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Step 2: Make your stain

For my stain I knew I wanted to go reddish. I ran half a bag of cranberries, 5 beets of varying sizes, and the arils of 1 pomegranate through my juicer. I did not get much juice from the cranberries (though that could be because they were a bit old). This yielded me roughly 26 - 28 ounces of juice once I skimmed off the foam.

You can use a variety of fruit and/or veggie combos to get different shades of greens, reds, purples, probably oranges .... feel free to experiment!

I have read you can cut up vegetables and simmer them for 4 hours or so (adding water as necessary) and strain that off to create a stain as well. I think directly juicing would give you a darker stain but either way should be fine.

I did 3 generous coats on my entire table and a 4th coat on half of it. My table, with leaves in, is approximately 7 feet by 3.5 feet. I used 12 or ounces including any spills and what was left in the foam brush when I was done.

I would advise making more than you think you need, because this will be a completely custom color for you and running out part way through would be sad!

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Awesome step by step write up! I'm a furniture builder and was surfing to see if there was a natural red alternative. Your write up is just what I needed. Will test some red wine and beet concoction. Thank you for the direction.
I'm wondering if this would cover putty. I found a drop leaf table that was in pretty rough shape and puttied it all up and now would like to use beet juice to stain it. Ps I've also skinned and stained a table with coffee and it turned out awesome!! I then sealed it with bees wax.
Hmm. I really don't know. Perhaps if you had some scrap wood you could put the putty on you could test it before you stained the whole table? My guess is it wouldn't take the liquid in the same way as the wood and would look different. <br><br>I definitely recommend sealing it! I never ended up sealing this table and where I stained is still a deeper shade than the trim, it certainly is not the beautiful red that I stained it. (I never sealed it because we need to make some repairs to the table that will involve sanding - it just hasn't happened yet.)
<p> I did a experimental piece with beet juice and did not apply a sealer. In about six weeks it went from reddish to brown. Maybe the sealer will keep that from happening. Thick coffee makes an interesting stain as does the classic steel wool rotted in water.</p>
<p> I did a experimental piece with beet juice and did not apply a sealer. In about six weeks it went from reddish to brown. Maybe the sealer will keep that from happening. Thick coffee makes an interesting stain as does the classic steel wool rotted in water.</p>
Awesome job ....and a great idea!!!! I wonder if this would work if you applied it over Kilz
Thank you very much! I am not very familiar with Kilz. If it is oily, I am not sure how well the color could soak in (like the trouble I had over the old stain?). If you have a spare piece of wood I would definitely try it on that first. <br> <br>And this definitely needs some sort of sealant over the top. When it gets wet, the color does lift. We need to do some work on the table so I haven't been able to seal it yet (hubby wants to sand it for part of the repair, kinda silly to finish it first). It still doesn't smell or anything weird like that, I am very pleased!
That's awesome, I'm going to try using some beets too
@Corwim Does this look about it? If so then you have whats known in the south as Polk. is this berry stage it is very poisonous. Do not get on hands and especially around your mouth. <br>but when it is very young(less than 2ft tall) it is picked, cooked and eaten like any other form of greens so long as the stalk is fully green. <br> <br>http://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/FPO/6HJ2/HD4VF8WK/FPO6HJ2HD4VF8WK.SQUARE.jpg <br>
Regarding the 'beading' in step 6, did you try anything to break the surface tension of the water such as a few drops of washing-up liquid added to the dye mix?
I did not. Dabbing slowly yielded an even-enough coating, since I was not necessarily trying to get a consistent color across the entire surface. Interesting idea!
@taransa:some kind of purplish red.I don't know what the plant is coz it's a kind of wild plant who has many small fruits with purplish red juice
That is awesome :) (sorry for the delayed reply!)
Looks great,nice job... Im curious to see how the color will change over time as well as the odor... Will it ferment? Will it cause fruit flies? Did you wax over top of the juice?
I was actually going to post an update on that this afternoon. So far I have not done anything on top to seal it. Unsealed, it will come off as you clean up wet spills on it (so, maybe not a big deal on say a picture frame but not good on a table). I plan to try butcher block oil since it is a surface we serve food on, and someday (hopefully) there will be kids who might eat directly off of it. <br> <br>We have not noticed any smell or any extra flies. Granted, we just hit our first big cold snap here (down into the low 50s outside during the day) so it isn't as big a fly season as June would be. I would imagine what fruit/veggies you chose would affect that - some are going to be more sugary than others. <br> <br>So, perhaps if you live somewhere hot (which I do) this would be a better cool weather project, so you could properly let it dry before sealing it. But I do recommend sealing it especially if you think it will get wet.
Awesome!I remember I &lsquo;ve dyed my wooden comb with vegetable stain
Very cool! What color did you dye it?
very cool! It's a shame the industrialized world has moved on to chemical stains when the plants around us give such awesome results. might i suggest <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Introduction-to-wood-staining/step5/Alternative-staining-mixtures/" rel="nofollow">This</a> instructable to do the edges?
I was actually looking at that 'ible before I posted mine (I was trying to see if anyone else had posted about using vegetable based stain). If I do decide to redo the trim at all I will certainly revisit it, though at the moment I am liking the color combo. I will post an updated day time picture this weekend to help show the color that it is better. <br> <br>Thanks for the link - it'll make it much easier to reference later :)
This is wonderful. I'd no idea this was possible. Thanks so much for sharing an alternative to the heavy-in-nasty-chemicals stuff.
You are quite welcome! It was awesome that the strongest smell while I was working was beets lol :)
Great Job! I am always amazed at how much a little cosmetic adjustment, like an application of stain, will change the look of something so dramatically. <br> <br>I like how you left the border unstained to get a two-tone table top.
Thanks! I love customizing what I have - way cheaper than buying custom! <br> <br>I really like the two-tone as well. I was a little unsure if it would work with the final color but it really makes it pop.

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Bio: I am married to my high school sweetheart. We recently welcomed our first child, a beautiful little girl. I love to cook and explore ways ... More »
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