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How to Age Wood (almost Instantly)

I love the look of aged wood, and I use a lot of it in my projects. However, there are times when I need a certain size, or in this case, a certain something (a clothespin) that I don’t have in my pile of beat up old lumber. I wanted to make a flour sack pillow, and I saw a nifty way to finish it off at Funky Junk Interiors by simply tying it off with jute cord, and adding a clothespin that seems to hold the bag closed. Really cute! But, I needed a clothespin, and a brand new one with a shiny new hinge was simply not going to work for my project.
So, back to the clothes pin issue… I went and got a bag of new clothes pins, and simply dipped them in “magic juice” and once they dried, I had old, rusty clothespins to use on my pillow. And what is magic juice you ask?
Magic juice is a combination of Apple Cider Vinegar and steel wool. Yes, steel wool, and it will age wood almost instantly! Here’s how to make it. Buy apple cider vinegar with the “mother.” This is a very acidic vinegar, and the acidity will dissolve the steel wool. While you can buy steel wool in the furniture refinishing aisle at Lowe’s, its much cheaper to use SOS pads (or the generic equivalent. If you use them right away, be sure to rinse all the soap out of them. Or, use them until the soap is gone for dishes, then shred them up and save to make your magic juice.
I usually make my magic juice in the vinegar bottle, and if you do this, it’s probably a good idea to put a label on it, so someone doesn’t decide to use it for cooking, or whatever. Once the label is applied to the bottle, simply shred the SOS pad, and stuff it into the vinegar bottle. The magic juice will work best if its allowed to sit for three or four days, but will produce results if it sits overnight.
Magic juice can be put into a spray bottle for applying to larger pieces, or it can be applied to the wood with a rag. For smaller wood pieces, like my clothespin, age the wood by simply soaking in a container of magic juice for a day or so. If the wood is soaked, it won’t lookany different until it is taken out of the juice and dries. The dissolved steel wool provides the gray coloring, so the more steel wool that is dissolved in the vinegar, the darker gray the final color will be. It can also be used to rust some metals, although it can take a bit longer. The hinges on my clothes pins rusted quite nicely!
So, I was able to make my grainsack pillow, with a cute, aged clothespin to hold it closed! I'm on the look out for a few more grain or feed sacks so I can have enough pillows to go across my porch bench!

To see more: http://www.flyingc-diy.com/2013/07/05/how-to-age-wood-almost-instantly/

  • Hannah V
    Hannah V Brooklyn, NY
    on Jul 22, 2014

    Such a cool tip!

  • Paige
    Paige Ooltewah, TN
    on Jul 22, 2014

    I love it!!

  • Michelle Robertson
    Michelle Robertson Jacksonville, FL
    on Jul 22, 2014

    For feed sacks...check out your local farmers market!

  • Kuhnj00
    Kuhnj00 Ypsilanti, MI
    on Jul 23, 2014

    Great idea I love using old barn wood but when I cut it to size my cuts are fresh, defiantly goin to try this out

  • Dennis
    Dennis Fort Lauderdale, FL
    on Nov 30, 2014

    like it great tip thanks

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