Category Archives: Paints and Stains

How to Age Wood Using Vinegar, Steel Wool and Tea

fir-one-coat-tea-swatchIt’s easy to get that rustic, aged look of wood with a few simple steps and common household materials. When this process applied to a new piece of wood, it can help match the new piece, to a naturally aged blank or create your own style.

To get started, you will need just three household ingredients: distilled white vinegar, grade #0000 steel wool and tea.

1. Pull apart the steel wool and fully submerge in a container of vinegar for at least 12 hours or until the steel wool disintegrates. Strain out any loose pieces of steel wool using cheesecloth or a paper filter. When steel wool is combined with an acidic acid (vinegar) it causes the steel to oxidize (rust), making iron acetate. Safety note: Making iron acetate produces hydrogen gas. Do not seal containers and keep in a ventilated area.

2. Steep tea for at least 1 hour and brush steeped tea onto bare wood to saturated it. Let the wood dry completely.

3. Brush your vinegar & steel wool solution (the iron acetate) into tea-saturated wood.

Why does it work?
Tea contains tannin, a bitter astringent that occurs naturally in many plants and organics such as wood. Brushing wood with tea adds more tannin, allowing the vinegar/steel solution to have a stronger reaction. The iron acetate reacts with the tannins and turns the wood a dark color. Different woods have various levels of natural tannin content so results will vary by wood species. (See our photos below for some of our experiments.)
fir-one-coat-tea-swatch yellow-cedar-one-coat-tea-swatch fir-vinegar-no-tea-swatch
You will notice that whenever wood comes in contact with water, the wood fibers swell and the wood will feel rough after it has dried. This is called raised grain. To keep a smooth surface you will need to sand the surface again very lightly using dull sandpaper, just enough to remove the raised grain but not exposing new wood. Always sand in the direction of the grain. Don’t use steel wool to remove the raised grain as small pieces of the wool will break off and lodge in the wood pores, which will then rust and spot the wood when you apply the stain or finish.
aging_fir_yellow_cedar_wood_w_labelsWe recommend experimenting with a sample piece of wood. Try multiple coats and different teas until you get the look you want. There are many tricks and recipes for achieving different finishes. Consult your local Windsor Plywood for some of the latest products and finishes to get the look you want.

fir-w-two-coats-tea-swatch yellow-cedar-two-coats-tea-swatch

Ultimate Garage by Tim – My Windsor Project Contest Entry

My project was the finishing of my triple tandem garage. I wanted my finished product to look like a rustic cottage, incorporating wood and stone finishing.

Firstly, under the Doors category I’d like to submit all my handmade cabinets and lockers. All of which were made from 5/8” inch MDF with 1/2″ x1/2 “ inch Pine accents. I also would include all the handmade drawers which as you can see were all dovetailed.

Secondly, under the Moulding category, I’d like to draw your attention to the waffle ceiling, made with 1/2” MDF with 1×4 Spruce panels.

And finally, under the Woodworking Category I think the entire garage fits, but particularly the butcher block counter top, ledger under the pegboard, and all the walls, which are covered in 1×6 tongue and groove, cedar planks.

#fathersday #fathersprojects

IMG_0882 IMG_0879 IMG_0872 IMG_0870 IMG_0869 IMG_0868 IMG_0867 IMG_0866 IMG_0864 IMG_0863 IMG_0862 IMG_0861 IMG_0860 IMG_0861 IMG_0859 IMG_0858 IMG_0857 IMG_0856 IMG_0857 IMG_0855 IMG_0854

Cedar Roll Top Desk by Ed- My Windsor Project

The follow project was sent in from an employee at the Windsor Plywood Airdrie store. The author of this blog, contacted the owner, Ed and asked if the work in progress could be posted and shared on the mywindsorproject.com blog. This was Eds reply:

“I am flattered that you would consider this project for inclusion in the blog.  It will be completed within the next couple of weeks.  How ’bout I send you some final pics of the completed interior/exterior and some notes about the project when done.”

