When I first started this project I had no idea that I am going to run such post in food blog. I haven't clicked any pictures, like gluing the wood panels etc,... But later, I realized the technique is useful for those who wants to get distressed look without the store bought paint and create a plain weathered wood backdrop. We have already done few DIY painting project in our home. We have stained twice our fence and patio in past years. So I was quiet confident that I can do on my own.
Pine wood paneling (contains 12 boards) (~ $ 9.00)
few samples of paint bottles comes with small brush (Bingo - 4 bottles for a dollar - clearance items)
Wood glue ($3.50)
I glued 4 pieces together (thickness is 1/4 inch) and made 3 boards with 12 pieces can make total 6 backdrops (used both side). Use a paint tape to keep together- leave 24 hours undisturbed.
The board size depends the angles you photograph and how much space you use to arrange your food.
Planned to stained 5 different colors and give one side a weathered look (old age wood look).
First I diluted a brown paint and tried, the wood had a light brown color. I was not satisfied with that stain. I wanted something grey almost like aging one outside in weather for years. I searched and landed in many wood forums, ah this time not food forum. I got the ebonizing technique. With a mix of vinegar and steel wool solution you can stain the wood. All wood reacts differently because of the level of tannic acid content. So test in corner or even in sample of scrap wood.
The great thing , you can make the solution by yourself at home with two common items.
White Vinegar*(1 cup) + steel wool *(1/2 of the bundle - just rip into small pieces).
Required an empty glass jar with lid
*Vinegar: even cider vinegar can be used
*Steel wool: (We get the steel wool for scraping the bottom of aluminum pot to shine- can be used - but leave few more days in solution)
For safety: cloves and mask.
|Needed items for making the stain|
Put the wool in glass jar and pour the vinegar until it is fully covered. Keep the lid on top loosely, in case any bubble/gas can escape. Can be stored in shady place outdoor or even garage.
After 24 hours, you can visually see a powdery iron floating in vinegar (almost clear liquid mine).
After 24 hours, brew some tea with 1/2 cup of water and 1 or 2 tea bags.
Ready to be stained in wood plank.
After a tea coat (tea could be warm doesn't matter)
Vinegar+ wool solution applied
|Only one coat- mine turned almost like elephant grey after 30 min-grain where quiet visual|
You can paint the solution after removing the wool - but giving a tea coat before it really darken the wood instantly. But leave the wood at least 24 hours, you can see the real color. Wipe with a clean rag/ paper towel to remove the small residue of iron.
You can sand it or even leave it. You can paint now with the color you want and wipe the excess with a rag/paper towel - to bring the distressed look!
Always try in a piece of wood or corner.
Try without the tea coating first, feel not satisfied -you can apply on top.
Use a brush - Rag is wiping the stain and doesn't give a paint strokes.
You can even thin the solution with water : 1:2 part of water. And can apply 3 or more coats until satisfied.
|Removing the vinegar+ steel wool solution with lime|
Not satisfied at all with this method, I don't think so, well simply take a lime wedge and rub, natural way of striping the paint.
Some may feel the vinegar smell is gross, but being a foodie myself, thought it was PICKLING solution! So go ahead and pickle your wood and give a nice rustic look!
Gentle reminder: work outside - because you might stain accidentally anything!
Here it is my six backdrops in 3 boards.
|1 rst side|
|2nd side (reversed)|
|Sample of backdrops|
Hope it will help any photographers who look to stain naturally or give a distressed wood look! If you came for food recipe- I will be back for Pongal ( 15 Jan or 16 Jan with my post).