Renovating has become a full-time job for me and the kids. The U.P. is a majorly distracting place to live, so… to keep us on track, at the beginning of each day, I make a list of tasks for us to accomplish. Yesterday’s list:
(Dog gone dryer…but thanks fence!)
(I loved marking this one off.🤗)
Pick up building materials
(Thanks, lumber dude for loading us up. Man, this coffee is delish.)
Dun. Dun. Dun. Dog gone it–NO MARK.
We got everything done yesterday but the ceiling– the biggest, hardest, and most dreaded item on the list.
Yes, those are weird streaks and brush marks in the picture. Please, don’t get me started on our ceiling…I don’t want to talk about our ceiling. I intensely dislike our ceiling. I wish I could go back and warn the past me and stop “me” from ever beginning this month-long nightmare in the first place…but I can’t, so I’ll warn you instead: KEEP YOUR CEILING TEXTURE. You’ll end up just adding texture BACK on that took you DAYS to get off.)
We had to skip the task that begins with the letter ‘c’ because the huge pail of flat latex that we needed was a whopping $130 at our small town lumber store vs. the less painful $48 at good ol’ Menards in town (45 min. away). Umm, yeah. We slid this over to today’s list.
*Ugh* I don’t like leaving an item uncrossed or unchecked. So, to help ease my itchy fingers, I added an unwritten task to yesterday’s list and I got a little head start on my “Magic Tea” staining project.
What? What’s “Magic Tea”, you ask? Hang tight, and I’ll walk you through what I did. And, yes…it is extremely magical! It was so magically awesome, I didn’t feel bad about leaving the ceiling undone…well, not as bad.
Step 1: Assemble your ingredients/tools. Black tea, vinegar, steel wool, two brushes, a ball jar with lid and seal, a mug for your tea, and sealer.
The night before your project, pour vinegar in your ball jar and stuff in some pieces of steel wool.
This part reallllly freaked me out and disturbed me. There is no measuring here. You literally pour in your vinegar and you literally rip pieces of steel wool and stuff them in (the jar pictured is after I used it). I did four, walnut-sized pieces and filled the vinegar up to the neck of the jar. I was also super alarmed that the color didn’t change. I mean, I think the vinegar may have rusted a tad… but that’s it.
Cover, shake, or stir your vinegar soup and set it outside or in the garage for at least 24 hrs. Outside… because I read it could explode (?😲?)…and 24 hrs for scientific reasons that are truly over my head.
Black tea: Brew it and set it out with your vinegar soup. Why? Because I’m an impatient person and just wanted everything ready to go. Note: I had my stuff waiting a week. My tea molded and since I wasn’t drinking it and my wood was, I just sifted the gunk out.
Step Two: Select your wood. I’m using pine tongue and groove for a wall project. I hear that different wood types will give you different colors. Pine should turn a weathered grayish/dark brown. We shall see!
(Hi, Finn!! *Meow*)
Step Three: Paint on your tea and let it dry…about an hour. Not much change here yet….
(Hi, Emmie! *Meow*)
Step Four: Paint on your vinegar soup. (You can use the same brush as the tea.) You will see a teeny change in places, but walk away for an hour and don’t hoover. It makes the wood uncomfortable.
Repeat the process as many times as you want to until you get the color you want. This is after 3 times of painting on the vinegar soup and “Magic Tea”.
It turned out the PERFECT color! Don’t worry about mixing up the steps. I think I did…well, I know I did…I always mess up…and, hey, look…it still worked.
Kris got the ceiling paint after work yesterday, so unfortunately, today is ceiling day…but…if I get done at a reasonable time, I’m going to get to Step 5: putting on the waterproof sealer. This step will not only protect the finish of the wood, it will also bring out the delicious tones in the grain. I don’t need that second brush that I listed for you in the needed supplies. The sealer that I chose is water clean-up. Wahooo! Easy-peasy.
Yesterday was a good day. I learned a great lesson to let things go how they must. I gave my shoulders another day’s rest and I saved some cash letting Kris pick up the ceiling paint after work.
I think today we’ll use what we saved on the paint (and this super, cheap “Magic Tea” stain) and go support one of our local businesses and get some hand-dipped ice cream. YUM!
Keep on the lookout today, folks. Blessings can be found in the every day if you look. Look past your disappointments. Great things are out there. Intentionally look and find yours.