Anyone got a good formula for ebonizing juice?

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Forum topic by eldercop posted 05-30-2016 07:43 PM 668 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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61 posts in 1679 days

05-30-2016 07:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi All
Got a redwood deck with sunken screwholes I’d like to plug with black(ish) wood plugs. I’ve got redwood to spare but does anyone have an idea of something to soak the plugs in to turn them black? I’ve heard about steel wool and vinegar, or water, I don’t know. But since the plugs are going to be cut flush the solution will need to penetrate the whole plug.

Ideas gratefull appreciated.


-- "Experience is what you get the day after you needed it" Mark Twain

3 replies so far

View Kazooman's profile


1213 posts in 2123 days

#1 posted 05-30-2016 08:03 PM

No specific advice on the juice, but I did think of a potential problem. The steel wool / vinegar stuff works well, by reacting with natural tannins in the wood. My concern is that you might get some leaching from the plugs into the surrounding decking spoiling the effect. Some species of contrasting colored wood might work better.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3818 days

#2 posted 05-30-2016 09:37 PM

I think water and nails will turn black.

Anyway, get the solution black, which may take awhile,
then sink your plugs, cut as short as you can, in
the solution. Capillary action will carry the color
into the wood I think… if you’ve even fished
a blackened stick out of a stagnant pond you
get the idea.

I have some powered black artist pigment I use
for making wood dye. I think it’s both water
and oil soluble, but not alcohol. There are different
types of pigments with different solvents.

View patron's profile


13635 posts in 3512 days

#3 posted 05-30-2016 10:12 PM

i use regular craft paint from wally world
works with epoxy and water

mix up a batch
some water and some black
let the plugs soak for a bit
(keep them stirred to even out)
set out to dry good
(redwood plugs should be able to soak fully
as other woods would be to ‘tight grained’ to do much soaking
and would not expand/contract the same)

take a mustard/ketchup bottle
fill with poly or lacquer
and fill the holes (on a hot day so it sucks in)
and seal the plug holes
this will keep the deck wood
from sucking the tint out of the plugs

put in plugs with some glue
and sand (or chisel) flush

should be good to go
seal the deck

try this out first with a scrap piece
simple and cheap
will let you know how much black
you might need to use

if the mix doesn’t go into the plug deep enough
try using the wife pressure cooker
(on a day she is out shopping)
then go looking for a tool store
before she comes home

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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