Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Steel Wool and Vinegar Stain

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Steel Wool and Vinegar Stain

    Apparently if you leave steel wool in distilled vinegar for a week, it creates a black stain for wood. Anyone every try this?

  • #2
    Yes. I can't say that I like it so much. It adds an authentic grunge to light lumber, but isn't stable or very repeatable. It's not black but more like brackish-water colored.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Blenton View Post
      Yes. I can't say that I like it so much. It adds an authentic grunge to light lumber, but isn't stable or very repeatable. It's not black but more like brackish-water colored.
      Thanks for that! Trying to find a good option that stains black, but still allows the wood pattern to show through.

      Comment


      • #4
        It really only seems to work well on woods with high tannin content. On red or white oak you get a very strong dark stain. On poplar, it just looks like you set the wood outdoors in the sun for a year.

        Comment


        • #5
          Here are a couple of photo's showing the effect on red oak veneer.

          Comment


          • #6
            Click image for larger version

Name:	image_82165.jpg
Views:	282
Size:	544.1 KB
ID:	1430968 I have used it successfully to age wood. I used it to match new oak for the legs and frame of a dining table with the top made of 200 year old barn beam oak. The steel dissolved in the vinegar reacts with the tannins in the wood.

            The way to get a significant and deeper effect is to make some tea and rub it all over the wood with a kitchen sponge. Let it dry. That gives you a deep and consistent level of tannins. Soak steel wool in vinegar overnight or two. Remove the steel wool and rub the vinegar on the wood. It turned my oak completely black. I thought I really screwed up. I rubbed it off with 220 grit sandpaper until I got the right effect. It really absorbs deep into the wood. It was easy to manage the color. The wood was still light but the pores remained dark. I then stained and finished it. It turned out great and gave the oak an aged and authentic appearance.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ironman129 View Post

              Thanks for that! Trying to find a good option that stains black, but still allows the wood pattern to show through.
              I'm a big fan of aniline dyes for this. There's compromises with each solvent, but under oil-based finishes, I often use either water or alcohol as carriers so the stain doesn't move when the finish goes down. They REALLY let the grain of the wood show through while having color intensity.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Adam_M View Post

                I'm a big fan of aniline dyes for this. There's compromises with each solvent, but under oil-based finishes, I often use either water or alcohol as carriers so the stain doesn't move when the finish goes down. They REALLY let the grain of the wood show through while having color intensity.
                I agree. Aniline dyes work great. I often spike a stain with some extra dye when I want a little more potency from it. Straight black dye is too potent, IMO, and can cause issues with a finish. Applied as Adam_M described, though, is a great way to get something black black without variations from grain density.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is black analine dye over birds eye maple. (I’ve not had good luck with vinegar and steel wool)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My brother in law used rusty nails and vinegar to “weather age” some wood/fresh pallets for an accent wall in his house. It does a pretty good job of that.

                    it is not my thing though.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by s7horton View Post
                      This is black analine dye over birds eye maple. (I’ve not had good luck with vinegar and steel wool)
                      Can I ask what brand of dye and what ratio you used? I get that a lot of people like that you can customize how dark you want it, but I'm left not sure how much to mix. Trans Tint and J E Moser seem to be popular. I also think part of the problem is I am starting with a darker veneer. It was supposed to be a Waterfall Bubinga, and now I'm not sure what it is. The company refunded the cost without making me send it back, which was nice, but not sure what I'm working with.
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have no idea what that veneer is, but it looks great! Hopefully you have enough leftover veneer to test out stains/dyes. I've made a fair bit of vinegar stains, and agree with all the comments above about it. Also, it's not always black or grey, sometimes it's brown.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ironman129 View Post

                          Can I ask what brand of dye and what ratio you used? I get that a lot of people like that you can customize how dark you want it, but I'm left not sure how much to mix. Trans Tint and J E Moser seem to be popular. I also think part of the problem is I am starting with a darker veneer. It was supposed to be a Waterfall Bubinga, and now I'm not sure what it is. The company refunded the cost without making me send it back, which was nice, but not sure what I'm working with.
                          I know this question wasn't directed at me, but start with a few drops of dye. Seriously. Measure in drops. I think I once used an entire ounce in a quart of stain to manhandle the life out of the grain but usually it goes in drops. I don't know the brand that I use; I just have the paint store that supplies my lacquer and finishing supplies pour out a few ounces of dye for me to keep at my shop.

                          chrisn ​​s​aid it - try it out on a couple of pieces of scrap first until you get what you are looking for.
                          Last edited by Blenton; 02-05-2020, 12:42 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have used it a few times and only on pine. Pine doesnt have much if any tannins so to get the reaction with the steel wool/vinegar you need to make some strong tea and wipe/brush it on. I used one 0000 steel wool piece in about a quart jar of vinegar steeped for 24hrs. make sure to let it breathe and stir it occasionally. Seemed to be just about right.

                            It aged the pine really nice. its hard to really describe it either. It gave it a look that a stain couldnt give. Very aged without it all that tacky grey stain people seem to overuse.

                            Like i said, i like it on pine for a rustic look; not sure if i would try it on a nice piece or honestly anything other than pine. maybe oak without the tea step.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ironman129 View Post
                              Can I ask what brand of dye and what ratio you used? I get that a lot of people like that you can customize how dark you want it, but I'm left not sure how much to mix. Trans Tint and J E Moser seem to be popular. I also think part of the problem is I am starting with a darker veneer. It was supposed to be a Waterfall Bubinga, and now I'm not sure what it is. The company refunded the cost without making me send it back, which was nice, but not sure what I'm working with.
                              This was transtint. Unfortunately I don’t recall what my ratio was. I want to say like 20 drops in a quart of warm water. (Start with less, you can always add more) That result is from two coats. I let the first coat dry first, sanded lightly, then applied the second coat.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X