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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:25 am 
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If none of these other methods get you to the color you're looking for, you might want to check this out.

http://www.micromark.com/Age-It-Easy-Gray

Used to color things in train gardens and only comes in small bottles. Not sure what kind of coverage you get from one bottle, but reportedly looks authentic. Cheaper if you buy more than one, but might still be to pricey for your project.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:16 pm 
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John Boy wrote:
If none of these other methods get you to the color you're looking for, you might want to check this out.

http://www.micromark.com/Age-It-Easy-Gray

Used to color things in train gardens and only comes in small bottles. Not sure what kind of coverage you get from one bottle, but reportedly looks authentic. Cheaper if you buy more than one, but might still be to pricey for your project.


Thanks John, that looks interesting... But I live in HI and they only ship to the continental 48.. I'm kinda used to it by now. Shipping is never free either.

We do have a woodcraft store out here, so I'm gonna see if they have anything like that over there. :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:20 pm 
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Quote:
...

I was looking up oxalic acid, and I found that parsley and scallions have a high content of it... And I just happen know someone who has plenty of that stuff growing right now! I'm sure it will be easier to just buy it, but, do you know any tricks for extracting it straight from the plants?

I guess I can always google it. Just wondering if you ever tried it?


Sorry if that was a silly question you guys. I was just curious...

Now that I googled it, I see that it takes a chemist to do it.

I was hoping I could just make some parsley tea or something.. :oops:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:46 pm 
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I stopped by Woodcraft today.... Didn't find exactly the thing, but this "wood bleach" was interesting.. I took a pic of the ingredients just for future reference;


Image

And I took this pic because it was just funny... Apparently, people go in there and test the product right on the shelves!
"it wasn't me!" 8)

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:49 pm 
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...I also went to Home Depot and picked up a few various things to experiment with. They had "Barkeeper's friend" over there too, so I got some of that.

I'll take some pics of all the experiments as they move along.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:46 am 
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I did some experimenting, and I'm starting to realize that this won't be as easy as I originally hoped...

When I was at the stores, I tried to find straight Lye, but I guess it's not that easy to find... so there's no Lye in the tests..

But I tried everything else I had around... even battery terminal cleaner... which actually made a nice effect! It wasn't what I'm looking for, but I do like the look it made!

I don't have any Oak scraps, so I used some old Douglas Fir.

The surfaces are just cut with a circular saw, freehand, and not sanded at all.

For each potion, I just poured it on and let soak in. Each piece had at least a half-hour in the sun while it dried.. And then I rinsed them all with the hose and wiped them down...

The powdered mixes were mixed pretty thick.

--------

The Hydrogen Peroxide did the best job of bleaching the wood.

The baking soda and water did the best job of making it look "old", but it wasn't anywhere near the color I'm shooting for.. "Too dark". But the patina does look pretty authentic.

But none of them turned grey at all, so I moved on to plan "B". More on that soon..

But here's the results from the preliminaries..

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:56 am 
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...since all of my experiments failed, I went to "plan B"... Semi-Transparent stain.

It's a nice color, but it has too much blue in it... so I tried thinning it, tinting it, mixing it with white spray paint, etc, but I still didn't like it... The color was still "too rich"...

I was getting frustrated, and then a friend came by, so I took a break and we had a few beers...

As we talked about it, it dawned on me to spray a light coat of the white spray-paint as a base-coat... Just a light dusting... I gave it about 5 minutes to "flash", and then put the stain on top of it. After a couple minutes, I wiped it down.

I love the effect! The white base creates the silver look after the stain goes on.

The pic below is a compilation of various shots of the same board, all at the same time, but at different angles and different lighting. {Sorry about the crude editing}

I dusted the whole stick with the white spray paint, gave it 5 minutes, and then used various concentrations of the stain on top.

6/1 means 6 parts thinner, one part stain.
2/1 means 2 parts thinner...
(X2) means two coats of 2/1 (which actually made it lighter)
0/1 means pure stain right out of the can.

Image

I think I like the 2/1 formula... I think that's about as close as I'm gonna get.