We replied saying that would be a bonus. Almost a month went by and we received another email with updated pictures of the finished project. Great job on your project Ed! We all appreciate the reply and the fantastic follow-up.
Look forwards to more projects from your workshop Ed!

“Hello
Attached are some pics of the finished project, the roll top desk.
The wood used is all cedar, much of it purchased from Windsor.  The folks in Windsor Plywood Airdrie were really helpful.  I used cedar plywood, 3/4 inch and 1/4 inch, as well as dimensional cedar lumber planned to desired thicknesses.  It is finished with Varathane clear satin, visible locations sprayed.
I had not seen a roll-top made from cedar and thought that it would be unique.
Now I need a new project!”

42015 050 42015 051 42015 052 42015 053 42015 054 42015 055

Valentines Day Feature- Harvest Table Wedding Present from Erin and Nick

A Featured Project for Valentines Day!

This fantastic project was sent in from Erin and Nick of Langley, BC. It’s a handmade, Fir Harvest Table with an Ebony stain. It was completed as a wedding gift for a friend.

Features:
• Solid Fir extension harvest table with a butterfly leaf.

• Measures 72″ x 48″, with a 2′ extension making it 96″ x 48″ when extended.  The leaf folds into and stores in the table.
• Table is my design, and it took Nick approximately 30 hours to build.  I did the finishing which took about another 5 hours (not counting drying time ho ho ho!).

Nick is a carpenter that works at Cedar Siding Contracting doing exterior siding, building envelope, and other such carpentry jobs.  This is Erin and Nicks first dining table, but the couple did complete a similar type of design/build/finish teamwork with a couple of side tables.

Almost all the materials were purchased from the Windsor Plywood Langley store. The Langley store has its own custom website that is chalked full of cool projects and more! It can be found at www.windsorplywoodlangley.com

Fir table materials:
• 2″ x 6″ Mixed Grain Fir
• 2″ x 4″ Mixed Grain Fir
• 4″ x 4″ Fir
Drawer slides (Full extension heavy-duty)
Tube-Hinge Leaf-Mount Mechanism
Concealed SOSS hinges
• Table leg brackets & lags
L brackets
• Biscuits & Dowels
Titebond Construction Adhesive
Gorilla Wood Glue
Richelieu Chest Latch – #63890180
Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
Minwax Ebony Stain (3 coats)
Varathane Semi-Gloss Polyurethane (3 coats)
• Staining pad & Foam brushes
• Felt pads
GRK screws
• 6 foot long clamps
• Hook & Sand discs
Steel Wool #0000 

1_construction (6)1_construction (7)1_construction (11)3_stain (6)5_dry (1)6_done (3)6_done (7)6_done7_transporting (2)8_delivered (1)8_delivered (2)8_delivered (3)

How to Stain New Wood Decks

Sikkens-Deck-and-stain-cansHow to Stain New Wood Decks

Even though you have purchased kiln dried lumber there is still too much moisture in your fence or deck material to provide a good dry base and assure proper penetration of the stain or coating. Let the wood dry out for 2 – 3 weeks of good warm summer weather allowing the pores on the wood to open up and let the stain penetrate the wood there by assuring good penetration and adhesion. If you are building a new deck or fence, you should pre-stain the underside and hard to reach areas prior to building.

stain_brush_and_scott

On Cedar, Pine or Spruce Decking using a clear finish
If the weather doesn’t allow for 2 – 3 weeks of good warm weather and the wood does get weathered you may have to wash the material with a good quality deck wash.

Radius Edge Decking
It is recommended that you under coat the bottom side of the material there by providing a seal to the bottom edge of the decking. The radius edge design of the material tends to force rain to roll down the side and cluster under the decking which can develop into an excess moisture build up and cause the coating to break down or cause the material to decay.

Scroll to top