Sunday, April 28, 2013

Natural Wood Stain Tutorial

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Natura wood stain tutorial using vinegar solution and steel wool

Since I designed the Vintage Wine Crate Coffee Table and used a natural stain I've had several questions regarding how to make certain color stains. So I thought I'd do an experiment on a few different concoctions. I used a couple of different combinations but what was most interesting was the timeframe.

I created each concoction by cutting up a steel wool pad {use 1/2 in each solution} and 1 cup of vinegar. I let them sit for one day then painted them on some sample wood. After a week I painted the solution onto another piece of sample wood. {Please note, all samples received one coat each.} I've listed below what I discovered!

Apple Cider Vinegar with Steel Wool ~ You can't even notice a difference on Day 1. But look at that color change after one week!
Solution for apple cider vinegar mixed with steel wool
Apple Cider Vinegar with Steel Wool, precoat with brewed tea ~ Day 1 creates a grey weathered look while after a week you get a rich rusty brown color.
Solution for apple cider vinegar mixed with steel wool and tea
Distilled White Vinegar with Steel Wool, precoat with brewed tea ~ Not too much difference with these two.
Solution for vinegar mixed with steel wool precoated with tea
Distilled White Vinegar with Steel Wool ~ Again, not too much difference after Day 1. But after letting the solution sit for a week you get a nice weathered grey
Solution for vinegar mixed with steel wool
Distilled White Vinegar with Steel Wool and Coffee Grounds ~ This created more of a murky brown weathered look. {Add 1/4 cup of grounds to the vinegar, steel wool solution.}
Solution for vinegar mixed with steel wool and coffee grounds
Next I'm going to try out pennies and vinegar. I hear you get a nice blue stain. Any other ideas I need to try out? Maybe a red wine stain? Let me know! {Update: Check out penny post here! And wine post here!}

Thanks for stopping by!
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24 comments:

  1. Amazing. I had no idea you could get such great colors from vinegar and a few household items. Great post. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

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    1. Thanks for hosting Marty! Hopefully there's more experimenting to come! :)

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  2. This is very interesting. I had tried vinegar with steel wool once and I didn't realize there would be such a difference if I just let the solution sit for a week. I will have to try this again!
    Thank you!

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    1. I didn't either until I tried to recreate a solution and couldn't get the same color. Turned out I just needed to wait a few more days. I'm not so good at being patient with art projects. ;)

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  3. Wow I will have to give this a try! I am a new follower from southern charm! I would love for you to stop by and hopefully you will want to follow me back! Happy weekend, Nicole!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Nicole. I'm usually on Facebook so I Liked your page as well as started following your blog.

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  4. This is so helpful! Thanks for sharing at Pinworthy Projects.

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  5. Can you double the recipe to make more stain or will that effect the color?

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    1. I would double everything in the recipe. For example, don't just add more vinegar. Be sure to add extra wool as well. You can vary the color slightly depending on the ratio.

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  6. I've been slowly converting everything in my house to organic based products. First I started off with my food, and then clothes. Now, I want to remodel my house to not only be organic, but to incorporate as much green technology as possible. After researching tons of organic wood finishes, I've decided on a brand, now i just need to learn how to refinish my dining room table myself!

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    1. Thanks for the link to the organic wood finishes. I'll keep them in mind!

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  7. What one did you use for the wine crate table?

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    1. sorry, i see it now, do you just apply to the tea with a brush and let it sit til it is dry? or do you put it on a few days before the other stain?

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    2. I let the tea dry for just for a little bit. I wouldn't even say I waited an entire hour.

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  8. I just found this post, since I'm exploring different techniques. I don't understand the fascination with vinegar and tea, since it totally depends upon the wood. Tannins make the vinegar (or baking soda and water) react, so cedar and pine type woods darken right away. If you paint something with tea, you add tannins to the wood, which then cause it to react. Vinegar is an ebonizing technique, but can be stalled with more water.

    How 'bout mentioning the type of wood you used, since that makes an absolute, complete difference in the outcome? Some of the shades are lovely.

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    1. Hey Christine - I believe the wood I used was pine. Different kinds of wood is another tutorial for another day. Thanks for all the info!

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  9. Lovely! I just used a week old apple cider vinegar + pennies + steel wool to stain a small "treasure chest" for my son. How do you set/seal the colour? After a day of drying, it's still coming off a little on my hands just from moving the chest. So, what would you use to seal? Minwax? I don't want it to be shiny... or laquered looking? Advice?

    Cheers!
    Adrienne

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    1. Yes, I finished mine with some satin Minwax. There are some waxes out there you could use as well. I think you just have to be careful how much you buff them. You could even rough it up with some sandpaper if you don't want after its dry.

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  10. This is exactly what I've been looking for!!! How much brewed tea did you add to the apple cider vinegar?

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  11. hi just to be clear. you take a bottle of apple cider vinegar and put half a steel wool in it for a week. then you apply it to a board that you had previously applied tea to? forgive me, I'm new to this but really want to try it on a couple places in my house that have faded. I think it will look lovely

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  12. I'm wondering how apple cider vinegar applied this way to an already stained piece would turn out?

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  13. Thanks for all your tips – this is exactly what I was looking for to restain my kitchen table – and my two chests, if it ever stops raining!!

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  14. These are vast collections of wooden flooring. This flooring type is one of the mostly used flooring option now. Durability and low maintenance requirement are the greatest advantages of such flooring type. We are installed our wooden flooring few months earlier and it's going good till now. Anyways, thanks for your collective info. Will surely recommend my friends to go through these list and to choose the best one.

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