How to Faux-Stain with Chalk/Mineral Paint


My latest chalk/mineral paint obsession is the BB Frösch Faux Stain Technique. Or, as I like to call it...

the affordable, no-mess, no-smell, quick and easy way to stain!

Before I share the tutorial for faux-staining this fall centerpiece box:


... take a moment to linger on the photos below for incredible inspiration by some of my awesome friends using the BB Frösch Faux Stain technique...





HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS that don't require replacing, just updating...











Basically, it's the perfect solution for ANYTHING that needs a stained look...

...WITHOUT the drawbacks of traditional stain 

(which, for me, include a lack of staining skills, the smelly mess, and the fact that I’m just too impatient to deal with how much time it takes!)

Faux-staining with BB Frösch Paint Transformer means I can choose ANY color, like this oak grandfather clock I “stained” red awhile back:


Unlike with traditional staining methods, I can faux stain on raw wood or wood with an existing finish, like my mom did on these cabinet doors: 


With chalk/mineral paint, I eliminate ALL the things I hate about stain! I make my own chalk/mineral paint with BB Frösch Paint Transformer, for several reasons (it's more affordable, I mix up only the small amount of paint needed, I can pick any color I want...)

Since you use even less chalk/mineral paint for faux-staining (I used about two tablespoons for the centerpiece box below), it’s truly affordable!


Hopefully you’re sufficiently inspired to go faux-stain something, so let’s get started!

Kacey and I worked together making our fall centerpieces last week. We started with raw wood, but this technique can also be used on wood with an existing finish. The cabinet doors, ceiling fan, and clock examples above were all faux-stained over an existing finish.

***Note*** You don’t need to sand through an existing finish, but scuffing the surface a bit will aid in bonding. Because you are adding water to your chalk/mineral paint, your paint may bead up on an existing finish. If it does, cut water back slightly, or scuff the surface. 


For her box, Kacey used Benjamin Moore FLAT paint in “Mink." I chose to use a little of the same brown as well as a gray paint I had on hand to achieve a more weathered looking “stain.”

In addition having your chosen color of paint mixed with BB Frösch Paint Transformer, you will also need:

  • paint brush (I used a specialty brush because it's what I typically use, but any brush, or a sponge, will work for this technique)

  • jar of water

  • plastic plate

  • lint-free cloth for wiping (I use a surgical huck cloth)

  • BB Frösch Dark Premium Finishing Wax

  • wax brush

  • lint-free wax cloth 

Pour about two tablespoons of mixed chalk/mineral paint onto your paint tray or plastic plate. NOTE: This technique will not work if you don't first add Paint Transformer to your paint.
Submerge the bristles of your brush in water, then squeeze out about half of the water.
Swirl your wet brush into the paint on your plate.


Paint one or two broad strokes WITH THE GRAIN on your piece. Don’t stress if your paint feels too watery or drips, because you are going to wipe it.

Figuring out how watery I want my paint to be is one of the reasons I add water to my brush instead of directly to my paint. This is where a paint tray or plastic plate comes in handy!


Using a lint-free huck cloth, and wiping with the grain, wipe off excess paint.

If you do not immediately see the grain after wiping, your paint is too thick. If this happens, just add a little more water to your brush and go over the area you just painted again, then wipe.

Repeat the above steps for each board like this:


For our boxes, Kacey and I painted all the boards, then went back over any areas we wanted to be a little darker. You'll notice Kacey did this on the last board in the video. If you blinked, you may have missed it, so go back and check it out again. 

Allow boards to dry completely. Because you have added water, it will take a little bit longer to dry than regular-strength chalk paint. We are in Las Vegas, so our "little bit longer" was only about fifteen minutes.

Once paint has dried, apply wax to seal and protect. Although this step isn't entirely necessary for a craft project, it is VITAL for furniture, cabinets, and anything more than just decoration. If you like the color of your boards, you can use a clear wax. If you want to make your stain more rich, like Kacey did, use dark wax.

Below left is Kacey’s board faux-stained brown and dark waxed. The board on the right is mine, faux-stained with the brown and grey paint and not yet waxed.


You can see how the dark wax makes the faux stain more rich, but both looks are really cool!


Waxing is incredibly easy! Just “butter” the end of your wax brush with a thin layer of wax, and apply wax WITH THE GRAIN in broad, even strokes.


Remove excess wax with a lint free wax cloth. Wipe excess wax off each section as you go. Do not wait until entire piece is waxed to remove excess. 


Once your whole piece is waxed, and excess wax is removed, you can go back over it with a lint free wax cloth to buff to your desired sheen. We didn't want our boxes too shiny, so we skipped buffing.

Once our boards were faux-stained and waxed, we discovered that we had loaned out our brad nailer, so I talked my husband into nailing the boards together by hand to make our boxes.


After a quick trip to Hobby Lobby for some fun fall decor, we spent five times longer arranging the decor in the boxes than we spent making the boxes themselves. We discovered that we are better painters than floral designers, but we’re still pretty darn pleased with our faux-stained centerpieces!




What are YOU going to go faux stain now? 

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