Furniture Makeover: Weathered Driftwood Furniture Finish

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.

Note: I did not put a sealer or poly over the stain. I wanted the table to look rough-hewn. If you want to put a sealer over the table it will darken the stain quite a bit. It may not be the look you want.  The maker of this stain recommends these two products that will not darken the stain. Safecoat® AcriGlaze Matte by American Formulating and Manufacturing and  Bio Shield Wax Finish #39

If you need to seal your piece, you may want to try Rustoleum’s stain in Driftwood. You can read about how I used it in these posts:

How I Changed the Color of Rush Seat Chairs

Repurposed Mirror into a Coffee Table

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. It is not protected and I have to use placemats and coasters to protect the table.

  • I did not use poly over the finish. I wanted it to look matte and natural. Poly and most waxes will darken the finish.  To protect it you can use two products I mentioned earlier in the post that will not darken it.

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.

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



  1. Lisa says

    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!

  2. says

    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.

    • says


      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!

  3. says

    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

  4. says


    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!


  5. Jane says

    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….

  6. Pam says

    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…

    • says

      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.

    • says

      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 :)

  7. says

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

  8. says

    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.

    • says

      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

  9. Debbie C in MN says

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

  10. Claire says

    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.

  11. Tracy says

    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.

    • says

      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. :)

  12. Donna Wright says

    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

  13. Merri Jo says

    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!

  14. Lia says

    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!

  15. says

    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!

  16. Kim says

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

  17. sona says

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

  18. Temme says

    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!

    • says

      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.

  19. Kimberly says

    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?

  20. Shelley says

    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!

  21. Cheri says

    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! :)

  22. says

    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

    • Pamela Welsh says

      Hi Sheila,
      Did you use stripper or just sand it? I’d love to try this product, but am a little intimidated by the task of stripping an armoire
      . Thanks! Pamela

    • says

      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.

  23. says

    So cute! You said you used a DIY chalk paint, what was the “recipe” you used? I’m looking to make my own chalk paint but am afraid ill use the wrong concoction.

  24. Anne says

    WOW! WOW! I’ve always wanted to do this to our very dark mahogany dining table, but just don’t have the guts for I’m sure I’ll somehow mess it up. This looks so easy though, and the final result is amazing. Great job!

  25. Alice says

    What brand of odorless mineral spirits did you use? I looked up Klean brand but it has terrible reviews.

    • says

      Hi Alice – I used the Klean-Strip that comes in a white plastic container with a green and white label. It worked well for me. I have used it for a few projects and would buy it again.

  26. Eva says

    Hi Diane, I found your table makeover on pinterest and I got so excited… it looks amazing! This is exactly what I want to do to my dining table & chairs! I am just making a list of all the materials I have to buy and I was wandering if the mineral spirits is a necessary step (I couldn’t figure out what it’s supposed to do, and if it’s not absolutely necessary I would like to cut back a little on time, money etc.). I’m just so new to all these…
    Thanks for all the info and the pictures!!

    • says

      Thanks Eva – The mineral spirits are the last step of the stripping process. It cleans and removes any lasting stain/poly residue from the wood. If you strip your table and chairs well and are sure that the stain and poly is completely gone, then it is OK not to use it.

  27. Kelly Brown says

    Hi there! This is so wonderful. I really want to do this to a bedroom suit of furniture. It’s special to our family but definitely that outdated oak orange color. I wanted to ask if you had to do any sanding? Or did the stripper left on over night take are of all of that? I’m trying to gear up for the project and want to make sure I have everything I may need. Thank you so much!

    • says

      Hi Kelly – I did light sanding on the table top with 160 grit sandpaper on a hand sanding block after I stripped the finish off. I spent about 10 minutes – enough to make sure the surface was smooth and even before applying the driftwood finish.

