I knew when I was making this birdbath that I wanted the legs to be a brown – almost black stain. So I grabbed me a can of very dark stain and tried it on the dowel. I could see instantly that it wasn’t going to soak in and was basically going to look like crap.
So I hammered the lid on the can of stain.
In this photo, along with my boob, you might notice the stain splattered all over me. This was removed with a very toxic blend of Varsol and swear words.
So since staining wasn’t going to work, I came up with this little method to make uncooperative wood dowels appear stained. I’m pretty sure I didn’t invent this technique and it’s been done before but it’s darn effective.
Follow along if you would like some wood that appears to be stained but is actually painted with some folk art paints you bought at a garage sale approximately 7 years ago just KNOWING one day you’d have a use for them. Cause you sure weren’t gonna use em to paint folk art.
Whenever I do something like this I mix my paint on an old ceramic tile. Nice and smooth, plus easy to wipe clean.
I added a blob of dark brown, then a blob of black. Sorry for using all these technical terms.
Since I want the paint to act more like a stain I dilute it with a few sprays of water.
Look. Art. Pretty, huh? This paint/water blob is now my screensaver.
Mix up your colours. Or colors. Depending on where you're from of course.
Paint's still too opaque and not dark enough.
Another spritz of water to thin it out ...
... another few drops of black to darken it up.
Better. Much better. Time for a snack. Back in a second.
now the important part. to really make the paint look like a stain, as soon as you apply it, wipe the paint off with a paper towel. The harder you rub, the more paint you'll take off. If it's still too opaque you can spritz the dowel with water and wipe again.
your fingers will look like this. deal with it. For an even better shot of my hands go to The Art of Doing Stuff Facebook page. There's also a story about my Simian line to go with the pic. I'm part monkey.
You need to varathane it if it's goin' outside. Yeah it's a spray, yeah it's probably toxic ... too bad. that's what I had in my basement so that's what i'm using.
try to look away or hold your breath ... whatever you need to do and then spray it! I gave it 3 thin coats.
Now lets go make a birdbath!