DIY / Tutorials Furniture Home Decor Project Gallery Woodworking

Update Old Wood with Stain ~ Easy DIY

I don’t know about you, but I run across unfinished primitive pieces of furniture all the time and as much as I like the rustic look, sometimes it needs revitalized because of damage or wear. Today, I want to show you how easy it is to update old wood with a simple treatment using stain.

My candidate for this makeover is a primitive chicken wire cupboard I got off of Craigslist.

Primitive Chicken Wire Cupboard Before Update | Prodigal Pieces |

A lady was moving and unloading all sort of furniture that was not her style anymore and she was done with Americana decor. This cupboard is in great shape structurally, but had been drawn on in marker, and had plenty of water ring damage to the top.

Damaged Top of Primitive Cupboard | Prodigal Pieces |

*this post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too! (see full disclosure)

Thankfully, most of the stains are not chemical related and will be an easy fix to hide. Of course, you can always paint something like this, but that would require a few coats and a whole lot more work.

To save me on steps, and because I love to keep wood that is in good shape in its wood state, I chose to update this cupboard with stain. I left the doors on, but removed the latches, knobs, and beadboard backing to make staining easier.

At first, I was going to use a dark stain, but the more I looked at it, the more I wanted to lighten the color of the cupboard. So, my choice was this Sunbleached stain we used on our bedroom floor and also on this coffee table makeover.

Sunbleached Stain by Varathane to Update Old Wood | Prodigal Pieces |

Using a foam brush, I let one coat of stain soak in and then wiped off the excess with an old sock. (you know I have plenty of those hanging around!)

For the beadboard, I wanted to lighten it up as well, so I gave it a coat of flat white paint. I could certainly use another finish like eggshell or satin, but I wanted this to be a sort of wash and keep with the primitive scheme.

Painting Beadboard Backing White | Prodigal Pieces |

After all is cured and ready to reassemble, I use my nailer to put the beadboard back on. Then, I replace the pulls and latches. This whole process only took me a couple of hours, but the after was soooo worth it. It’s simple to update old wood.

Sunbleached Primitive Cupboard Redone by Prodigal Pieces |

Now this once sad-looking cupboard showcases a rustic touch. It’s a perfect spot for displaying your wares. If you love it, you can find it available in my shop. (SOLD)

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Front of Primitive Cupboard with New Stain by Prodigal Pieces |

Inside of Primitive Cupboard with Beadboard Backing by Prodigal Pieces |

I think sometimes we tire of our decor because it is tired looking. So, why not refresh your home and be budget conscious at the same time? No need to break the bank to update your decor. For example, that screen sifter is an easy repurposed decorative item with magnets and botanical prints.

Barn Wood Style Primitive Cupboard by Prodigal Pieces |

While those vintage green water jars were found curbside by my friend. tsk. Gotta love good friends.

Repurposed Farmhouse Screen as Decor with Green Glass Bottles for Vases by Prodigal Pieces |

The next time you see a piece that has a good skeleton with raw wood, give stain a try. Why not for a quick fix to update old wood, right? I’d love it if you would pin and share to inspire others to do the same. ♥

Revitalizing Old Wood with One Easy DIY Method - Stain by Prodigal Pieces |

Next up I am joining in a super-fun event called Swap It Like It’s Hot. It’s where a large group of bloggers and myself send each other thrifted finds to makeover. Come on over to see what I did with these HERE.

Assortment of Thrift Store Finds for #SwapItLikeItsHot Challenge | Prodigal Pieces |

blog signature


More makeovers for you like how to update old wood:

Budget-Friendly DIY Farmhouse Style Bathroom Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

An outdated dresser just needs a little TLC and new look to get it back to the classic vintage style by Prodigal Pieces |


12 replies on “Update Old Wood with Stain ~ Easy DIY”

Still waiting to see something of yours that I don’t like! Lol! Aside from your intuitive and detailed work on items, your gift for staging them is amazing! Have a great day, Larissa! Happy Spring!

I learned about “sunbleach” stain. I also have a deeper appreciation for prune juice green glass bottles! You know how to stage your pieces. I love your blog with all your imaginative ideas!

Thank you for the love, Marie. It’s funny that I buy things to stage and sell and then end up keeping them. ha! The screens is staying with me…for now. 😉

What a lovely piece! And I love the stain you chose. ? Your blog inspires me to find the beauty in the broken, abandoned pieces I find…thanks for sharing your heart and your talent with us!

I would like to re-do an oak dining table with Varathane Sunbleached. Can I also use white wax to emphasize the grain? Would I wax it after staining or before? Some tutorials I have seen use the sunbleached stain first, then wax, then a slightly darker, thinned out brownish stain on top, followed with polyurethane. suggestions most appreciated!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.