Vinegar - Steel wool stain

DSWalker

David
Corporate Member
I'm building this 1/2 barn door for a co-worker to use as a doggie door. She wanted a grey stain so I thought I'd try the vinegar/steel wool solution.

As you can see the sap wood didn't have the same chemical reaction to the mixture as the hardwood areas. Any thoughts on a fix for this? Will a bit stronger mix darken it up some or is it just that the sap wood isn't going to have the same chemical reaction?

185502
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
David, I don't know the answer to the question you posed, but I do want to comment on the door's "look"... it is beautiful! The sap wood concern notwithstanding, I think it stained remarkably even, which is amazing - the weather look can be very tricky. Very well done!
 

Graywolf

Richard
Corporate Member
I'd say the same. It turned out beautifully and I wouldn't change a thing. That being said, and I would use a scrap piece to practice, you could try just adding more of your stain to the sapwood and see if it evens up. If that doesn't satisfy the situation then you could use a dye on the sapwood to hopefully tone the area to your liking. Again I would use some scrap to practice on and then if you are successful would I go to the door. Good luck.
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
User
David, I realize this is for someone else and you would like to meet their expectations, but I think it’s perfect as is.

It’s a rusticated piece! Personally, the sapwood adds to the look in a positive way.


But that’s just my opinion.
 

Chilihead

Chilihead
User
I agree with the others here, I'd leave it the way it is. I like the subtle contrast the sap wood brings.
However, if you are still wanting to pursue it, I'll offer you this. I do not think that adding more iron solution will create much change on the sap wood. It's a chemical reaction between the iron and tannins in the wood that create the darkened result. If it did not change the first time, then that would indicate the sap wood has less tannin in it, and thus there's not enough natural tannin to react with a 2nd coat either. You can add tannin to wood though to increase the chemcal reaction. I learned this trick from Brian Boggs. He used a powdered bark called Quebracho powder - it is commonly used in tanning leather I think. Anyway it has a very high tannic content. It's easily found online for purchase and relatively cheap. You just make a simple tea with the bark & water, and then lightly brush it on the areas needed. After it dries, you go back with the vinegar solution again. I ebonized some soft maple, which has a very low tannic content, using this method and was able to turn the maple jet black. Beware, you can't really undo the reaction with a chemical stain, so I would advise applying the tea lightly. You can always keep repeating the process to make it darker, but you don't want to overdue it too fast. - Good luck
 

DSWalker

David
Corporate Member
Thanks for all the nice comments. I really like it as is too. I'll show her the pics today and see what she thinks.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
It looks pretty good as is and has a weathered look like you'd see in an old barn door.

What's the wood species that you're using? White oak from your farm or something else? Quebracho bark or tannic acid powder dissolved in water will work to boost the tannin content but be careful what you wish for in the final appearance after applying the iron solution. It can be brown to jet black (ebonized) and there's no going back to lighten it up.

 

DSWalker

David
Corporate Member
It looks pretty good as is and has a weathered look like you'd see in an old barn door.

What's the wood species that you're using? White oak from your farm or something else? Quebracho bark or tannic acid powder dissolved in water will work to boost the tannin content but be careful what you wish for in the final appearance after applying the iron solution. It can be brown to jet black (ebonized) and there's no going back to lighten it up.

It is my white oak stock.
 

cyclopentadiene

Update your profile with your name
User
If you do decide to even out th finish you can apply tannic acid to the surface then reapply the vinegar /wool finish. Tannic acid is readily available at the local beer/wine brewing store
 

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