Showing posts with label DIY reclaimed wood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY reclaimed wood. Show all posts

Vinegar stain. Best aged wood look ever.

Monday, January 25, 2021


  • 1-quart Mason jar and lid 
  • Extra-fine steel wool 
  • Distilled white vinegar 
  • Fine strainer 
  • Paintbrush 

Making your vinegar stain

  • Put the steel wool pad into a Mason jar then add vinegar, fill about 3/4 full.  I prefer to not cover the mixture (the mixture will give off gases), set aside for at least 3 days. The longer it sits, the darker the stain will become.
  • Stir and then strain the mixture  through a fine-meshed strainer, some people also use a coffee filter to get any left over particles. I have not. 
  • Now stain your pieces as you normally would. You can sand the wood first to get a stronger grained effect. (Always do a test piece first before staining)  
  • As the stain dries it will darken. Once the stain has fully dried, seal with a wax or polyurethane finish. They say you can keep the stain for a few months, but I always dispose of any leftover, because I am not sure of the reaction of its shelf life, 

Here is a before and after of vinegar stain on new common wood.

You brush on the vinegar stain and watch it change colors and bring out all the grain and detail as it dries.

I am a big fan of aged wood and this is the best finish I have found for turning new wood into reclaimed looking wood. 
One you brush the wood And cover the entire section you will see it starts changing colors, keep moving with the stain to make sure it blends evenly.  Once you have brushed the entire piece with the stain. give it a good wipe down with a cotton cloth to remove any excess stain. Let completely dry before you wax or polyurethane.

If your ever dare to strip a piece, I prefer to sand it. It is way less messy and for some reason therapeutic to me.
I did use a furniture stripper on this one. 
What a mess. But I’m sure there are better techniques it was just my first time. I always just hit furniture with my orbit sander.

Once you get all the original color off and your down to the raw wood. You will then apply the steel wool and vinegar. You have to make it up a few days before, there are lots of different recipes out there. But I just add a fine grit steel wool pad and fill a jar with vinegar. Mason jars work the best. I don’t cover it but I know some do. I will build up gases, I just did a mixture in Tupperware and within an hour it blew the top off. Leave it for a few days and you'll have the perfect grey stain.
I love the finish more than when I have used the stains with the grey color added to them. This stain is a more natural aged look.

The stain will look different on different woods. As you can see the table I applied it to was made from 3 different types of wood, so I had to apply more on certain parts. I didn’t mind the uneven look on this project. But remember each wood type will take differently just like any other stain.

Steel wool and vinegar stain gives your wood a natural weathered or aged grey finish.

Depending on the type of wood you are staining, steel wool and vinegar stain can produce anywhere from warm reds to an aged grey finish 

This sofa table had three different types of wood, so in some spots I purposefully went heavy. Stain takes differently on different woods. So make sure and test a spot to see the color you will achieve. Once the wood was completely dry I then applied white wax over the entire piece. I wanted to have the restoration hardware type of finish with layers. You can achieve this with applying either white wax or dark wax, depending on your preference.  You can seal it with polyurethane as well. 
There are all sorts of waxes on the market. This is the one I choose to use. The link below has info on how to apply the wax and how to purchase.
Also to apply the wax you need a stiff brush which you can find here

Here is  a close up of the finished sofa table. You can see the wax in the corners, the wax brings out any details and grains in the wood. 

 I hope this helps you make your home more personal and gives you the confidence to try something new.

Don't let fear of trying something hold you back. It's okay to make mistakes along the way, that's how we learn what we don't like.

When I use a product I do try to link it for you and if you decide to purchase the product I am affiliated with some of those companies. Its the only way to offset the time it takes building my how tos for decorating and DIY.

I am in no way asking you to click and purchase any items but it makes it easier for all the info to be on one site. Many different stores carry the products I use. But the links I provide is where I had purchased.

I hope that helps you make your home more personal and gives you the confidence to try something new.

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