Aging Wood With Homemade Acetone

Acetone Wood
If we have some reclaimed wood or new lumber that needs to be aged this is what we use to age the wood. This video answers the question of how to age wood.

This video shows our process of making homemade acetone in order to age wood for a reclaimed wood wall.



How to Age Wood with Homemade Acetone video on YouTube.

Channel can be found at Average Joe Woodworking


All right, so today I’m, it’s a little cold but I’m still wearing shorts though, because that’s just how I roll. Today I’m going to make some vinegar and still wool mixture (Homemade Acetone). My goal is to sort of age a reclaimed pallet wall that I’m going to create.  I got a booth to sell some of the woodworking that I’m that I’m making.  So what I’m going to do is build a reclaimed wood wall just to sort of make my make my woodworking pop.  Just to show something I can do.  What I am going to do is about one steel wool pad for every 20 ounces give or take.  Some people do it one every 12 ounces.  So a cup and a half.  I think that’s really dark.  It gets darker the more steel wool you put in it.  So what I think I’m going to do is just one maybe every 20 ounces or maybe even one every 25 ounces or less actually.  I’ll probably do one every 30 ounces just because I want it to age the wood a little bit but I don’t want it to turn it dark.  Most of my reclaimed wood pallets were actually made out of red oak which when you put steel wool and vinegar mixture that you let age, or that you let sit for a couple of days, when you put that on red oak it turns it almost black.  So you actually want to dilute it down (the steel wool to vinegar ratio).


What I’m going to do is I’m going to mix about 25 to 30 ounces.  Just pull apart the steel wool and stick it in this container.  I will then put two or three steel wool pads in the remaining vinegar jug and have nothing but steel wool and vinegar which I’ll let age two days.  At the end of two days I’m actually going to add BLO Boiled Linseed Oil to the homemade Acetone to make it more of an oil based product that will seal the wood while it’s aging the wood.  You can also mix your homemade acetone with teak oil, tung oil, or all kinds of different oils to help seal the wood when you brush on your homemade acetone.  It will only seal the wood just a little bit and you will still need to go over it with a polyurethane, like a wipe-on poly.  If all you want to do is age it and protect it a little bit the homemade acetone and BLO mixture works just fine.


What I’m going to do is I’m going to shred this apart.  It just makes it a little bit easier for the vinegar to eat it up.  It really doesn’t matter probably with 30 ounces it probably wouldn’t matter if I shredded this up or not.  After that I’m going to add 30 ounces of vinegar.  What I’m going to do is I’m going to shake it up a little bit but there is going to be gases released so you should leave the lid loos but on so it doesn’t get a bunch of sawdust and stuff in the container.  What I’m going to do is I’m going to just barely close this and put it outside for the time being. I may leave it in here it’s pretty cold outside.


So the remainder of the vinegar is roughly 100 ounces so I’m going to add a couple steel wool pads, maybe three.  When you pull this apart you’re going to get steel wool dust everywhere just so you know.  Do not do this in an area where steel wool dust is going to be a problem like your kitchen counter.  It is not absolutely necessary to pull these apart if you do not want to.  I’m doing it to aid the process because I need this to be done in two days.  I ended up only putting in two and we will see how that does.  You can always add more later if you would like.  We will let that sit for a couple of days and then go from there.


So this is after one day.  There’s a whole lot of nothing going on in here.  It looks like the vinegar is slightly tinted but as far as the steel wool dissolving, it has not done that yet.  It’s been about 24 hours.  This is just the steel wool and vinegar, acetone, and this is going to be the acetone plus BLO.  I’m going to put acetone from the gallon jug into the smaller container and add BLO boiled linseed oil until I get what I feel is a good mix.  Now I shake them up and you can see how it looks.  So obviously, that’s all that is dissolved in there.  It’s now a darker liquid.


The next thing I have to do is strain out metal particles that are left inside the solution.  Get all of it into one container to prepare to strain it out.  You do not need anything fancy, just a paper towel will work.  Just drape the paper towel over the container and slowly add the solution allowing the paper towel to strain out any particles.


The next thing to do is to add the BLO (boiled linseed oil).  I went with a 50/50 solution of Acetone and BLO.  Shake it up and you end up with a very ugly yellow solution.  Paint on the solution onto your boards using a paintbrush, you can also us a sponge or a rag.  I think the paintbrush is the easiest to apply. The boards will age within minutes and will darken up quite a bit with a nice looking patina (and will continue to darken overnight).  The wood will look aged, more used even if the boards are new (or newer) when you start the process.  It makes it look nicer, it makes it looked reclaimed.  It’s just an excellent way to age the wood quickly.  And as you can see in the background the pieces of wood turned out really good.  If you would like to see that video click on the link above in the top right corner (onscreen).  If you would like to see more content, please hit the subscribe button and I will see you in the future.  Until next time good luck on all your woodworking projects.

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