Furniture Makeover: Weathered Driftwood Furniture Finish

by Diane Henkler on 09/23/2013

Last week, I gave you a glimpse of my dining room table that I had just completed making over using a driftwood furniture finish.  Today I will show you the process I used to make the transformation.


My dining room table is a hand-me-down from my mom and dad. I like the style of the table, but not the orange-tone finish.

Here is the table before:


and the after…


I love it – it is exactly the finish I wanted. The best part – it was easy and inexpensive to do.


I love the look of salvaged, driftwood, or greyed-stained wood and if I had money to buy all new furniture, I would acquire a few pieces of it.  So when I was recently asked if I would like to try out a new product called, Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish,  I was intrigued and said yes, thinking it may get me the look I want at a fraction of the cost of buying new.

I was sent two packages and some liming wax.  I read the directions  – all you have to do is add water to the powder and brush it on – EZ!  My type of project.  I saw a few photos of what the mixture/stain would do and decided to go for it.

I had to strip the table first.


I used CitraStrip after reading in the comments section in the post that I wrote about stripping my kitchen table that many of you recommend it.  Now that I have used it – I agree.  Thanks for the recommendation.  If you are going to strip furniture, this is product to use.   It comes in a spray version, too  – which is great to use on vertical pieces with lots of grooves.


I used clean cardboard boxes that I found in the dumpster behind my dollar store and a shower curtain liner that I bought inside the dollar store to protect the floor.

I applied the CitraStrip and let it sit overnight. In the morning, the old finish came right off with a plastic spatula and a steel wool pad.


After I removed all the stripper, I went over the table with a rag dampened in Odorless Mineral Spirits.  Then went over it again with a damp rag to rinse.


When the table was dry, I brushed on a coat of the Driftwood Finish.

How To Make the Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish/Stain:


Pour the contents of one packet into a glass jar with a lid.  I wanted a very light stain, so I added 4 cups of water to the powder and mixed it well.  (If you want a darker stain, use less water.)


Simply brush the mixture evenly over your surface.  Wipe away any excess with a lint free rag.


It dries quickly. Repeat until you have the surface covered.


In this photo, you can see from left to right:  bare wood, wet Driftwood Finish, dry Driftwood Finish.  As you can see – it adds a grey tone to the wood.  It removes the orange tint.


Liming wax (white wax) and greying wax is sold along with the stain.  I may wax the table in the future, but for now I am going to leave it just like this.

I used DIY chalk paint and clear wax to paint the underside and legs of the table.  I used the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe to make the chalk paint.

Some tips when working with the Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish:

  • It will stain your fingers, so wear rubber gloves and protect all surfaces you don’t want to stain.
  • Experiment first as the stain will look different on different types and pieces of wood.
  • I received 2 packs of stain. I only used one pack and a fraction of the mix for the table. It goes a long way. Cost $12.99 a pack.
  • It takes about 24 hours for the color to fully develop, so if you don’t want it too dark – only apply one coat, let dry and then after 24 hours, if you want it darker, apply another coat.
  • Applying poly or varnish is going to darken and change the color – use wax to protect.  The company sells liming wax as well as greying wax.  You could also just use a clear wax like Johnsons over it to protect.

You can find out more about about the Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish on their website.


This dining room table was one of my Mom’s favorite pieces of furniture. She enjoyed decorating and I know I got my designing eye from her.  She passed away soon after I started blogging, but I know she would like the table’s new look. I can hear her saying while waving her arms up in the air in excitement…Oooohh!… Ooohhh!… can you do that on something for me.  XO

Now I have to tackle the chairs.  I have a lineup  of chairs to do  – the 3 in my kitchen and now add 6 more.

I see a lot of chair painting in my near future.


More furniture stripping projects:

Furniture Finishing Tips:  Wood Stripping Basics

Stripping Furniture





Pin It

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ginger September 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Diane this is gorgeous! I love this treatment. What a fabulous transformation. Fantastic job!


2 Alan September 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Love these furniture finishes! They’re beautiful and very creative.


3 Lisa September 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm

I love it! I have wanted to make several pieces in my home look like they have a driftwood finish, and now I know how. Thanks!


4 Kathy September 23, 2013 at 7:46 pm

So pretty! I am looking for ideas for my bookcase. It’s rubber wood but I want the inside of it gray or white. Fantastic inspiration!! Thanks for sharing Diane. Pretty table setting.


