Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Back in Black

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I'm trying to get it back together. In the meantime, here's a great round up of black rooms via Habitually Chic.


Zom G. said...

Aww, glad you are back. I was starting to fear the worst for my favorite steamer-home-decor guide. :)

Unknown said...

Note: If you like this look, "ebonized oak" is a nicer alternative than a black stain or paint would be. This technique involves treating the oak with a concentrated iron solution, which reacts with tannin in the wood to create a rich black color without muddying the grain patterns as a normal stain could. And from what I've seen in the magazines, it's fairly easy to do, assuming you're starting from bare oak. (It doesn't work on most other woods, alas.)

Art Donovan said...

Hi, Keshlam,

Yes, a concentrated iron solution works very well to blacken bare wood.

Actually the solution can be made at home by soaking plain steel wool in white vinegar overnight.

The solution works on maple and pine too.

Unknown said...

Yep. Or old nails, or anything else of iron or steel which will rust when the acid attacks it. You may or may not want to give it more than an overnight soak.

To stop the reaction when it reaches the point you like, swab with household ammonia to neutralize the acid.

Experimenting on scrap before you try it on the real piece is probably a Good Idea, to get a sense of how it behaves.

(I'm still deciding on a design for the shelves for my own library. I'd been thinking about oak, since the floor is oak... but that leaves a lot of room for flexibility w/r/t whether I want to match the floor or contrast with it... or even whether I might want to intermix several different shades.

Unknown said...

Great to have you and your posts back, Sara.


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