Staining with tea and vinegar

Some of you have asked how I did the staining on the shelf and mason jar organizer in my office. It’s super easy. You just need black tea, apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, and super fine steel wool (the finer the grade, the faster it dissolves in the vinegar. I only had the regular household grade 0 so I used that. Anything steel will work if left long enough). 

Step one: with gloves on, shred the steel wool up and place in a jar. Cover with vinegar. Let soak. 

Place 3-4 tea bags in a jar. Steep for several hours or overnight. 

I only waited about 12 hours before using my respective brews, but I left the steel wool in vinegar for over a month now and I’m going to stain something soon and see what the difference is! 

I used apple cider vinegar because I had some imitation stuff I wanted to get rid of. You can see the steel wool isn’t very dissolved. Scroll to the end to see what it looks like after sitting for two months!

Step two: paint the tea on your board and let dry at least an hour. I didn’t take a picture as I was too excited to go straight to the vinegar part. The tea will darken the board a little bit, but it’s the oxidation that occurs with the addition of the steel-infused vinegar that gives it the already aged look. 

Step three: after tea has dried, paint vinegar on. Be careful of where this drips! I stained my utility sink too. Whoops! 


Don’t neglect the ends! They got darker because the cut end absorbs the tea and vinegar more.    

Jar of vinegar and steel two months later… I have a feeling it will produce a darker stain! I just need a project… 

Now go forth and stain something! Post pics in comments if you do :-)


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