How To Weather Wood – With Steel Wool & Vinegar

How To Weather Wood - With Steel Wool & Vinegar

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to naturally age new wood with vinegar and steel wool. In just a couple of minutes, new wood will look old, grey and weathered like old barn wood.

how to weather age new wood naturally with vinegar steel wool black tea

You’ll need:

strong black tea solution to age new wood

Make a strong black tea solution: Steep 1 tbsp black tea leaves in 250ml boiling water for 5 minutes. Black tea contains tannin. Tannin reacts with iron producing a grey to black wood stain. If you’re using tannin-rich wood, such as oak, it’s not necessary to paint the wood with tea, just paint the wood with iron liquor.

how to distress and weather new wood

Paint the wood with the strong tea solution.

how to weather new wood old barn wood effect tutorial

Then paint the wood with DIY iron liquor.  Just after some seconds the wood begins to turn black.

old barn wood look reclaimed wood effect tutorial charred wood

Strong tea + iron liquor makes wood very black, almost like charred wood.

how to instantly age wood naturally black tea solution

While weak tea + iron liquor makes wood rather brown than black or grey.

Staining Wood - With Steel Wool & Vinegar

Freshly stained wood looks black and streaky, but once the wood is dry, it looks like weathered wood: grey and no longer streaky.

Old Barn Wood Reclaimed Wood Tutorial
On the left: not sanded (grey) – On the right: sanded (light grey)

As soon as the wood is dry, you can sand the stained wood again.

Aging Wood - With Steel Wool & Vinegar

I used the distressed and stained wood to make a picture frame for a heart shaped river rock.

15 thoughts on “How To Weather Wood – With Steel Wool & Vinegar

    1. Yes, it’s amazing that just some steel wool, vinegar and tea turns new wood into old barn wood. 🙂

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