Picture of Forcibly Aging Wood
Forcibly Aging Wood.JPG
Do you like the look of old, weathered wood but just don't have the 10 years to wait? Do it quickly with simple household items; don't wait, do it now!

- Black Tea
- Vinegar
- A brush
- some steel (steel wool, old rusty nails....)

(*the comic above is awful)

Step 1: Mix yourself a Rusty Nail.

Picture of Mix yourself a Rusty Nail.
To start with, pour the vinegar into a container over your steel wool or rusty nails (whatever steel you have which will rust).
Allow it to sit for about a day while you do the next step.

Delicious looking, no?

sing_anyway2 years ago
I love this idea. I wasn't actually looking for how to do this, I just enjoyed your other ibles and was checking out the rest. I love your sense of humor even in the step titles, thanks for making stuff I wasn't even looking for both fun and interesting!
Justin Tyler Tate (author)  sing_anyway2 years ago
Thank you so much!
lazyoaks2 years ago
Thanks for this idea, I'll be using this one for sure
Dr. P2 years ago
No, the comic is excellent! So is the idea. I'm gonna use this...
DaleR76 days ago

Does anyone have any ideas as to what I may be doing wrong? I have tried to age new wood using tea and vinegar with rusty nails and tea with vinegar and steel wool. I have used it on oak, pine and cedar and the ONLY color I get is brown!! How do I get a gray color? I would really appreciate any advice......thanks!

theunartist DaleR73 minutes ago

The longer you soak rusty nails/steel wool the darker the result will be. The vinegar can be used after a day and does not need to change color. Also, you can try omitting the black tea and go straight with the vinegar and rusty nail solution. This is an oxidation process and not a coloring/dye/staining process...

SeveI4 months ago

Does the kind of vinegar matter?

Does the steel have to be rusty already?

We used distilled vinegar and steel wool (both brand new) and 36 hours later the vinegar is still clear. Is that ok? Will it work?

Gonna try it anyway

SeveI SeveI4 months ago

Works just fine! Thank you!

MEMJIM4 months ago

This is exactly what i needed. I have a project in mind knew i would need this know-how. thank you so much. Ill post my completion & give any/all namely credit. jk

LexiC15 months ago

does it matter what type of wood? i want to make industrial style shelving but have no idea which is the best timber to choose???

marc.sustins9 months ago
How well do you think would work with this. Top is different wood
wonderbrett10 months ago
Love the header image.
Al Lamaj1 year ago

for a wonderful and easy way to get an aged look on all types of wood, you can use the Eco Safe wood treatment available from Tallearth.com. Not only provides an Eco friendly wood protection but also changes all types of wood, with one treatment, to give a graceful silvery grey patina finish to the wood. Pace of the change to the wood varies from hours to a few days depending on the type of wood. Hope that this is useful for some of your readers.

Adding Hydrogen Peroxide will speed up the rusting process significantly

kpomerleau1 year ago

Great job and thanks for the tip.

No before and after?
antioch2 years ago
I find the comic very unsettling and discriminating towards young wood. It encourages violating it even against it's explicit wish. Please censor the critical sections.
LifeWarrior2 years ago
Nice trick, have to give this a try with my firing technique, see what kind of rich grain aged wood look I can get, Very cool thanks for posting
bajablue2 years ago
Bleach and water ages wood beautifully, too. I also like how you aged the nails.

Great work! (and the comic is too cute!)
Justin Tyler Tate (author)  bajablue2 years ago
But bleach and water will give the wood a look as if it had been sitting out in the sun for a long time, yes? Thanks!
Bleach + water, versus vinegar + iron oxide. Bleach has eaten away my wood before, certainly it was too strong. Will the vinegar eat it away also, or is the vinegar less harsh?
Justin Tyler Tate (author)  DIY-Guy2 years ago
Bleech eats any organic materials down to nothing. The vinegar is already diluted so it will age the wood but not eat it away; it just allows the wood to oxidize as it does naturally with age.
Straight bleach, yes. Diluted bleach, NO. And it works a LOT FASTER than vinegar.
If the bleach ate away at your wood, you didn't dilute the bleach solution enough.

Yes. ;-)
Great, i registered because of this...

Just a question; what is the wood, is that pine?

Did you ever try it on oak?

Thanks, yes your commic is bad, only the last scene reveals some talent :-)
Justin Tyler Tate (author)  BG_instructs2 years ago
Yes, that wood is pine, different woods age differently and so you will get a different look from oak. I expect you would end up with a warm grey using this on oak.
warehouse322 years ago
This is surprisingly simple...great for a quick project!
Winged Fist2 years ago
Love the comic and the cocktail... Can't wait to see the whole tiki-bar;-)
artworker2 years ago
Interesting! will have to try this.