Safe No Chemical Wood Finish

5 Materials
2 Hours

I have posted a few painting techniques in the past, take a look at my most recent one which I used for some fall pumpkins. The thing is, I really don't like using chemicals. It's pretty hot here in Arizona, and I hate using chemicals in my home, so if I can use a no chemical solution to get the same results, then I'm all in! Today I was cleaning out my under the sink flip out drawer. It was looking really rusty and dirty and then I had a light bulb moment! If by leaving my Brillo pads in that drawer creates a rusty finish, then who says I couldn't do the same for wood? Using tea bags (which can stain pretty nicely as well) I created this new finish for my wooden wall ladder.

Dirty Drawer Shelf

The dirty drawer shelf that inspired me to get this look on my wood.

For this project you'll need:

  • Brillo pads
  • vinegar
  • tea
  • hot water
  • paintbrush

Soak the Brillo Pads in Vinegar
Soak the Brillo Pads in Vinegar

I took my Brillo pad and soaked in vinegar over night. It was a bit pink, which is not what I was going for, but onward we go!

Make Tea
Make Tea

I used this open tea bag and added some hot hot tap water (next time I’d leave the tea in the bag so the gains don’t strain out).

Paint the Tea On
Paint the Tea On

I began by painting the ladder with the tea first. Once again I was worried because the tea was raspberry and it was very red. But I made it work!

Paint with the Vinegar
Paint with the Vinegar

Then I used the vinegar that I had soaked my Brillo in overnight. I painted it over the tea stain.

Remove the Brillo Pad
Remove the Brillo Pad

I removed the Brillo...

DIY Weathered Wood

As it started to dry I got really excited! It began to look like a grey and weathered look- love!

DIY Weathered Wood Look

I continued and painted with the tea and then the Brillo solution over the whole ladder.

No Chemical Weathered Wood

And it turned out great! No paint, no chemicals, and it looks so good.

Cleaned Drawer

PS- I cleaned my drawer, but it remained a but stained. Looks like this technique would also work on plastic! I think I'll try this technique along with my cinnamon rust technique which I posted a few weeks ago.

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