Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Farmhouse desk {how to age wood}

I've been working on my teenage sons bedroom which has been pretty challenging.  Girl bedrooms are easy-boys are SUPER hard.  You can find 8000 inspiration pictures for girl rooms and like 10 for boys rooms. Why is that?  We are going for an outdoor/antique look.

I found a super cool old trunk at Goodwill for $20 and used that for the jumping off point.  If you have super old trunk you can't have a super new desk.  I've seen tons of cool pallet furniture but I didn't really want to pick apart a bunch of pallets and we already had a pile of pine scraps in the garage from other projects.

The desk is an Ana-White farmhouse table plan modified to make it smaller.  Love the desk.  Don't love how shiny and new that wood looks.

I searched around the internet and found these directions for aging/oxidizing wood.

This is what you need:

Tea ( I used English breakfast tea)
Steel wool pads (not SOS pads, actual steel wool-I bought mine in the paint aisle)
Mason jar

Start by putting the steel wool into your mason jars.  I was aging a headboard and a desk so I used a big jar and like 4 steel wool pads.

Pour the vinegar over the steel wool until the pads are submerged.  Then put the cover on and stick it in your garage for a few days and let science do it's magic.  Do this project totally at your own risk, wear gloves and keep the mixture away from your kids/pets.  I'm no scientist so if the jar explodes in your garage don't blame me.

Now brew some tea.  Tea has tannic acid in it and will help aid in the aging process.  I boiled about 4 cups of water and stuck in 10 tea bags then just took it off the burner and let it sit until completely cooled.  Pull the tea bags out and put them in the trash.  In retrospect I had a totally excessive amount of tea/water but I didn't want to run out.  After it was totally cooled off I brushed the tea onto the wood and covered the entire desk with tea.  You don't see a change in the wood with tea.  It just looks wet.  Then I let it dry overnight.

Now you are going to put the vinegar mixture on the wood. I did this on my grass because this stuff seems like it will stain whatever it comes in contact with. I just brushed it on with an old paintbrush. It is so cool and the wood changes right before your eyes. Or not. The top didn't seem to change much at first. I let the mixture dry and then did another coat of it and left it overnight. By the morning it had darkened up nicely too. Then I got a bucket of clear water and a rag and wiped the whole desk down just in case there was any residue.

Love how it turned out. I waxed the entire desk with Annie Sloan clear wax that I already had on hand then put a little dark wax on the top because the lighter pine wasn't quite as dark as I wanted.

Some more pictures for fun!

I would love to see if you decide to do this! I think it's such a cool look and did the same thing to some pallet bookshelves and a headboard! I'll post about those next week.