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Ever experiment with color staining from natural resources?

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  • #666757

    For example we’ve got these things we call Java Plums https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygium_cumini that are amazingly good at staining your car, clothes, and I seen it on a concrete guys form boards and he said it was from a job years ago. So I got to thinking that if the rich purple color adheres to so many surfaces and can retain it’s color for years, I think I might try staining inside some carved out letters on a wooden box I’m working on in my spare time. If I go through with it my plan is: finish carving out the last few letters, wait till the fruit are in season (around May) and carefully use the fruit to color the letters, fill in the carved out letters with clear resin (practice with chisels and first time using resin are my main reasons for this project), choose a dark stain to compliment the colored letters, seal it, and clear coat it with some polyurethane. Anyways I’d love to hear some thoughts on this and any similar experiments people may have tried or thought about.

    Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% Attitude.

    #666759
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    For example we’ve got these things we call Java Plums https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygium_cumini that are amazingly good at staining your car, clothes, and I seen it on a concrete guys form boards and he said it was from a job years ago. So I got to thinking that if the rich purple color adheres to so many surfaces and can retain it’s color for years, I think I might try staining inside some carved out letters on a wooden box I’m working on in my spare time. If I go through with it my plan is: finish carving out the last few letters, wait till the fruit are in season (around May) and carefully use the fruit to color the letters, fill in the carved out letters with clear resin (practice with chisels and first time using resin are my main reasons for this project), choose a dark stain to compliment the colored letters, seal it, and clear coat it with some polyurethane. Anyways I’d love to hear some thoughts on this and any similar experiments people may have tried or thought about.

    Natural sources for colours are very well known; amber, umber, sienna, cochineal, indigo have been used for centuries. No reason why you shouldn’t try the java plums as a stain. Please share your experience here, we can all benefit.

    BE the change you want to see.
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    #666760
    xtsallad
    Pro
    Dallas, TX

    I’m a big fan of natural finishes of all sorts. If I stain wood I prefer finding a natural option and this sounds like a really good one. Have fun and experiment.
    I actually like not finishing wood If I don’t have to. An example is an ipe deck I built a few years ago on galvanized steel framing. It took about a year for the ipe to grey out nicely and I expect it to last 25+ years and still look the same. I use a simple wax finish on woods often and clear matte waterborne poly when it can benefit from a film. I’ve been gravitating toward raw materials or not altering the natural look of materials. Steel, aluminum, wood, glass, ceramic, acrylic, stainless steel, concrete and plaster. Even plastered my personal Sheetrock walls a couple of years ago with joint adhesive compound and skimmed until smooth. It makes a great raw material finish and touch ups are a breeze. Kind of a poor man’s plaster or Venetian plaster. No need for paint and I find the touch up and maintenance is far easier than my painted walls. No sanding makes the surface dust free. I either wet sand or vacuum if if I sand off a dirt or oil contaminant.

    Have any pics fo the color? Sounds nice.

    j

    #666761

    I have used shoe polish as a stain to get colors not normally available as a Minwax stain for example. I am working on a project now that I am using Sharpies for color. This gives me more control over small areas. What are stains anyway but a dye of some sort (many derived from natural materials) dissolved in a solvent.

    #666773

    I have tried a recipe I found on the internet that used vinegar, steel wool and coffee, kind of a tannic stain, it results in a light coffee colour on most wood, but I expect it to react differently on oak.

    Will

    #666774
    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    I have used coffee and tea as stain in the past – turned out pretty nice in my opinion. I have also dried out black walnut shells then soaked them in water – the tannic acid makes a nice stain.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #666778

    Have any pics fo the color? Sounds nice.

    This is the only good picture I found on google https://i.pinimg.com/originals/25/7b/13/257b131c0aae1552424e8ed64c99ac37.jpg , I can’t take my own pictures of it to show till they come into season before summer starts but that’s a pretty good picture of the color.

    Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% Attitude.

    #666779

    I have used coffee and tea as stain in the past – turned out pretty nice in my opinion. I have also dried out black walnut shells then soaked them in water – the tannic acid makes a nice stain.

    Awesome to hear the possibility’s are out there, gonna be a fun life of experiments. Finally my first good reason to hold on to small pieces of scrap wood to test for different color results.

    Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% Attitude.

    #666780

    I have tried a recipe I found on the internet that used vinegar, steel wool and coffee, kind of a tannic stain, it results in a light coffee colour on most wood, but I expect it to react differently on oak.

    What role did the steel wool play in this recipe?

    Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% Attitude.

    #666887
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    What about the red dirt?? I bet you could color a t-shirt with that stuff. My socks get all red when I work in Mililani town.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #666906

    What about the red dirt?? I bet you could color a t-shirt with that stuff. My socks get all red when I work in Mililani town.

    Red Dirt Shirt is literally a store name here. All they sell is red dirt dyed shirts.

    Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% Attitude.

    #666941
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I have tried a recipe I found on the internet that used vinegar, steel wool and coffee, kind of a tannic stain, it results in a light coffee colour on most wood, but I expect it to react differently on oak.

    What role did the steel wool play in this recipe?

    The vinegar will actually break down the steel wool and create a dye of sorts…together they react with the tannins in wood (oak is a great example) and make it look aged, similar to pallet wood.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

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