Making Your Own Walnut Stain

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Master woodworker George Vondriska shows you how to make your own homemade walnut stain for finishing your woodworking projects. A WoodWorkers Guild of America (WWGOA) original video.

Discussion
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15 Responses to “Making Your Own Walnut Stain”
  1. Wayne Williams in Garland, TX

    I noticed that the make date on the lid was 10/5/09. Does it really last over 4 yrs in the refrigerator?? If not, how long do you think it will last?

    Reply
    • George Vondriska

      That date was when we shot the clip. The finish is long gone. It’s a lot like having any other fruit juice in your fridge. It’s going to go bad over time. I try to make it as needed, not planning on storing it. It’s probably good for a couple months.

      Reply
  2. Zeke Corder

    Add about 1 part household ammonia to the cooled liquid to extract even more color and help preserve the stain better. The same can be done with leaves of various trees and/or bushes. 3 parts water to 1 part household ammonia and soak the leaves from walnut, birch and other trees or bushes. Soak for 1-7 days until the color suits you, then take out the leaves. Vent the lid when you take the stain out of the refrigerator, especially if you shop is not air conditioned on a hot day. Too much temperature change in an air-tight container can produce explosive results.Once you have the raw, water-based stains (dyes) you can begin mixing and diluting them to obtain the color you desire.

    Reply
  3. Big Good Bob

    got chest nut and black walnut I know black walnut but can it be used on chestnuts?

    Reply
    • WWGOA Team

      Thank you for contacting us. In regards to your question, I’ve never used this process on chestnuts. It might be worth a try.

      Reply
  4. Barry Nelipowitz

    Hi there!

    I’m just getting acquainted with making natural finishes and was curious if there was a differentiation in making a dye using a black walnut hull powder? I’m assuming it’s similar, as far as adding and diluting, but do you think you’d have to boil it as well since it’s already a powder? Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • WWGOA Team

      Hi, Barry. Sorry, I don’t have any experience with walnut powder. You may have to do some experimentation.

      Reply
  5. Norman Nicolson

    Ok ,but where do I get the walnuts? I would use burnt umber colour paste, or better still transparent iron oxide stainers

    Reply
  6. James Finlay

    Instead of refrigeration and since the stain is organic, have you considered a canning process?
    Using pint jars (not sure how much stain you use at one time,) process like any food product (put filled, sealed jars in a water bath for 10-20 minutes, remove, let cool and label.) I would think that the stain could last for years.

    Reply
  7. Roxie Jones

    Instead of refrigerating the stain, is it possible to hot water can it (like you do vegetables), and keep it on the shelf?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Roxie. My guess is that you could hot water bath/can any of the organic stains, like you would tomatoes, but I’ve never tried it. It’s basically fruit juice (or vegetable juice) so it should work, allowing you to store the stain without refrigeration.

      Reply
  8. Roland

    Any recommendations for a homemade wood conditioner and sealer after using the walnut stain? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Roland. Thanks for the note. This is an interesting idea, but unfortunately we do not have any suggestions for you on this front.
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply

Tags: finishing tips, Free Videos, George Vondriska, walnut stain, wood finishing, woodworkers guild of america