hunted interior

A NATURAL GRAY

Well a plan for a desk at least.  If you have been following me for any amount of time whatsoever, you'll remember a few ideas I've had for a desk in our home, especially having one in the bedroom.  Well now that I am working more & more { keep it coming } Staying up late on the computer while the hubs is sleeping would not be the ideal situation for us.well.him.  So we finally made a grand sacrifice (to be revealed at a later date) & we now have a great space in our kitchen!  Plus the kitchen was on the To Do List this year anyways, this will just be a head start.  We are going to build our own desk, with built in shelving above & the great news is... we already have 98% of the materials lying around for the desk itself!  See what happens when you Hunt your house!  This is my main inspiration for the desk...

{ Restoration Hardware }

I love the ornate balusters for legs & the grayed out wood.  Balusters: Check!  Ours aren't quite like these, but they are large enough to make the same impact.  Grayed Wood: Potential Check...  


Under our deck we have had these 6' x 9" boards that I haven't had the heart to throw away.  Free Wood People.  I even got creative with one of the boards on Thanksgiving.  They look gross (& trust me they were)... but after pulling them out scrubbing them with pure bleach & hosing them down they look like this...


Better, but not the grayed look I was going for.  Off to the internet I went... So I found a bunch of sites referencing a recipe of sorts to create a natural gray stain.  I read it, I had all the ingredients, why not try it?  I would test it on the underside of the boards & if it didn't work... at least I tried.

Materials List:
Glass Mason Jar
Steel Wool
Distilled White Vinegar
Tea Bags
Hot Water

Curious yet?  Yeah, me too.  Basically the first thing you do is shred the Steel Wool into small pieces, putting them into the Jar.  You may want to wear some protective gloves.  The Steel Wool got my fingers pretty good.  Then you cover the Steel Wool with the Vinegar & let it set for 24 hours.




Brew the tea bags, I used Liptons, into two cups of hot water & let steep.  Brush the Tea onto the wood & let dry.  Once your Steel Wool concoction has marinated & your tea has dried, simply brush on the Vinegar with a paint brush.  That is when the magic is supposed to happen...



I will say that it did gray out the wood... Maybe not to the degree I was wanting, but not a bad start!  I may attempt a few other methods, but for a free & non toxic (just stinky) method I am pretty impressed.









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10 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this, I love that gray wood too!

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  2. I'm doing this....like this weekend! I have some pallets I am using to make signs and they look too new-this will do the trick.I would love for you to come link it up at my party going on right now!
    http://too-much-time.com/2012/02/get-schooled-saturday-9.html

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  3. I love this idea! Thanks...found you via TT&J's linky party.
    Kristen @ Titus 2 Work in Progress

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  4. This is my favorite wood aging technique. I've stained a bunch of stuff this way. It's just so hard to predict how dark stuff will get. 2x4s seem to work the best.

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  5. Kristen, this is a process I love! No need to tear the steel wool, the vinegar will eventually dissolve it all! You'll get a darker result by letting your brew sit for at least 48 hours! I wrote a tutorial if you want to see more, at's at http://www.mamawithadashofdiydrama.com/2011/12/aged-wood-table-and-tutorial.html Good luck!! ~Lori

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  6. I use vinegar and steel wool all the time. I don't shred the steel, and I don't use tea. Just vinegar and steel wool. The more days you leave it, the darker and /or more different the wood is. It's like a science experiment! It also depends on the type of wood as well as the roughness (what grit you have it sanded to).

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  7. Great tips! AMAZING! Thanks for sharing at my party!!! Happy Valentine's Day!!! XO, Aimee

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  8. I have never heard of this. It is so interesting to me. Quick question. How long did it take for the stain to dry? I want to put some vinyl lettering on after I'm done and I'm just wondering how long I should wait. Please email me at stelli_elli@yahoo.com

    Thanks!
    Stacy

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  9. what a nice and simple idea - thanks for sharing ... i love to use vintage looking works for my art stuff - and have a good new year!

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  10. Just found your site and am loving it!
    you may not be interested, but Minwax has come out with a classic gray stain if you want more of a gray shade. I used it on pine for a dollhouse. http://www.running-w-scissors.com/2013/01/doll-house-part-4-finished.html

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I always love feedback on what my lovely readers { like you } are thinking. Feel free to ask any questions or you can always email me at thehuntedinterior@gmail.com

K