DIY: Steel Wool and Vinegar Wood Stain

We are in home project overload right now. We're closing on our new house on Wednesday (YAY!) and it's a mad dash to get everything ready. One of the things on our to-do list was to freshen up our computer desk. We picked up this table several years ago at an antique store...it's already been thru a couple of makeovers since we brought it home. Here's what it looked like when we bought it:

I've been wanting to try a steel wool and vinegar stain for awhile. And, once the table top was completely stripped down, I knew it would be the perfect piece. There's tons of tutorials and "recipes" out there...here's what we did:

 1. Soak steel wool (we used medium) in a jar of vinegar. The longer it sits, the rustier it will get and the darker the result. This is what it looked like after one week:

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 Here's the table top all sanded down. Nice, smooth and bare.

2. Use a paint brush (or cloth) and brush on the rusty vinegar mix. Don't forget to shake it up and get all the "good stuff" that settles at the bottom.

steel wool and vinegar stain
steel wool and vinegar stain

Here's what it looked like halfway thru. What a difference!

steel wool and vinegar stain
steel wool and vinegar stain

3) We let the vinegar stain soak in and wiped it down. The finish looked duller -- but, definitely looked like aged wood.

 4) Then, we applied one of our favorite wood conditioners/finishers: Howard's Feed-N-Wax. It's made from beeswax and orange oil and really brings out the wood and deepened the color.

5) Next up was Annie Sloan's soft clear wax (for extra protection)...and here's the finished look. The base and legs were painted with ASCP in Aubusson Blue, with Paris Grey underneath. I waxed it with liming wax, however I don't think it had much of an impact.

I'm totally loving it and will definitely be using this technique again. Super cheap and super easy!

Steel Wool and Vinegar Stained Table

Steel Wool and Vinegar Stained Table

steel wool and vinegar stain
steel wool and vinegar stain