And if I have to, I guess I can tint the final clear coat a little too.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:01 am 
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Hey Jim,

It's an impressive experiment but unfortunately oak and Doug fir have very different chemistries. Oak is much more acidic due to the tannins it contains. Those tannins will also react to make a much darker effect than in fir.

Did you read the PW article that I linked to? Given that you liked the effect of the white base coat, you might try the milk paint technique they outline.

Cheers,
Tom

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:17 am 
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tms wrote:
Hey Jim,

It's an impressive experiment but unfortunately oak and Doug fir have very different chemistries. Oak is much more acidic due to the tannins it contains. Those tannins will also react to make a much darker effect than in fir.

Did you read the PW article that I linked to? Given that you liked the effect of the white base coat, you might try the milk paint technique they outline.

Cheers,
Tom


Yes Tom, I did read the article, and thank you :thumbup: ... I went on to look up more vids about the milk paint, and it's a nice look, and it would probably be fine, but I'm trying to avoid the "paint" look. I want most of the color to be "inside" the wood, with just a satin-clear on top.

I understand about tannin too, but everything I found was about how about how to make it "darker" (or how to remove the dark stains), but my goal is to make it silver. The more pale, the better.

I have some cedar I could experiment with... But at this point, I'm really leaning toward that spray paint method. It seems like it might be pretty quick and easy, but I'm gonna do it a little different next time... I'm gonna dampen the wood with mineral spirits first, and then dust it... and I'm also gonna see what happens if I use grey automotive primer instead of, or under, the white spray paint.

I think "the key" will be the dry time between coats. I want them to "all" soak in... But, if I put the stain on too soon, I'll wipe too much of the base coat off when I wipe the stain.

...to be continued I guess... 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:29 pm 
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What does ammonia fuming do to oak??


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:34 am 
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Paul Gauthier wrote:
What does ammonia fuming do to oak??

Wow, thanks for mentioning that! :thumbup:

I don't know about fuming, so I googled it, and this is the first vid that came up;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZqDh0wJIRw

It's not the color I'm shooting for on this particular project, but I love that effect! I might have to try that one of these days :D


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:09 pm 
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Jim2 wrote:
Paul Gauthier wrote:
What does ammonia fuming do to oak??

Wow, thanks for mentioning that! :thumbup:

I don't know about fuming, so I googled it, and this is the first vid that came up;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZqDh0wJIRw

It's not the color I'm shooting for on this particular project, but I love that effect! I might have to try that one of these days :D


IIRC - Works better with white oak than red oak.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:21 am 
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Jim,

If you are trying to find a way to "age" Oak, then you really must use Oak in your tests.
Tom is absolutely right about its characteristics.
In fact, even different trees of the same species will exhibit different characteristics in this process. Selecting boards that likely came from the same tree will help produce less variation in your finish. This true of all species, but more so when using a chemical change.

If you're looking for an "in the wood" change, then laying pigment upon the wood will not produce the results you're after.

Using scrap from the project is the tried and true methodology here.

And HotShot? Why not? But still ... so funny!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:07 pm 
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DMoening wrote:
Jim,

If you are trying to find a way to "age" Oak, then you really must use Oak in your tests.
Tom is absolutely right about its characteristics.
In fact, even different trees of the same species will exhibit different characteristics in this process. Selecting boards that likely came from the same tree will help produce less variation in your finish. This true of all species, but more so when using a chemical change.

If you're looking for an "in the wood" change, then laying pigment upon the wood will not produce the results you're after.

Using scrap from the project is the tried and true methodology here.

And HotShot? Why not? But still ... so funny!


Haha, yeah Dan, why not? I had some on hand, so I tried it :D

I'm sorry if this is turning into a "bait and switch" with the Oak thing, but I still haven't found a single vid that produced the results I'm after. Everything I found with Oak was about how to make it darker, or how to remove the dark stains.

When I was at the store, I didn't pick up any "Drano" because I thought I had some at home. But, it turned out that I didn't have any, so the Lye test is the only thing left to try. But even the drano test in the earlier pic seemed to make it darker...

The milk paint was a nice look, but it's still just paint on top...

The fuming method produced awesome results, and I'd like to try that someday, but it's not the color I need for this project.

