DIY Iron Acetate Stain

Making new wood look aged can be easily accomplished with some strong Black Tea and DIY Iron Acetate. Here are the instructions.


1 Gallon of Distilled White Vinegar
1 Pad of 0000 Steel Wool
Strong Black Tea

Brew some strong Black Tea and let steep for about 45 minutes to an hour. I used four tea bags for my Mason Jar container.

Brush the wood pieces you want to “age” with the Black Tea and allow to dry completely. The tea will add tannins to the wood and allow your Iron Acetate solution to react better and assist the process.

Shred the pad of Steel Wool and place the pieces inside the gallon of Distilled White Vinegar. IMPORTANT: ┬áLEAVE THE LID OFF OF THE VINEGAR BOTTLE– The chemical reaction from the vinegar and the steel wool creates a small amount of hydrogen gas and the container could explode if it is sealed tight. As such, make sure you do this in a well ventilated area.

Wait for the steel wool to dissolve in the vinegar. This can take anywhere from one to three days. After 24 hours you can brush some of the solution on a test piece of wood to make sure it is working correctly.  Remember to brush the black tea on the test wood first.

Once the Iron Acetate is ready and you are satisfied with the test results, brush on your project and let dry. If you want to get a darker result, try adding additional coats.