5 Kim September 23, 2013 at 9:54 pm


We manufacture the Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish product that Diane used and just wanted to let you know that it does not work very well on rubberwood, parawood, Malaysian oak, particle board or balsa wood. It just doesn’t take the color well. Diane’s table came out awesome – I just love create DIY people!


6 The Glamorous Housewife September 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm

This looks amazing! I just purchased the powder and I can’t wait to use it. I want to create a weathered looking sign for my Halloween decorations and I think this will work perfectly!

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife


7 Shannon Mallory September 23, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Wow-wee!! That looks fabulous!!! Love how it turned out! :-)


8 Kim September 23, 2013 at 9:57 pm


Glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks it’s quite normal to refinish and strip furniture in my living room LOL!



9 Jane September 23, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Like you, Diane, I’ve been wanting to update the farm table in my kitchen. This driftwood finish might be the answer. It’s also curious that this process somehow turned your corner cabinet turquoise. wink, wink….


10 Diane Henkler September 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Hi Jane – Good eye :) I have been working on the corner cabinet and hope to write a post about it next week.


11 Pam September 23, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Diane..I love the new look of your table… can’t wait to see chairs. I am thinking of doing the same to my dining room table and chairs..I really want to since I’ve seen your table..My chair backs have a lot of detail that’s why I’m a little hesitant. Great job as always…


12 Diane Henkler September 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Hi Pam – I know how you feel about having to do chairs- when you have more than one it takes on a production line quality taking some of the fun out of the transformation process.


13 Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl September 23, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Diane, that is gorgeous! I’ve never seen a product like that. I’m going to have to look into it for future projects. Thanks for sharing and I agree, I bet your Mom would love what you did to the table.


14 Diane Henkler September 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Hi Brittany -

I never heard about or used anything like it before either. When I first got it, I wasn’t sure it would work, but then the owner of the company sent me a few photos of the furniture she used it on and I was sold. It really is versatile – you can make it as dark or light as you want. I like to think the table came out so well, because my mom was looking down and helping me get it just right :)


15 Diego September 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Wow what a transformation!! And I absolutely love your name tag place holder idea, how clever with the chalkboard tiles!


16 Carrie September 23, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Love this! I’m always looking for new products to try!


17 Yvonne @ StoneGable September 24, 2013 at 1:40 am

What a gorgeous finish! You really did a wonderful job! I’m off to check out Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish. Thanks!


18 Pat September 24, 2013 at 2:05 am

Great finish! I smiled when I read the part about your dear Mom getting excited and asking you to do this to something for her – my Mom would have done the same thing! I miss my Mom as I am sure you miss your Mom.


19 Diane Henkler September 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Thanks Pat – I miss my mom very much, too. She was so creative and it makes me feel closer to her when I do creative projects, especially when I am redoing something that was once hers XO


20 Jann from Newton Custom Interiors September 24, 2013 at 6:18 am

I love the new finish on your table! I have a lot of orange colored furniture too, and have been debating whether I should strip them. I may have to check this out! Great job.


21 Debbie C in MN September 24, 2013 at 9:03 am

I love this!! What a beautiful new look! Great pictures. I am saving this one so I can copy your idea! Thanks!


22 Claire September 24, 2013 at 9:03 am

You did a wonderful job on this table. I just LOVE the driftwood look. I already used your idea “greying” my baskets; now I will take on my coffee table.

Glad to hear of this product – since I love the grey / driftwood look.


23 Hetty September 24, 2013 at 11:17 am

Thanks for the tutorial! I am really going to try this – the table looks great.


24 Tracy September 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I love how it turned out. It looks beautiful! Since you used chalk paint on the rest of the table, could you ideally just strip the top where you used the driftwood treatment and rough up the finish where the chalk paint was used prior to painting? I have a similar table I’d love to transform in this way. I love how the driftwood took the orange tones away.


25 Diane Henkler September 24, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Hi Tracy – That is what I did, I only stripped the table top. I roughed up legs and table base with sandpaper, and then painted with chalk paint. No reason to have to strip it when just going to paint over it. :)


26 Tracy September 25, 2013 at 10:31 am

Great! Thanks for your reply. The transformation you did is really awesome.


