I love DIY projects but on occasion an undertaking becomes an epic fail. In this case, the look I was going for with a shelving project did not turn out as expected and that was a good thing.
Recently I refreshed my downstairs bathroom by installing ship-lap on the walls & ceiling, moving the washer & dryer to the other side of the room, as well as laying new ceramic tile over worn-out wood floors.
Not too long ago I had a few friends over to “show-off” my latest home project and much to my surprise the big hit of my refreshed bathroom were my DIY shelves
I discovered the wood to make these shelves snarled in a bed of periwinkle while trimming down lilacs in my front yard fall of 2014. The found wood had a great patina, an aged barn wood look, and I thought they would make great shelves. But instead they landed on a large pile of yard and construction debris behind my barn. Two years later, in the spring of 2016, the ever-growing pile behind the barn needed to be addressed and hauled away. While loading up my truck I rediscovered the planks and tossed them on my back porch with a determination to make shelves out of them.
The planks were 6 feet long and 5 ½” by 1 ¼”. I cut the planks into 18” lengths then crap! The ends looked like brand new raw wood – what to do?
The next day I Googled “how to age wood” and found several sources describing a process using steel wool, vinegar and tea. You can get detailed information from this link: Aging Wood Instantly. Instead of using black tea I used matcha since it has a high tannin content and it was on hand.
The process was easy and wow! It worked!
However, I got into a little trouble when I decided to apply pure Tung oil to seal the wood and create a little water resistance.
The Tung oil somehow reacted with the wood, vinegar and matcha mix and turned them very dark – too dark actually – not what I was going for (epic failure?). BUT all was not lost – after I let the tung oil cure for a few days, I pulled out my orbital sander and gave the shelves a few passes with a 100 grit sheet of sand paper and the grain popped out from the dark finish. I was amazed at the results. As in life, things sometimes don’t turn out the way you planed and it’s OK.
Click Thumb Nails Below for Slide Show.