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Sustainable staining

 
pollinator
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Coffee tea red onions apple cider vinegar?

I am looking to you other woodworker for experiences with using stains and sealants that are readily available on the homestead.

Coffee and tea are great but I am looking for things I can use off my land in zone 6b with less environmental impact and reliance on others for import.

I was thinking beets or red onions or home made apple cider vinegar.

 
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if you grow some flax this season you can press some linseed oil

and if you have the time you could experiment with textiles

check out r ranson s threads

 
M. Phelps
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oh back to the topic
do you have black walnuts in the area
the rind of the seed stains
 
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You can use baking soda solution to stain an oak wood.. It makes it (but only oak wood!) brown. The more concentrated the solution is, the darker the wood become..
 
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Isn't there some sort of sunflower that makes a traditional dye? Hopi sunflowers perhaps? Does that work on wood?
 
Clay Bunch
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Thanks we do have black walnuts on the family farm.

Jan I was thinking more from the farm than baking soda but its incredible that it reacts that way with oak and not other woods. Definitely worth a try as a frugal option. I have some oak I've been wanting to put to use any way.
Now I want to find out what reaction causes the color change there!

Mike I am not familiar with hopi sunflower dye but I'm sure I could get some seed from baker creek or Johnny's or maybe high mowing. It sounds like a really interesting sustainable option!

I had been considering buying raven Ransons book on flax textiles already so linseed oil would be another reason to so some flax thise season.
 
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Not quite a stain, but traditional milk paint was hog blood, milk and lime (?).  

Other than that, nearly any vegetable oil can be used - especially if boiled.
 
Clay Bunch
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Eliot Mason wrote:Not quite a stain, but traditional milk paint was hog blood, milk and lime (?).  

Other than that, nearly any vegetable oil can be used - especially if boiled.



Paint stain sealant. I'm looking for any covering that colors and or protects wood work.

I have read a little about milk paint and it looks interesting.

Also since posting I stained a wooden spoon with a beet mixture that worked pretty well!
 
Jan Hrbek
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Clay Bunch wrote:
Jan I was thinking more from the farm than baking soda but its incredible that it reacts that way with oak and not other woods. Definitely worth a try as a frugal option. I have some oak I've been wanting to put to use any way.
Now I want to find out what reaction causes the color change there!



The oak wood contains tannins, which react with alkaline substances and turns into dark brown color. It happens also during a long time spontaneously, when tannins react with natural trace ammounts of ammonia in the air.. You can speed this natural proces of "aging" the wood by application of baking soda.
 
Clay Bunch
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Thank you Jan that makes sense!  Now  with that reaction being known I would guess that adding baking soda to a stain made with tea  or wine  which  both contain tannins would result in a darker stain and allow for fewer applications.

I know walnuts and almonds have a fair amount of tannins. Perhaps the wood from these trees would react similarly.
 
Clay Bunch
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Also if tannins reacting to alkalinity is the basis for that reaction then perhaps
1 you could use high tannin stains like tea or black walnut shell better by using them on Douglas fir bur oak or maple (woods that typically grow better in alkaline soil.

2 you could use parts of alkaline soil loving flowers like clematis  and lavender  and actually get a stronger reaction by the addition of baking soda into the solution

3 you could add alkaline loving plants to astringent tannin rich plants and see a stronger color in your stain.
Maybe persimmons  or witchhazel or yarrow
 
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