Wood stain is another thing I never use, either, mainly because of the drying time and fumes. But I found something to make for a family member, and dammit, I wanted the wood to show.
So I used tea! And a few rusty nails, but it was mostly the tea. (Inspired by this pin.)
--an unfinished wood item
--two bags of black tea, like earl gray
--a few old/rusty nails
--steel wool and vinegar if you want an antiqued looking stain (optional)
--cup of hot water
See how pale this thing was when I bought it? No bueno.
First, put the tea bags, nails, and optional steel wool and vinegar into the hot water. Remember not to drink the concoction while it sits there.
Leave it to steep for a while. Heck, go do something else, like clean off your workbench or eat some Doritos. If you're going for a specific color, check the progress every few minutes, especially if you tossed the steel wool in there. Mine was just tea and a few nails because I wanted to keep it a warm tone. I let it sit for about 15 minutes.
Don't be fooled if it starts to look really dark in the cup. Tea is sneaky. Just dab a few drops onto your wood to see the actual shade.
When the color is how you want it to be, bust out the brush and paint the tea onto the wood. If you added the steel wool, you can also use that as your brush, but I'd recommend putting on gloves first. The stain will absorb pretty quickly and you probably won't need to wipe off any excess. (I didn't.) You can apply more than one coat.
Let it dry and then apply a coat of varnish. A good option is Safecoat Acrylacq, for those of you who use stain more frequently, but I used a little bottle of craft sealant from JoAnn.
After the varnish is dry, you're done!
So there you go! An alternative to traditional stain that won't give you a fume headache.
Have you ever dyed anything using food? (Aside from Easter eggs.) Did anybody try the steel wool method for an aged look? I might do that one next time. What project did you work on this week?
Linking up: My Repurposed Life