Cheap ebony stain

Discussion in 'Crafting' started by cowboy joe, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. cowboy joe

    cowboy joe Hired Hand

    Sep 13, 2003
    western New York
    I did some white oak turnings and intended to use ammonia to create a smoked oak effect. Well, sadly, some of the white oak these days is actually bleached red oak which removes most of the tannins...ammonia fuming doesn't work well without the tannins. I remember something about soaking rusty metal in vinegar so i looked it up. (The technical term is iron acetate.) Basically, take some rusty metal parts, add enough vinegar to cover the parts and let the concoction soak for a few days. After that, pour off the liquid thru a coffee filter into a clean container. To use, brush on to the wood & let dry. The moisture raises the grain a little so a light sanding may be in order before applying finish.

    I gave it a go on the same 'white' oak I tried to, it turned ebony / black. I also tried a bit on again but not nearly as dark as the oak. Think I'll try a second coat to see how much darker it gets. I'm also curious to see how both woods looks after finish is applied.

    Thought I'd share...stain is expensive. Vinegar is cheap and I have enough rusty parts around to make enough iron acetate to last a life time...
    farmrbrown and copperhead46 like this.
  2. dsmythe

    dsmythe Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    At the end of a dirt road in Mount Airy, GA
    I saw a show on Craftsman's Legacy, they used steel wool and vinegar, It turned out as you say, WOW. Thank you for sharing. Did you brush or spray the finish on?
    farmrbrown likes this.

  3. Ryss

    Ryss Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    I saw that same episode dsmythe. Thanks for sharing cowboy joe. I have been trying to figure out a color for a bathroom cabinet. This might just be the ticket!