Product Review: DIY Driftwood and a Coupon Code

I wanted to share a very cool product with you guys.  
Have you heard of DIY Driftwood?

Its a simple, non-toxic solution that gives bare wood 
the look of aged driftwood in one easy step. 
And it is very affordable at only $12.99 a package!

Check out the range of tones it creates on different woods:

I was contacted by Kim, the brains behind the product, and she asked me if I would like to give it a try.
I have done a "painted" driftwood finish in the past, 
but this looked much easier and didn't require all the layers of paint, so of course I was game.

She is also being very kind by offering up my readers a 20% off Coupon Code.
 Just use code: OVERLAYS at checkout.
Good until 7/5/13!

 I had the perfect test subjects in mind- plain old pine IKEA and this old oak table:
 I had "limed" it a few years ago, but it still wasn't working for me.
I had big plans for it and wanted to put it in our new sunroom, it was just still too "brown".

The new sunroom, as you saw yesterday, is bright and beachy, so I was all for soft faded grays.

So here is what I did.
(Warning- nothing ever goes "just as I planned" with me, so get ready for a one of a kind review)
First off, you will want to start with relatively clean, bare wood.
I did a light sand to mine and I was ready.
I opened up my pretty packets of Driftwood Finish and followed the instructions,
mixing the packet with one cup of water.

The actual product kind of looks like bath salts and is non-toxic.

You can brush or roll it on...
And thats it.
The directions recommend letting it dry in the sun, which accelerates the process.
You can already see the graying out of the wood happening after a few minutes, but it will continue to deepen over the next 24 hours...
Here is a side by side about 20 minutes later.  
(It was partly cloudy the day I did it.)
Next I brushed out the table top and base:
and I was amazed by how fast it changed it to a pretty charcoal gray finish in just minutes!
*FYI, different woods react differently.  The more porous the grain the bigger the change- so that means oak and mahogany will go darker.  Check the chart in the first image.*

The packet recommends sealing your finish with a wax.  
There is a reason for this as I quickly learned.
 I finished the table, placed it in our new sunroom and got sidetracked before sealing it. 
Meanwhile my husband sat down at our new table with a glass of water.  Uh-oh!
He left a bunch of ring marks!
That will teach me to follow directions and not my ADD.
I contacted Kim and she suggested wetting the area and putting it outside in the sun to have it even out.
Problem was I already assembled the table and it wasn't going to fit out the door, so I decided to try reapplying more solution to the area and sliding the table over to a sunny spot in the room.
First I wet the area, then reapplied to the rings. This probably would have been just fine, but
I decided to second coat the entire table to make sure it will all be even.

Guess what?
A second coat deepened the color MUCH more than I expected...
It was a nice shade, but now too dark for my beachy scheme.
I thought about putting a white "lime" wax over it to lighten and protect it.
 I knew that would work just fine,
but since I was playing guinea pig I figured I test out some other avenues for this product.
(Hope you don't mind Kim!)
I remembered  I had a can of Zar "Coastal Boards" stain leftover from my dining room table.
It was an oil based stain, and I wanted to see how it would react, so
I did a little test patch.  I liked what was happening, so I rubbed it all over the table...
and wiped it off with a clean rag:
a perfect gray/ happy accident!

I rubbed it over the legs and I was done.
I considered adding a clear flat varnish to completely seal it, 
but it stood up to the water glass test this time.

 Next up I was a pine IKEA Rast.
I did a test spot on the inside of a drawer and was instantly excited by the result:
So I brushed it on and let it sit in the sun:
But I was let down by dear old IKEA. 
 Here is the problem, their furniture is made of several pieces of pine stops glued together, so it didn't take evenly.  Some strips were darker while others barely changed... 
This would have worked great for a solid pine dresser though. 

Pine and poplar change to a much lighter tone than oak, but Kim has since told me this is due to the amount of tannins in the wood.  To get a deeper tone on these lighter woods she suggests brushing on a coat of regular tea beforehand to add tannins and get a bigger reaction.
 I also wondered if several coats might darken it up more, but I had run out of solution 
at this point.

Other great ideas to use this product for you ask?
I started to think about all the dated "yellow oak" out there, especially on cabinets and vanities.

How much nicer would they look grayed down?

Then there are the outdoor uses...
Having to patch an old weathered fence.  I bet this would accelerate the weathering in no time!

outdoor furniture

 Here are some more images from DIY Driftwood:

I even thought about inexpensive wood frames from hobby shops... 
speaking of hobby shops they have rows of unfinished wood!

Overall I think this is such an easy product to use, and next time I will definitely seal it once it dries!
I think it is great for raw wood, or wood that needs minimal sanding.
For wood that has been polyurethaned, the finish will need to be stripped or sanded off so that it can penetrate the wood, so as long as you are up for it I say go for it!

Please check out Kim's site and shop and be sure to use code OVERLAYS for 20% off!
Its such a simple genius product 
and I love a good entrepreneur story.  She is also working on a line of waxes, so stay tuned!
Thanks so much Kim for letting me test this out!


High Cotton Style said...

I think I need to do this to my dining room table! I was thinking about what to paint it earlier! thanks

Ashley said...

Consider me intrigued! I love the look of your table!

Rosemary said...

This is beautiful! Love the table so much.

I have used liquid iron from the plant nursery (Ironite) to do this before--you can fill a wallpaper remover sprayer with a mixture of liquid iron and water to weather a fence in no time, and also cheap. You can even dissolve steel wool in vinegar and it will work. So cool!

Amanda said...

Or you can fill a ball jar with one pad of super fine steel wool, 2 Tbspoons of instant coffee, then vinegar to almost the top. Shake it every few hours and let it brew 24 hrs. It'll give the same results!

Unknown said...

Your sunroom is great btw, and thanks for being the guinea pig on this product! So interesting. I hate waterglass marks! It sounds like you went through alot of trouble, but it came out beautifully.
Thanks for all your inspiration.
xo Nancy

game man said...


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Christine said...

I wouldn't waste this product on a fence. Spray it with baking soda and water, or just plain vinegar. Woods with tannins (as you mentioned) react really quickly.

Be careful with the steel wool and vinegar thing. It's an ebonizing technique and will do so! Say you put the steel wool in the vinegar and forget about it for, oh, say, 3 months? Your wood turns immediately black. So dilute!

I love the gray this is making. I've stripped 4 of 15 antique doors and planned to gray them then stain over them with distressing. I love the grayed brown! This looks so much faster...


Unknown said...

Really appreciate you sharing this blog. Awesome.

Free Online Coupon Codes

Lorie Rov\binson said...

what is her site? I went to the DIY Driftwood site but it won't accept that coupon code.


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