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  • Unusual woodstains

    I just purchased 'The Elements of Woodcarving' by Chris Pye. And in there he says that he used'COFFEE' to darken the background on a relief carving.
    I was wondering if anyone else has ever tried this and if they were happy with the results?
    Also this got me to wondering what else( besides store bought stains and paints) could be used (or rather ) have been used to achieve an unusual coloring for a project. Things like kool-aid or berry juice.
    I would also like to know how pleased you were from the results of using these items. or :'(
    grumpy560

  • #2
    Re: Unusual woodstains

    Grump,
    I was at a carving meeting last Friday and they had chocolate chip cookies. Soon I noticed I had stained my carving with chocolate. I didn't care much for that finish, I haven't spilled coffee on my carvings yet, so I can't say how that might look.

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    • #3
      Re: Unusual woodstains

      I've used a propane torch to darken wood on a walking stick. Use a very light touch and move the torch around slowly. Darken the knots with a little more heat, then lightly abrade the surface with 0000 steel wool. This gives nice darkened aged look.

      Al

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      • #4
        Re: Unusual woodstains

        blood makes an interesting stain. I have used it several times to good affect. I found that if I try to use it on a large carving, I get a little light-headed, though. O-positive seems to give the most pleasing results.

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        • #5
          Re: Unusual woodstains

          Someone said to use used motor oil for a black stain. I put it on a chainsaw bear but it faded after awhile and got kind of gray out in the weather. People around here use transmission fluid on their wooden trailer beds to darken and waterproof them. It really works. One guy has a trailer bed made of popular which normally rots fast. He puts the transmission fluid on every year and he says it is 12 years old and out in the weather year round.

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          • #6
            Re: Unusual woodstains

            I have used vanilla. It gives a light stain and smells good too.

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            • #7
              Re: Unusual woodstains

              I wasn't thinking about blood cap'n,I've used that one too.
              Better save that O-pos., I hear it's in high demand.
              So far we have blood,oil,vanilla,fire,chocolate, and coffee.
              Anybody else use something unusual to stain wood with?
              grumpy560

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              • #8

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                • #9
                  Re: Unusual woodstains

                  Nails or steel wool soaked in vinegar makes a stain that closely resembles weathered barnwood.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Unusual woodstains

                    Bandaid... How long do you soak the iron in the vinegar to get the stain? The longer the soak, the darker the stain? Do you apply the vinegar full strength or dilute it first? Must the vinegar be rinsed off after it sets for a while? This sounds very interesting.....

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                    • #11
                      Re: Unusual woodstains

                      ??? We have a lot of iron in the soil around our house in East Texas and it will stain almost anything. I wonder how it would work on wood?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Unusual woodstains

                        Hi Moonraker - As you said, the longer you soak the iron the darker the stain. It's pretty well trial and error to determine the soak time because there can be a number of variables, e.g. the amount of liquid or the amount of iron. I find that two or three days is usually about right for a small batch. I haven't accurately measured quantities, I usually just put the mixture in a small jar and test it periodically on a scrap piece of wood till I get the shade I want, then remove the iron. Using steel wool works a lot quicker because of the larger surface area of the material. ( One time I made a batch and forgot about it for over a week, I discovered a new way to make ink!)

                        I have only used the vinegar full strength but see no reason why a diluted solution wouldn't work, other than extending the soak time. I don't rinse after applying it to the wood, just let it soak in. Sometimes I give it a final coat of flat water based polyurethane, depending on the piece.

                        There may be a bit of scaling particularly when using the wool so you might want to strain the mixture to get rid of any small particles. Hope this helps, let me know how you make out.



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