Stains for a pound!

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Fairly recently a 'Pound Shop' arrived in my local town. Everything costs just £1. As you can imagine there's a lot of stuff well left alone but to my surprise I discovered an unbranded wood stain in a 250ml tin for a pound. Great stuff, great finish, goes on easily, even and no patches. The Gloss Varnish, same stuff, is just as good. I'll post a pic, when I can, of a finished project using this £1 stain :wink:


Established Member
11 Jan 2004
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My 'stain' costs next to nothing and lasts for years unmixed.
I get 1 ounce (25g) of potassium permanganate from the chemist and mix a couple of crystals in half a pint of water.
This oxidises naturally to a brown or on contact with wood.
I slightly dampen the wood with a sponge then apply the pot perm with the sponge.
This weak solution allows you to build up the colour gradually until the required shade is reached.
Potassium permanganate, KMnO4, gives off oxygen from the crystals so should be kept away from any naked flame (or cigarette)

Its action closely follows the natural oxydation of wood so ages the wood perfectly.

Its one of the oldest wood dyes known which was passed to me by my late grandfather (a cabinet maker)

The colour is only on the surface so can be built up or sanded off the end grain to look the same.
The closest product I have found to it is a £10 bottle of Fiddes water stain from my local woodyard.

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