  28. Kelly Brown says

    Thanks so much. I left the CitraStrip on overnight and now it’s somewhat dry and I can’t get the strip off. Did you run into any of this? Do you have any insight? I was thinking about using the mineral spirits to dampen it, but wasn’t sure. Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Kelly – You did not do anything wrong- you may just have to put more stripper right over top of the dried areas again to loosen the previous layer of dried stripper. Mineral Spirits will also help wet the stripper again so that it is moist enough to remove. CitraStrip also sells an After Wash that may help dampen it enough so you can scrap it off. I always leave CitraStrip on for 12 – 24 hours. Maybe add a thicker layer so it does not dry out as fast. If it is very dry in your home or outside – this could dry the stripper faster than normal and making it stick.

  29. says

    Love this! U are truly inspiring! I love the dollar store supply run ;) great idea for my indoor projects. ( it’s been raining a lot) I want to do this to my nightstands. Thanks and please stop by my site.

  30. Kelly Brown says

    Hi there!! I wanted to ask you a question- I ended up deciding to paint the furniture with Annie Sloan chalk paint. I already bought the diy driftwood and am going to use it on something else. But, can I use the liming wax from the diy driftwood kit on the Annie Sloan? I wanted to because I already have it. Thanks so much!!

    • says

      Hi Kelly – Yes you can use it – it is just normal liming wax. I would do a test run with it on a scrap piece of wood first – just to get the hang of applying and buffing it.

  31. Ruth Wentzel says

    Can I poly over the driftwood finish if I don’t use the wax? I have found that the liming wax stains easily.

    • says

      Hi Ruth – I left my table unsealed, so I am not sure if you can use poly or not without changing the color. I would have to experiment first to see. I will ask the brand to see what they say and get back to you.

        • says

          Hi Sara – Have you used the product? I did find out that the maker of the stain recommends two products to seal that won’t darken the color. I added them to the post a while back. They are: Safecoat® AcriGlaze Matte by American Formulating and Manufacturing and http://www.BioshieldPaintCom/ , Wax Finish #39.

          If you can’t find these products and want a driftwood stain that you can use water-based poly over without changing the color, you can use Rustoleum stain in Driftwood. I used it on chair seats and a mirror frame and it took both Minwax Polycrylic and wax without changing the color.

  32. Heather Krull says

    Hi! I found this on Pinterest and loved it so much that I ordered the stain. I stained the top and painted the bottom just like yours. In fact my table looks nearly just like yours. I absolutely loved it but I have a problem! I waxed the top with paste wax for protection and after one meal, there were water and oil stains.

    • Heather Krull says

      I sanded the wax off and tarted over with poly but the poly made it extremely dark. So I’ve now sanded all of that off and in the process took so much finish off that I’m restraining it. How should I protect this beautiful piece from my 6yr old? Is there another wax you know of that would protect and not darken the color of my table so much?

        • Heather Krull says

          Yes it was polycrylic. Has your table held up well with nothing over it? I’d be afraid of it staining horribly as it already did even with the wax on it. A few of the spots won’t even sand off. Thank you for the reply! I guess I’ll try some other waxes. If I could attach my picture to show you what the poly did, I would to discourage others from trying it as I did.

          • Ruth Wentzel says

            I have exactly the same question about the finish – we put liming wax on and it stains like crazy. There must be some solution to this…did the poly you used have color in it?

          • Heather Krull says

            I used clear polycrylic. No color and its destroyed my pretty finish. Don’t do it Ruth! I even tried waxing a spot and then poly over that thinking the poly might not a sort and change the color so much but that didn’t work either. I’ve not found a solution and don’t have much longer. I have company coming over for thanksgiving so if I’ve not figured something out before then, I’ll have to just paint the top of my table to match the legs. Makes me so sad to think about! I know that Diane has contacted the manufacturer for help on this issue. I’m remaining hopeful.

          • says

            Hi Heather – Here is what the manufacturer responded:

            You can put whatever top coat you want over the Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish however, be aware that most will turn the Driftwood color darker and some will turn it browner. This is not always a bad thing but you do want to test your top coat first to see what you will end up with. And this includes, waxes, polys, varnishes and lacquers. We have tried many different topcoats and have only found a few that do not change the color and may offer some protection against spills and suggest them on our website and whenever customers inquire.

