Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Making My Debut: Vinegar Weathered Wood

So, after spending the last couple of months stalking other crafty, creative people's blogs full 'o awesomeness, the inevitable has come to pass. Here I am, typing up my first-ever blog post on my first-ever blog.  Gulp. (Hold me!)

Not that I think the blogosphere ~needs~ another crafty, creative(ish, if you count being inspired and copying the truly creative people's creative ideas) blog.  It's really more to give me some kind of motivation to, you know, actually FINISH a project every once in a while.  Right now no more guests are allowed to visit than can fit inside my house, since the guest apartment off the garage (aka the Garaj Mahal) is chock full of my "works" in various stages of "progress."

So, without further ado, the first project for which I actually have photo documentation of the before and after, my Vinegar Weathered Wood Side Table.  AKA, "Vinnie."

A sweet little shelf I snatched up for 3.99 at the nearest Goodwill. It was clearly handmade, as all those pieces are notched together like a jigsaw puzzle.  No screws, nails, or wood glue anywhere.  (Man, I wish I had me some woodworking skills like that, but alas, I confess that I am downright scared of power saws.) She is darling, but I am not loving the "new wood" look she's rockin'.  I am totally a weathered wood kind of gal, and besides, I want to put her in the Garaj Mahal (you know, for when it's actually allowed to host guests again), which has a semi-beachy theme including a weathered wood shutter headboard that I am totally smitten with.  And "new wood" just isn't going to mesh with that lil bit of awesome. Nope, nuh-uh, no-how no way.

Fortunately for me, Sausha over at {show & tell} had a similar dilemma a while back, and showed us all how she weathered her craft table using steel wool soaked in vinegar.  She did an awesome job describing the process, which you should totally check out here

I just used regular old distilled white vinegar that I had on the shelf. I tore my steel wool up into little bits, and intended to soak it for a day, but it wound up being more like a week. When I finally got around to putting the solution on my table, it was the darndest thing...the mixture looked really dark in the jar, but when I dipped in my brush it looked clear like vinegar.  And it looked like it was going on clear when I brushed it on the wood.  But then as I'm slopping away with this stuff, I look and it's totally turned almost like a cedar color.  So cool, my own little science experiment!!  Except then I looked down and noticed that where it had splashed on my legs and hands I had dark orange streaks...yikes!!!  Fortunately it MOSTLY washed off, except for a light orange tint which left me looking as though I'd had an unfortunate mishap with a bottle of self-tanner.  Consider yourself warned that gloves and some old pants...or less slopping around than I'm notorious for...are definitely called for.  Once the vinegar'ing was done, I finished it with tung oil -- my first time using tung oil and I love the natural look of it! I don't expect the table to get heavy use so just one coat...for now.

So yeah, blah blah blah, here's the good part:  AFTER!

Sigh, isn't she darling?!  Here's my most favorite part:

Love that woodgrain.  LOVE it!

While I confess that I was maybe hoping for a more gray, weathered appearance, I am happy with the way this turned out relative to how it looked before. It's fun to be able to say I didn't use just any regular old stain / poly to achieve this look.  And best of all?  It's something I've actually FINISHED.  Go meeee!

So what do you think?  Have you ever used a non-traditional method of changing up a piece of furniture or whatever? How did it turn out?