense stain. Mix a measured amount of water for a lighter, less dense stain. Make a note of all measured amounts so the proportions.

Apply the custom stain with a rag going with the grain of the wood or in a single direction for other materials and wipe off excess.

Tips & Warnings

  • Label the container with the paint color and proportion of water used so you can duplicate the custom stain for touch-ups or additions.
  • Always use adequate ventilation when working with paint. The fumes are harmful if inhaled.
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