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A Restoration Finish Tutorial~Vinegar & Stain combination

"A Restoration Finish Tutorial"


a little debate with myself about time continiuum

Tick Tock..... was all I could hear this week! Not that I could actually hear clock's ticking, although I do like that sound, and most of you are aware of my little fettish with clocks; but rather, I could feel the time as if I was caught in a time warp and it seemed to go faster than normal. Time is my constant nemesis! I've said numerous times that if I could only clone myself, I could get everything done on my list. Of course, knowing me, I would just double the work in hopes that I could do even more. I worried so much about time this week in fact, I was fearful I wouldn't get this blog post done and here we are on a Friday afternoon putting on the finishing touches!

I like to think I am the queen of time management but yet wonder where does it all go when the deadlines that I so conveniently set for my self speed by sometimes being only partially met. It's a conundrum, one I may or may not come up with a viable answer to in the near future. In the meantime...(pun intended), I want to share with you this new technique of staining. I have used this technique several times after reading other posts on Pinterest. The basic finish look is one apparently seen at "Restoration Hardware". Therefore, I'm calling this finish, for lack of a better term, the "restoration finish".

It is a darker rich color that has a grayish tint to it. You know how I love Gray, so this is perfect for the pieces of furniture that I stain the top instead of painting the full piece. I think the restoration finish does give it a nicer finish than just stain. It isn't hard just takes a little forward thinking and prep for the steps: Here is a look at what this finish looks like:

restoration finish.jpg

Here is a list of the items you will need to achieve this look:

1. Dark Walnut Stain

2. Steel wool pads -4-5

3. Distilled Vinegar

4. Tea bags-small 2 o r 3

5. Paint brush

6. Soft finishing cloths ( I use an old t shirt)

7. Metal or tin bucket container

8. Nitrate or latex gloves

The first step in achieving this look is to sand or prep the surface. If it is natural wood than you just need to make sure it is dust free. If the surface has a stain or paint, you will need to sand down to the bare wood. After you have sanded to the bare wood then just make sure it is dust free before you begin.

You will first do a "tea wash" to your wood. You can brew tea just like you would normally and then with your paint brush apply a nice even coat of tea over the wood. I'm not exactly sure what this does but I think it is so that the next step is not oversaturated and too dark. You won't be able to see much difference in the wood from the tea wash.

tea wash restoration.jpg

The next step is the "vinegar wash". This is the step that takes some pre-planning. You will take your metal bucket/container and tear apart 4-5 steel pads into pieces. After the pieces of steel wood are in your bucket pour a bottle of distilled vinegar into the bucket to sit overnight. (That's the planning part!) In the morning this will look pretty nasty but that is how you achieve the gray finish goodness to this look. After your tea wash, you will apply the vinegar wash using a paint or varnish brush evenly to your piece. This is what that step will look like when you are done:

gray restoration.jpg

graywash restoration.jpg

When your gray wash/vinegar wash has dried, you will apply a dark walnut stain by Minwax to your wood. I wear nitrate gloves for this step so that I can rip them off and not have to do some major scouring to get the stain off before I go fix dinner! LOL! Apply the stain in small sections applying an even amount just to cover. You will wipe off the stain right after you apply it. If you don't wipe it off, it may be dark and you may not see the gray as much. Although this will still look good but it is almost black if you don't wipe it off as you go.

Once the final step of dark walnut has been applied and then wiped off, you will want to wait an hour or two so that it dries completely. After the stain is dry, you can apply Annie Sloan's clear wax to the surface to seal it and give it a nice satin and durable appearance. If you have not used Annie Sloan's wax before, you will apply an even coat with a dry soft cloth and after 30 minutes buff it with a clean cloth. Buffing the wax hardens it and gives the shine.

And that's it....the restoration finish.

dresser top_Fotor_Fotor.jpg

This week I used this stain technique on a dining table and chairs as well for my booth at Daisies & Olives Antique Mall. I love the dark with the already cream legs.

Restoration Dining Table.jpg

The entire week for me was hairy scary in terms of getting everything done in time for the co-promoted Junk Ranch event that happens each summer in Prairie Grove. All in all, I made four chalkboards, 3 wooden serving trays, a wooden Patisserie (hand painted sign), a wooden sign with hooks, sanded and restoration stained a dining room table and four chairs, painted a dresser/ changing table, sanded a dresser top for my bedroom remodel (still in progress), made 50 french macarons for my hubby's work, a blog post, and various odds & ends in projects at home.

Patisserie sign.jpg

Chalkboard Shabby w banner.jpg

Chalkboard black fox.jpg

chalkboard square.jpg

wooden serving trays.jpg


I also had taken part of the day off on Wednesday, as it was my birthday. Let's just say I'm old enough to not want to disclose my age of 44! Wait! Did I just say that out loud? Heheee!

Anyway, that's my normal weekly pace and I would have been okay except that 1/2 day off on Wednesday and that little time space continuum issue! LOL!

I'm sure next week will feel a little less harried since I will work all week!

Until next time......if you figure out how to clone a human, please share! :)



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