Tea, Vinegar and Steel Wool

Q&A Woodworking Forum IndexCategory: WoodworkingTea, Vinegar and Steel Wool
Beth T. asked 1 month ago

Hi! I am new to this and had a quick question. So on my first trial piece and painted on tea and let dry for an hour. I then used apple cider vinegar and steel wool mixture that had set for 24 hours. It turned a lovely shade of gray, which was what I was after. When I moved on to larger pieces of wood and did the same thing, the stain is coming out more brown. Is there any way to get the gray look I had originally? I am not real sure what I did different.

Thanks!

1 Answers
Westfarthing Woodworks answered 1 month ago

Thanks for the question. The method you are using to color your boards actually relies more on the board itself than the stain. The mixture reacts with the tannin in the wood and creates color. More tannin, more color.

Also, I have never used Apple Cider Vinegar in the mixture before, only white vinegar, though if you are getting good results you are doing fine.

If the boards are the same species, they should color about the same, however there can be differences. The tea should help, maybe coat the wood more, and then do the steel wool mixture.

You are working with a natural mixture and natural and varying properties of wood. There will be some fiddling to do in order to get the look you are going for. 

Have patience, you will get it.

Let me know if that helps, and happy building.

See Also: Staining Wood with Steel Wool and Vinegar

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