Chemistry 101

Pin It Remember back in science class when you had to rust a nail with vinegar?  Well, what do you get when you rust steel wool pads with vinegar?

Rustic Wood Stain - of course.

I poured a container full of vinegar (quart) & put a few course-grade 3 steel wool pads.  The "stain" gets darker the longer you allow the rust particles to sit in the vinegar.  24-48 hours would be a lighter stain. 

For my mixture, I let it go few extra days.  You can stop the process by straining (with a coffee filter) the small metal particles.  However, you will want to use a drop cloth or newspaper under your project.  This is basically rust and it will stain your concrete in the garage.

I wanted a rustic, weathered look for these little storage crates.  At this stage, they look too new.

Below, the one on the left is one I just brushed with the liquid.  The one on the right was the one I did about five minutes earlier.

Here is the beginning raw wood color.

Here are the four crates at four different shades just after I finished the final one.

Final rustic color, still needs to dry and add a layer of poly.

This process could come in handy creating one of those old looking benches for the front porch (when you don't have old reclaimed wood sitting around).

Link parties -
Todays Creative Blog

Tip Junkie handmade projects



  1. Wow, what a great idea! Easily done by anyone and it gives a great color:>)

  2. It was fun testing out pieces of wood each day to see the color change.

  3. I love them after the staining. They look beautiful.I would love for you to link up to my feature Friday linky party.

  4. What a creative way to stain something!

  5. Thank you Beth. It was a fun project.

  6. love it very cool and love that you did not have to buy the stain but rather make it awesome

  7. I was looking at the weathered table finish pin on pinterest and got directed to your blog-super awesome. I love all your stuff and will definitely be checking out your cool projects regularly..and here I thought I was the only woman getting power tools for my birthday.