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Yet another steel wool and vinegar question

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Forum topic by dawsonbob posted 01-22-2014 05:59 AM 6292 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dawsonbob

1916 posts in 1220 days


01-22-2014 05:59 AM

Hi. My second project is kind of based on my first, which looks like this:

You guys here on LumberJocks gave me some great advise on finishing the first one, so I’m hoping you can help me with this one,
I’m thinking of giving it an aged look using steel wool and vinegar. Do you guys think that would be an appropriate finish, or should I stick with something like the first one? If I do use steel wool and vinegar, do you use any finish over that, like shellac, poly, etc?
Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection


41 replies so far

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1667 posts in 2089 days


#1 posted 01-22-2014 06:31 AM

pine does not do well with the steel wool vinegar treatment.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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dawsonbob

1916 posts in 1220 days


#2 posted 01-22-2014 06:35 AM

Bummer, jumbojack. I was hoping. I just want it to look aged, not ebonized. Will it do that?
Thanks.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View Jake's profile

Jake

850 posts in 1096 days


#3 posted 01-22-2014 06:49 AM

My problem with pine and spruce is that you never really know, for example in our case with European bought I think it was pine, maybe spruce… vinegar and steel we got a green result… (the green accent pieces you can see in this pic)

Depending on the ‘coctail’ we got a light green or a dark green. it still looked nice in context of our house with other colours but something in these woods just makes the vinegar and wool work a lot differently. I read about it, but I can’t quote what it exactly was.

So if you wnat to know for sure I would test it on a scrap, but probably a stain would be a better option.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View Deycart's profile

Deycart

444 posts in 1722 days


#4 posted 01-22-2014 06:51 AM

I’m not sure what you are looking for in a finish, but you could try India ink as a base coat apply as much as you want dark. BTW the first coat is very dark. And then what ever you want over as the ink it got was water based. Its a very dark finish but leaves the grain almost visible.

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wtnhighlander

10 posts in 1091 days


#5 posted 01-22-2014 11:59 AM

I have used vinegar / steel wool mixtures on pine, and got varying results that seemed to depend on how long I left the steel in the vinegar. On one piece, I applied a solution of 1 ball of 0000 steel wool completly disolved in about 1 pint of vinegar. That piece turned a nice chestnut brown after about 3 days. I top coated with shellac, which seems to slow the coloring process quite a bit. However, that piece has become noticably darker after a year or so.

View jaydenmoorie's profile

jaydenmoorie

15 posts in 1103 days


#6 posted 01-22-2014 12:07 PM

Great job done by you especially on the designing part on the top but I hope more finish on that and I suggest you to use steel wood and vinegar for more finishing. They are really effective.

-- Omega Home Automation and Electrical Contractor Toronto: http://omegaal.com

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jaydenmoorie

15 posts in 1103 days


#7 posted 01-22-2014 12:07 PM

Great job done by you especially on the designing part on the top but I hope more finish on that and I suggest you to use steel wood and vinegar for more finishing. They are really effective.

-- Omega Home Automation and Electrical Contractor Toronto: http://omegaal.com

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3553 posts in 1232 days


#8 posted 01-22-2014 12:59 PM

Try steel wool and shellac. Rob it in very thin, leave in sun for a few days until you get the desired color then finish.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

3059 posts in 1751 days


#9 posted 01-22-2014 01:07 PM

You could leave it outside in the weather for a couple months. That should do the trick.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View GaryW's profile

GaryW

125 posts in 1928 days


#10 posted 01-22-2014 01:21 PM

I have let my vinegar & steel wool sit for several months. I added cedar (red) hart chips to get a red tint. Well the tint don’t work. But I have a great black stain. One coat is transparent but the grain guickly disappears with more coats added. One coat, sanded after on oak is killer, te stain on oak goes deep.
My stain on pine will dirty (blacken) the surface.

-- GaryW, Edgefield SC, Too old to start over, can't remember why...

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1667 posts in 2089 days


#11 posted 01-22-2014 04:17 PM

I am currently working on a bed frame. The lady wanted the distressed ‘old’ chunky look. We priced barn wood and found it to be, for them, cost prohibitive. I used a variety of sanding implements to distress the wood. Wire wheel to take some of the soft grain out leaving ridges of late growth. I used a belt sander tilted on edge to do more of the same. A propane torch in the soft growth to further ‘distress’. I stained with minwax golden oak. I left some stain in various places on the frame.

This is a detail shot sent to the customer of the cap on the footboard.
By the way she is so far thrilled with the look. We used standard building dimensional lumber from HD.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4822 posts in 2513 days


#12 posted 01-22-2014 04:40 PM

I used to use pure amonia on oak, I do not know what it would do on pine

-- Bert

View dawsonbob's profile

dawsonbob

1916 posts in 1220 days


#13 posted 01-22-2014 05:30 PM

Thanks for all the responses. I’m really, really new at all this, so your input is highly valued.
I put in a tremendous amount of work on the first one distressing it and making it look old. Unfortunately the finish I used didn’t help in making it look old. Don’t get me wrong; I loved how the finish turned out — it just didn’t have the “ancient” effect I was looking for. Maybe a combination of the steel wool & vinegar treatment, followed by a stain would do the trick: what do you think?
If I do use the steel wool & vinegar treatment, will that affect gluing in any way, or should it be fine?
Thanks,
Bobby

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3335 days


#14 posted 01-23-2014 01:34 AM

Before you dismiss the vinegar and steel wood. here is a suggestion

Pine has very little “tannin” in it , so it doesn’t react real well with the vinegar and steel wool solution, which is a reaction with the wood more so than an actual colorant.

make you some green tea, use the grounds or bags , make it strong, as in 4 bags to a cup , really strong. Apply that to the pine , and let it dry. The green tea has a lot of tannin in it , so now you have just added some tannin, and the vinegar and steel wood has some thing to react with it . Different “pines” , react differently so be sure to do a test sample . Also you will find the reaction is better id its not sanded too fine, 180 is about as far as you want to go, also try a sample sanded with 120. You have to have the wood “open” so the tea and vinegar can get in .

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dawsonbob

1916 posts in 1220 days


#15 posted 01-23-2014 01:48 AM

Now that, Mister Neil, is exactly the kind of advise I was looking for. I can certainly go out and get some green tea, but I wonder if regular black tea would contain the same tannins? I have lots of that. I always brew my tea super strong. I learned to drink it that way from Sergeant Major Mac Donald, who used it as part of his campaign to terrorize we second lieutenants I’ve been drinking it that way for many years.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

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