Pickled pine?

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Forum topic by driftwoodhunter posted 02-17-2012 07:25 PM 5459 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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273 posts in 2890 days

02-17-2012 07:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question pine finishing rustic

I’m redoing my bedroom, and I’d like to put t&g pine on the walls with a pickled finish. Rather than a flat look, I’d prefer a satin finish. Since it’s pine, I didn’t want to deal with a water based product like Minwax’s, so how should I go about doing this? I read one member’s finish where he put a 1/2 pint of white oil base paint into a gallon of oil base satin finish, but the knots were too obscured for what I want. Of course it would be easy to simply wipe off the stain to expose the knots better…I’ve even read were people used to put galvanized nails in white vinegar for a few days and use that for the pickling color, topped by varnish (guess that was the old days?). Any old-timey recipes out there that you like, or what? Thanks!
(btw, this room hasn’t been converted into the bedroom yet, so I don’t sleep there – there would be plenty of time for an oil based smell to dissipate)

6 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5130 posts in 4165 days

#1 posted 02-17-2012 08:22 PM

Don’t overthink! Maybe a wash coat with a water based white. Wipe off to the desired coloring, then a water based clear to prevent yellowing.
Just a thought.


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273 posts in 2890 days

#2 posted 02-17-2012 08:34 PM

There’s so much work to water based anything on raw pine! I’m basically pretty lazy, lol I’d have to pre-dampen the pine so I could sand off the grain that raises, (this t&g pine is already pre-sanded to a baby-butt soft finish, and I thought if I used an oil base product I would have minimal prep work). I guess I just have visions of the pine surface raising over & over due to the water content in the stain…of course I could be totally wrong since I haven’t tried this yet.
The question about soaking galvanized nails is just because I find the old ways (in most everything) interesting and in danger of being forgotten…

I once did an experiment in milk paint, and my dog licked it off – lol

View bobsmyuncle's profile


110 posts in 2895 days

#3 posted 02-17-2012 08:43 PM

I am not sure of the look you’re going for, but if the pine is knotty or resinous, the resins will bleed through the paint and make ugly brown spots. I would suggest a couple of coats of dewaxed shellac (I like Zinsser’s Seal Coat) prior to any pickling. Shellac will seal in the resins like nothing else will. The shellac will also serve as a “wash coat” to prevent or minimize the blotching (uneven absorption of pigment). You might even experiment with a white tinted shellac, such as Zinsser’s B-I-N (sold as a primer) That may be all you need.

I would not put anything over the top like oil-based varnish. That is going to add an amber tint. Go with water-borne acrylic or CAB lacquer.

Rule #1 is to try out your proposed finish on scrap before committing to your project.

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273 posts in 2890 days

#4 posted 02-17-2012 09:04 PM

Thanks! I’ve got some scrap pieces of that pine to try out finishes. I also have some Zinsser’s Seal Coat here too. I’ll look into the B-I-N, I may be going out to the stores tonight for inspiration.
The look I’m going for is a pale white-washed shabby chic/cottage look. When I was growing up our home was a 20’s bungalow on the beach of Long Island Sound, and I’m trying to recapture that feel. Most of the house had wide 12” beaded pine boards on the walls, shellacked and amber in color. The kitchen was pickled or white-washed, I don’t know which, but I want that barely-there white tint on the pine and in the crevasses of the knots and beading. The bedroom is going to be done in shabby chic/English country florals. Crotched runner on the dresser, lead crystal for fresh flowers, tin tile ceiling, etc. Foo-foo girlie – lol.

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2897 days

#5 posted 02-18-2012 04:18 AM

I know you said no to the minwax, but check out:

He made it look pretty easy, although I’m guessing he has a deal worked out with minwax..

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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273 posts in 2890 days

#6 posted 02-18-2012 06:10 AM

Hmm. That’s still a lot of sanding. Did I mention I’m lazy? ; )
Two clear benefits of water based, are the low odor and the quick time to a finished product. Earlier I went to the Minwax site and was looking at their various tinted water based products – some of the colors are nice and would fit in well with the look I’d like. I’m considering a pale soft fern/moss green instead of white, too. I just bought some mid weight cotton duck material that is antique white with pale geranium sprays all over it for the curtains. If I go with pickled white it may be too “light” and washed out in the room. I may go with the pale green for the pine walls instead -the application would be the same as what the video shows, and water based Minwax would be the product to use.
Ok, you’ve all got me 95% sold on it… ; )

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