Making a wood stain with tea is supposed to be easy. I mean, this self-proclaimed “cake baker, dinner maker, picture taker” succeeded spectacularly.
If the woman behind “Confections of a Foodie Bride” (Gah! So many bad words all in a row.¹) can do this, imagine my humility as I must confess that my first attempt — to darken the wood of my new worktable — was a failure.
The principles are solid and consistently stated on the ever-truthful Interwebs:I mean, wait wait, not a failure. But a solid “meh.” This foolproof organic method of enriching the hues of my oak tabletop was nothing but a tea tease.
- Brew you up some super-strong tea.
- Soak a superfine piece of steel wool in near-boiling vinegar to make an iron solution that reacts with the tea tannin.
- Apply a couple layers of tea, let dry, then apply a couple layers of the metallic wash.
- Wait for the awesome.
I’m still waiting.
Where did I go wrong? My guess: There could’ve been a bit of oil in the steel wool. It seems this is a pretty common additive. And I did not wash it in mineral spirits or paint thinner first, which would’ve removed any oil and let the vinegar do it’s chemical shindigging with the wool.
The table did darken a bit, and it looks pretty good, even if this Lip-tone is not the blackened, Irish pub look I was seeking. I might go another round now on this workbench to try and perfect the method before I salvage some more pallets to build a bar for inside the house. Because that simply has to look groovy.
To be continued…
¹ Yes, I’m aware of the irony of a “Dew Abides” blogger making fun of the name of someone else’s blog. To this I say: Shut up.