There are many different options when it comes to choosing a finish for your wood project. Sometimes you want it to look brand new, or maybe painted or stained, but other times you’ll want your project to look old and aged. Today we’ll teach you how to age wood with vinegar.
The list of things you’ll need to get started are:
- 2 Gallon Bucket (any container with a sealing lid will work)
- ½ Gallon Distilled White Vinegar (any vinegar will work)
- Steel Wool (from Hardware store, not grocery store)
- Paint Brush
A few notes about the steel wool. Try to make sure your steel wool does not have any detergent on it. You might want to purchase it from a hardware store rather than a grocery store to try to make sure it does not have detergent in it.
- Pour the Vinegar into the bucket
- Pull apart the steel wool. You will want to unroll it and then tear it into smaller pieces. This will allow the vinegar to break down the steel wool much easier. Be careful when you break up the steel wool as it will leave fine particles behind as it breaks down. You will probably want to do this outside, or tear it up over the bucket so all of the small pieces drop into the bucket.
- Put all of the steel wool pieces into the vinegar. You may want to use a stick to push all of the wool under the vinegar. Make sure that the vinegar completely covers all of the steel wool.
- Securely put the lid onto the bucket
- Leave the bucket alone for 4 days.
When you are ready to actually use the mixture to age some wood, perform the steps below.
- Open the bucket and pour in ½ gallon of water.
- Stir the mixture with the water. Do not remove any of the steel wool. If the mixture is too light, you can put the lid back on the bucket and let it sit for a few more days. The longer the mixture sits, the darker it will become. If it happens to get too dark, you can easily add a little more water to get it to the desired color. Another hint is to add coffee grounds to the vinegar mixture to darken the color a bit.
- Using a paint brush, apply the vinegar mixture to the wood.
- Let the wood sit for an hour or two in order to completely dry and you will be able to see the changes in color. You can add another coat if you want to darken it a bit more.
The steps above are all you need to do to if you are trying to figure out how to age wood with vinegar. The mixture will last a long time, so if you think you will have more projects to do in the future, save it and use it again later. The vinegar will continue to break down the remaining steel wool, so the mixture may become darker. The easy fix is to just add a little more water to make it lighter if you want. Always test the liquid on a scrap piece of wood to see how it will look before you apply it to your entire project. Another thing to note is that this solution will not always get the same look on all different types of wood. In the video, cedar is used to show the color. Your results might be a little different.