Stain wood naturally

Stain wood naturally

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We try to teach new techniques with our kits. That means that a lot of trial and error goes into projects before we put them into production and ship them to you.

We tried multiple techniques trying to recreate a gray wash/driftwood look for a new kit we are releasing next week. We have used some cool products, but didn’t achieve the look we are going for. One of the techniques we enjoyed trying the most used simple household products: vinegar, steel wool and coffee grinds. Our diy-loving selves, loved the fact that all the products were easily accessible and we went back to our maker roots when people created using what they had available.

I happen to be the design assistant that tested the stains. It was a fun job! I went to the internet and found a few recipes for natural stain and ended up combining a few.

I mixed four stains to test. Each was mixed in an identical pint jar.

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I started with a steel wool pad, then added vinegar (apple or white) and 1 T. coffee grounds to two of the stains as described:

Mixture 1:

  • white vinegar
  • 1 T. coffee grounds
  • 1 steel wool pad

Mixture 2:

  • white vinegar
  • 1 steel wool pad

Mixture 3:

  • apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. coffee grounds
  • 1 steel wool pad

Mixture 4:

  • apple cider vinegar
  • 1 steel wool pad

Most recipes say to let them set for 24 hours. I work part-time, so mine sat for about 5 days.

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I purchased a 1 x 8 pine board and cut it into 12″ pieces. I thought it was important to test the color on the same board since stains absorb differently in different woods. Also, things like sap and knots make a difference. After lightly sanding the boards, I applied the stain to the boards. The darker side of each board has two coats of stain.

Tip: I tried using the steel wool pad to apply the stain and a foam brush. I didn’t notice a difference in the color of the stain. The steel wool pad will, however, leave metal chunks on the wood that if left will leave darker spots. A very fun look.

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I was a little surprised with the results. The white vinegar brought out more red than I would have thought. The coffee grounds added a richness to the stains. I was surprised that the darkest stain was mixture 4, simply apple cider vinegar & steel wool.

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The other interesting thing I learned is after staining, there is a dusty film left on the wood. I would suggest sealing the wood with one or two coats of polyacrylic or another sealer if you are staining wood using this method.

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We are still on the look out for another technique for this particular project. But are definitely keeping this on the back burner for another project.

What do you think? Would you use this technique personally? Let us know project(s) you think you might try this technique on.

Amber

 

 

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