Today we're talking wood stain.
I just finished up this bathroom ladder shelf:
I love how the color turned out! I wanted it to be similar to this swatch from Restoration Hardware:
Look at the two pictures and I'd say it's pretty dang close. I love how it's greyed and weathered looking, but still warm and cozy. I read all sorts of tutorials online and most of them included staining, staining, sanding, painting, staining some more, and top-coating.
That sounded like a lot of work.
Or there's always the vinegar and steel wool option, which I already know is unreliable.
So I asked my husband what he would do and he suggested Boiled Linseed Oil.
I was so skeptical that I stood in the aisles of Lowes for half an hour thinking before I decided to trust him and give it a try. I should listen to him more often (shh....don't tell him!). It worked like a charm!
I started with a test piece of wood and mixed different proportions of stains. Don't skip this step. It will tell you a lot.
I settled on one spoonful of Minwax stain in Ebony with three spoonful of Minwax stain in Red Mahogany. Then I filled up the rest of the relish-sized glass jar with boiled linseed oil.
Then I just wiped the mixture on with an old sock. It was so easy. It only took me an hour!
The linseed oil protects the wood, so there is no need for a top coat. That saved me a step and gave me the raw, old-wood look that would be hard to get with a shiny polyurethane top-coat.