            Safecoat® AcriGlaze Matte by American Formulating and Manufacturing and , Wax Finish #39. Both of these products worked well and did not change the color much at all so we highly recommend these two.

            Bioshield Paint Co. also makes a Resin Floor Finish product #48 which I tested on birch (like pine, Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish will give a lighter color on birch because of the lack of tannins in the wood). Overall, the product worked well and it is made for floors however it did produce a satin finish whereas I prefer a matte finish on driftwood and it did make the color darker as well as turn it a little browner. It still looks very good.

            I hope this information helps your customers and if they have anymore questions, we are always available to answer them.

  33. Heather Krull says

    I used clear polycrylic. No color and its destroyed my pretty finish. Don’t do it Ruth! I even tried waxing a spot and then poly over that thinking the poly might not a sort and change the color so much but that didn’t work either. I’ve not found a solution and don’t have much longer. I have company coming over for thanksgiving so if I’ve not figured something out before then, I’ll have to just paint the top of my table to match the legs. Makes me so sad to think about! I know that Diane has contacted the manufacturer for help on this issue. I’m remaining hopeful.

  34. laurie says

    Did you put any sealer on it? I am going to do this to my kitchen table, but we eat on it everyday so I was wondering how you recommend protecting it so it can be wiped down after meals.

    • says

      Hi Laurie – If you put poly over the stain, it will darken the color. You can use white liming wax over it and buff to create a barrier, but it will darken the color a bit too. The company told me that you can use Safecoat® AcriGlaze Matte by American Formulating and Manufacturing and, Wax Finish #39. Both of these products worked well and did not change the color much at all so we highly recommend these two.

  35. Laura says

    Hi, what a terrific way of transforming furniture! As a uni student I am always looking for ways to save money while allowing my creativity to wander. What type of wood was your table made out of?

  36. karen says

    I LOVE this table. I have a similar table that I was going to replace. I love the build of the table, but not the finish. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for posting. Already bought my driftwood.

  37. Elaine Williams says

    I love this! I agree with you – the style is beautiful and the furniture has ‘good bones’ but the original finish was so dated. This looks like something out of Crate & Barrel! Beautiful job.

  38. says

    I love a do-it-yourself project and this seems a good one. We just moved into a 70’s stuck house with fake paneling all around the bottom of the rooms. i’d love to do this technique on the paneling. Does it have a finish that needs stripped–or can I merely sand it, then perform the technique? Thanks so much.

    • says

      Hi Kathy – the Driftwood finish will not white wash, it darkens. If you want a white washed look you can add a white wax over the wood. Many companies make one. Driftwood Finish sells one as does Miss Mustard Seed and Briwax. If you want a lighter driftwood color on the cabinets, check out Rustoleum stain in Sunbleached. It may offer the look you are trying to achieve.

  39. Nancy says

    I have white rocking chairs with paint that’s chipped in places and that wood has weathered. I’m sanding off paint in other area and want those areas to look weathered. Could I rub the finish on just those areas?

    • says

      Hi Nancy – Yes you could use Driftwood Finish, but if your chairs are outside the rain may wear the stain away very fast. You may want to try Minwax stain in Driftwood or Sunbleached. It will seal the areas as well as apply color and hold up to the elements.

  40. Kristin Baldyga says

    Hello Diane!

    I’m very interested in trying this driftwood technique on my current kitchen table. I know I can paint the legs with chalk paint. However, I’m a little nervous about the top bc I don’t think its real wood? What steps should I take for the driftwood finish if my table is faux wood?


  1. […] This is the season where we actually use the dining room.  Every year I choose a color scheme for the table setting and come up with a plan on how I will set the table when we have guests.  I don’t change it every time we entertain.  I use the same items over and over. It keeps things simple and I can get everything set up in minutes this way which comes in handy for impromptu get-togethers.  Last year I made Scrabble place card holders using chalkboard and glass tiles that looked perfect on my driftwood finished table. […]

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