The project is on hold for now as I'm in the middle of something else. By next week, I should have something to show here, one way or the other.

PS; using Oak is not mandatory. I worded the title like that because I thought there was an easy way to do it with Oak.

If there's any other species that would be easier to turn grey, all options are still open.

I do have plenty of Cedar on hand...

And thanks again to all you guys for the responses! I learned a lot already. :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:17 am 
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The Lye Test...

This is on old Douglass Fir again, but the result is pretty interesting...

Image


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:21 am 
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The bottle had two sides, so the top stick is both...

Left stick is left side of the bottle
right stick is right side of the bottle..

I just poured a little on each stick, gave it about 30 minutes, and wiped it with a wet rag.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:25 am 
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at first, the combination of both chemicals had a bigger effect...

But that pic was taken about two hours after I wiped them down..

[edit to add] -I think the potion on the left side of that bottle created the best result so far.


Last edited by Jim2 on Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:56 am 
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... when I was at the store, reading the label on the drain cleaners, I didn't see "Lye" in any of the ingredients on any of the different brands, so I had to google it..

It turned out that Lye is also called "Sodium Hydroxide", and it is one of the ingredients in that drain cleaner, so I tried it.

Image

As I'm looking it up further, I see that "Sodium Hydroxide" is also an ingredient in oven cleaner.. It might be pretty convenient if I could buy it in a handy dandy spray can.

~"Lyes are also valued for their cleaning effects. Sodium hydroxide is commonly the major constituent in commercial and industrial oven cleaners and clogged drain openers, due to its grease-dissolving abilities. Lyes decompose greases via alkaline ester hydrolysis, yielding water-soluble residues that are easily removed by rinsing."~ Wikipedia

So I guess I'll try some oven cleaner next... it would be easier to use....

I like the way the Lye bleached the wood quickly, and I think it will be a good start... even if I do have to finish off with a mix of stain to get the final color.

The Lye did a great job of removing the golden-brown color from the Douglas Fir.... It didn't create the exact grey color that I want, but it did leave a nice pale surface... That's a good starting point at least...

I'll get some better pics in the next few days...

I think I know what I gotta do now. 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:14 am 
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Hey Jim,

The bleaching effect that you produced with lye is pretty much the same thing that you would get using oxalic acid. If you were to place the wood in the sun for a day or two you would get a light greying that would increase over time.

The reason is the hydrolysis of the first layers of wood cells that then turn grey. Using lye, you get basic, or alkaline hydrolysis; using acid, you get acid hydrolysis. The end result is the same, although oxalic acid is a whole lot safer to use than lye, is much easier to neutralize, and probably doesn't remove as much wood.

Cheers,
Tom

BTW- Sodium hypochlorite, the other active ingredient in your drain cleaner is the active ingredient in chlorine bleach (12.5%).

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:31 pm 
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tms wrote:
Hey Jim,

The bleaching effect that you produced with lye is pretty much the same thing that you would get using oxalic acid. If you were to place the wood in the sun for a day or two you would get a light greying that would increase over time.

The reason is the hydrolysis of the first layers of wood cells that then turn grey. Using lye, you get basic, or alkaline hydrolysis; using acid, you get acid hydrolysis. The end result is the same, although oxalic acid is a whole lot safer to use than lye, is much easier to neutralize, and probably doesn't remove as much wood.

Cheers,
Tom

BTW- Sodium hypochlorite, the other active ingredient in your drain cleaner is the active ingredient in chlorine bleach (12.5%).


Thanks again Tom :thumbup:

I was meaning to ask about how to neutralize the Lye... All I did was rinse it with a wet rag...

I've been googling a lot of info about neutralizing Lye, but I haven't seen a single thing about neutralizing it in the process of finishing wood. But some of the stuff I did find was downright scary!

Apparently, it's a good thing I didn't try to make a water solution with it, because I probably would've added water to the Lye, instead of adding the Lye to the water. They say you should NEVER add the water to the Lye. I don't know what would happen, but I guess it will splatter or something? Whatever the case may be, I ain't gonna try it! :shock:

This is nasty stuff. I'm reconsidering if I even want to use it at all.

To be continued I guess..


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