How to Dye Unfinished Wood Using Kool-Aid Fruit Drink

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How to Dye Unfinished Wood using Kool-Aid!  #KoolOff  #shop

I was at Walmart last week, and saw the cutest display for Kool-Aid. With Summer just around the corner comes the anticipation of outdoor gatherings, BBQs and impromptu get-togethers with neighbors, family and friends alike. I can’t wait!

The Kool-Aid Man - oh he brings back memories! #KoolOff  #shop
I couldn’t resist buying some Kool-Aid in the new, ready-to-drink 96 ounce bottles. Having Kool-Aid on hand means we’re always ready for company, whether we serve this fruit drink as a beverage or freeze it into fun freezer pops (which are so refreshing on a hot and humid day!) And that’s what you want for casual low-key gatherings, right? No fuss, easy and fun!
Kool-Aid makes me think of Summer! Time to get ready! #KoolOff  #shop

However, I also had another reason to buy Kool-Aid: I wanted to craft with it, so I also picked up several packets of Kool-Aid unsweetened drink mix.

Kool-Aid as a craft supply?  Yes!

You can use Kool-Aid as a dye on unfinished wood! It works like a charm! (And smells good too!) 

I purchased this unfinished wood treasure chest box from the craft store to dye with Kool-Aid:

unfinished wood box ready to be dyed with Kool-Aid! #KoolOff  #shop

I wanted the box to be a rich purple color, so I emptied 5 packets of Kool-Aid unsweetened drink mix (Grape) into a glass jar. I slowly added some of the ready-to-drink Kool-Aid (Grape) and stirred everything up until I was happy with the color.

How to Dye Unfinished Wood using Kool-Aid!  #KoolOff  #shop

Tip: For the purple color, the liquid will look almost black. This is ok, as it will dry to a wonderful purple shade. 

Using a small foam brush and wearing rubber gloves, I simply “painted” on the Kool-Aid one section at a time.

How to Dye Unfinished Wood using Kool-Aid!  #KoolOff  #shop

I gave the box two quick coats of the Kool-Aid, both inside and out, then let it dry overnight on some white paper towels and a garbage bag, just in case any of the color leaked out.

How to Dye Unfinished Wood using Kool-Aid!  #KoolOff  #shop

Tip: For the purple color, the box ended up looking almost black while wet. Again, don’t be alarmed as it will dry to a much prettier shade!

Here’s a shot of the box drying, so you can see what I mean:

How to Dye Unfinished Wood using Kool-Aid!  #KoolOff  #shop

The next day, I sprayed the inside and outside of the box with a matte-finish acrylic sealer and let it dry. I chose to do this to make sure none of the color would come off on my hands. Next I painted the box trim and hardware with craft paint in a matching shade of purple, and used purple glitter glue to give the box some sparkle.

And that’s all there is to it!

How to Dye Unfinished Wood using Kool-Aid!  #KoolOff  #shop

I love how rich and weathered the wood looks!

How to Dye Unfinished Wood using Kool-Aid!  #KoolOff  #shop

So a simple trip to Walmart prepared me for spur-of-the-moment Summer get-togethers plus gave me a fun and easy craft idea all with the same product: Kool-Aid!

How to Dye Unfinished Wood using Kool-Aid!  #KoolOff  #shop

One of the jingles I can still sing to this day is the song the Kool-Aid Man sang in those iconic TV commercials from my childhood:

Kool-Aid’s here, bringin’ you fun! 
Kool-Aid’s got…thirst on the run! 
Get a big, wide, happy ear-to-ear Kool-Aid smi-i-ile!

I’ve been singing it all day!

Happy crafting!



  1. says

    The hubby is a woodworker in his free time so we have a garage full of wood. Now I need to go scout some out for me to dye with Kool-Aid!

  2. says

    It’s funny because when I think of Kool-Aid I always think red or orange…I always forget about purple! I LOVE it! Great idea! 🙂

    – Brooke –

  3. says

    I see these boxes at the craft store all the time and they are so affordable. I am always wondering how I can easily dress them up for gifts or decor, this is a great idea. (And I bet it smells great too!)

  4. says

    Hello! I featured your wood box in my monthly blog series, Get Your Color On!. Each month I select a color, provide tips on how to decorate with it, and feature other bloggers with their projects that relate to this color.

    This month’s post is all about purple, so your project was perfect! Feel free to grab a featured button and check out my post at Get Your Color On! Purple. Thanks for sharing your wonderful creativity!