Sunday, October 31, 2010

Weathered wood trial and (mostly) error

The old window / menu board project is on hold for now.  Basically what I've done so far is don a painter's mask and scrape away at the glazing compound with a putty knife.  I'd say that so far I've removed half if not 2/3rd's of the compound.  The rest of of it is completely and totally stuck even after almost 60 years.  From what I've read online the solution is to use a heat gun to help loosen the remaining compound.  So now I just need to find someone who has a heat gun that I can borrow.

I've also been wanting to try some aging techniques on wood.  I want the board and batten siding on my saloon to look like it's been sitting out in the elements - sun, wind, sand, etc. - for many years.  So I thought I would try first on a couple of $2 tables that I found at Ben Franklin's.

I tried out 2 different solutions.  I learned about both of these techniques from a Greenleaf thread about Weathered Wood.

#1:  A 1/2 cup of white vinegar with a steel wool pad left to rust for about 24 hours.  Then I removed the pad and added 1/2 cup of water to dilute it a bit.  The steel wool looked pretty rusted after 24 hours, but the solution didn't look all that different.

#2:  Isopropyl alcohol with a few drops of India / calligraphy ink.  The solution immediately turned black. 

So here are the results of solution #1.  Personally I don't see any difference.  Do you?  I am thinking that next I may try leaving the steel wool in the vinegar for a longer period of time.  The results that I saw on Greenleaf looked amazing so now I just have to figure out what I did wrong :(

Results for solution #2.  Now this one I can definitely tell a difference with, but the only problem is that to me now the table just looks dirty.  The tabletop didn't really change color, but the legs now have this sort of blue - gray tinge.  Not exactly what I was looking for either.

Oh well, I guess this was okay for a first try.  If anyone out there in blogland has any guidance on weathered wood or other techniques then I would definitely love to hear from you.  Ideally I am looking for something more brown, but still with a nice aged appearance to it.

That's all for today, but I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween! :)

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