Introduction: Make Your Own Iron Acetate/Homemade Stain

About: I'm just a guy that likes to make things.

An inexpensive and easy way to create many different types of wood stains.

Step 1: A Very Cost Effective Way to Make Your Own Stain

Most materials I used, are household items.

Items purchased:

1. Steel wool = $1.00

2. Vinegar =$1.00

Step 2: You Will Need :

1.Distilled white vinegar

2.Steel wool

3.Two glass Jars (1 small/ 1 large)

4.Thick gloves

5.A latex glove

6.A coffee filter

7.Two rubber bands

Step 3: Mixing the Steel Wool and the Vinegar

1. Pour the vinegar into the clean glass jar slowly.

2.Put your thick gloves on to prevent minor cuts on your hands.

3.Break up the steel wool by pulling it apart.

4. Place the steel wool in the jar with vinegar.

5.Make small cuts on the latex glove and place it over the top of jar.

Step 4: Do Not Place a Lid Over the Jar.

A chemical reaction will begin Immediately after mixing the vinegar and steel wool.

Do Not place any type of lid on the jar! The gasses need to escape the jar!

Only use a latex glove will holes cut into it. The latex glove will keep bugs and other debris out. During the reaction, gas bubbles will rise to the top of the jar and escape through the holes you placed in the latex glove.

At this point of the process it will have a strong odor of vinegar. It is not a very pleasant smell.

Place the jar outside and away from pets and children!

Keep the jar outside until all the steel wool is dissolved. Times will vary depending on the vinegar to steel wool ratio. What has worked for me in the past is : 1 quart of vinegar to a bundle of steel wool takes approximately 7 days to dissolve.

Step 5: Strain the Iron Acetate.

1.Place a coffee filter over a clean jar. Create a pocket inside the jar by pressing down on the coffee filter.

2.Place a rubber band around the coffee filter and jar to prevent it from falling in the jar.

3.Pour a small amount of iron acetate in the jar with the coffee filter and allow it to strain slowly.

While the small jar is straining, place a bag over the large batch of iron acetate. Place a rubber band around it and store for later use.

Step 6: Dilute the Iron Acetate

Although not necessary, I prefer to make a concentrated batch of iron acetate. I simply place a small amount in a jar and add water to dilute it. If you are looking for a dark stain, leave it concentrated. If you want a lighter shade of gray, add water until you have the color you want.

Step 7: Using the Iron Acetate

1.Using a disposable brush, apply the iron acetate to the sanded wood.

2.Depending on the type of wood you are using, results will vary. For instance Pine wood does not have a lot of tannins in the wood and therefore the iron acetate will not give you a good result. If you wish to use it for pine wood, make an earl gray tea and brush it on before applying the iron acetate. The tea will place tannins in the wood and you will get much better results.

3.Always test the mixture on a scrap piece of wood.

4. Make sure you have made enough iron acetate mix to complete your entire project. it can be difficult to replicate the exact mix.

Step 8: Make Your Own Colored Stain

(Optional) By using food coloring to the diluted mix you can achieve your desired colored stain.

Step 9: More Information

If you would like more information, you can view this video