DIY Dream Home

How To Driftwood Stain (Without Really Staining)

July 19, 2015

I love a good DIY, and Ikea has some great stuff begging to be fixed up. There are countless hacks on how to take the inexpensive furniture and turn it into something more custom. Also, I have had this dresser for a LONG time. It has been a great dresser, but unfortunately, it no longer fit my decor. So, I decided to give it a little face lift, and I love the way it turned out!

I didn’t have a photo of it, but originally this dresser had round wooden knobs to match the top of the dresser. I changed those to crystal knobs a while back, but it still didn’t look the way I wanted it to, so I took it a step further.

Here is what I used:

Behr Subtle Gray Paint. I had some leftover from painting our house, so that is what I used, but any white or light gray will do the trick.

Rags. Cheesecloth or painters rags will work beautifully!

Sandpaper. I used 100 grit, but you can choose depending on how rough or rustic you want your wood to look. The lower the number, the rougher it is.

Water. I don’t think I need to elaborate on this one.

Paint brush. The size of the paintbrush just depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. I used a medium one.

Plastic Cup. You will use this to mix the paint and the water. Plastic is easier because you can just toss it when you’re done!

Don’t mind me awkwardly taking this photo, but this is what it looked like before. Just a boring honey oak stain.


  1. Sand wood down to desired texture, trying to remove as much stain as possible.
  2. Combine water and paint in a plastic cup. 1 part paint for every 2 parts water. This may seem watered down, but you can build with the color. It is better to start too light.
  3. Using your paintbrush, brush small sections at a time and immediately wipe with a rag in long strokes, going with the grain of the wood. Small sections are key, you don’t want your paint to  dry before you have a chance to go over it with the rag.
  4. To reach to desired color, repeat step 3. I used about two or three coats.


In the process of sanding. I thought this looked pretty cool though!


Brushing and wiping the paint in small sections.

Totally driftwood


Viola! Finished product.

Our bedroom is completely gray toned, so I love that the dresser matches now!

You are loved,





You Might Also Like