27 Lynne September 24, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Gorgeous . . . you are tempting me!


28 Christy September 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm

This is really beautiful. Love the weathered look too. You did an amazing job and what a difference. A+


29 Donna Wright September 24, 2013 at 8:37 pm

How can any person be so talented? I am going to put this on my to do list! I love the look also. I so look forward to checking my e-mail each day to see if I have something from you. I lo-o-o-o-ve everything you do.
Thanks for sharing!
Donna Wright


30 Merri Jo September 24, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Marvelous transformation, Diane! I just love the new finish, and I can’t wait to get some of this Weathered Wood Finish. I can think of several projects this would be perfect for!


31 Sherry @ No Minimalist Here September 24, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Diane, I have been looking for a product that would give my pine armoire the driftwood look. This sounds perfect! Your table turned out wonderful and I love the finish.


32 Lia September 25, 2013 at 8:49 am

Diane this is fantastic! So fantastic, in fact, I went straight to the website and bought it! I cannot wait to try it out. Thank you so much for the demo, your table looks wonderful!


33 Ce El September 25, 2013 at 9:41 am

Thank you for this. Our moms were kindred spirits.


34 kelly September 28, 2013 at 11:26 am

Hi Diane,
I am new to you & it must be an omen that I found you. I have been wanting to strip & bleach my breakfast room table. Now I know how! I found u through google plus. I added u & will FB like as well. My blog is Come on over for a visit!


35 Stephanie@cre8tive September 29, 2013 at 1:11 am

Wow, what a great product! Pinning this for a future project, thanks so much for all the tips and tutroial on how to do it!


36 Diane Henkler September 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Thanks Stephanie – It is truly amazing. I was hesitant to try it at first, but am so glad I did.


37 Kim September 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm

thank you so much for posting! I’ve been looking for directions to do this! Can’t wait to try it.


38 sona September 30, 2013 at 11:12 am

I have a question. Is this product a type of paint (a coating) or is it actually changing the color of the wood?


39 Diane Henkler September 30, 2013 at 11:49 am

Hi Sona – It is a stain – it changes the color of the wood.


40 Kris {Driven by Décor} September 30, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Thanks for sharing this – I have a project that it will be perfect for!


41 Temme October 1, 2013 at 10:07 am

Did you refinish your table in your house? I love the look of the table and when I went to Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish’s website to read more about the process, they suggested having the piece sit outside in the sun to enhance the color and dry.

I really would rather not take apart my table to bring it outside. What did you do? Does the stain have a harsh smell?

The table looks wonderful!


42 Diane Henkler October 1, 2013 at 10:48 am

Hi Temme – I did not take it outside. I stained it right in my dining room. I believe if you want the stain to darken even more than it naturally will – you can place the piece in the sun. It has a faint smell – to me it smelled like a Brillo pad. No chemical or harsh smell at all. It is like brushing on tinted water.


43 Kimberly October 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I’m considering doing this to my own dinning table which has the wood grain running in several different directions. I’d like to know if your brush strokes show when using this product. If so, would you recommend taping off each area of different grain direction and brushing on in the same direction?


44 Shelley November 1, 2013 at 9:27 pm

I am so excited I can hardly contain myself! A month or so ago I saw a piece of furniture in a store with a similar finish and loved it. I searched online for hours trying to find a diy to achieve the look but didn’t know what to call it and as a result came up pretty much empty handed.But still that “look” was haunting me….and here it is! Driftwood! Who knew! I’m so excited to try it! Thanks for the great info!


45 Cheri November 14, 2013 at 9:52 am

Wow, I love this look! Thank you for sharing it. I always enjoy your tutorials, you write them so well. Now I’m hunting for an appropriate piece to try this on! :)


46 Sheila Falcuci December 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Hello, I finally got around to trying this and my table came out awesome. I am so impressed. My husband did some heavy duty sanding as we really wanted to remove all the orange from the oak. Thanks so much for sharing your technique, it was very easy to follow and we are very greatful to you.
Sheila Falcucci
Rustic Revival


47 Candace Meili March 4, 2014 at 2:23 pm

What color lime paste would be best on getting an “Old French look”?


48 Diane Henkler March 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Hi Candace – Most liming wax is white or pastel based. Grayish white would work. I just got a sample of a turquoise liming wax that is not out on the market yet. Even though it looks turquoise, it goes on mostly a light white, due to the fact that it has lime in in. Do you plan to use it on raw or stripped wood? Liming wax looks best on raw wood as it gets into the grain and brings out the character in the piece.


Leave a Comment

{ 6 trackbacks }