I am a sucker for old wood. There is just something about an old barn or shed that says “Man, have I got stories to tell!” I appreciate getting up close & personal – examining every board – the nail holes, knots and the colour it takes on after numerous years withstanding the elements. A few years back while chatting with my Mom, she mentioned friends of hers were planning an old shed tear down & that I would truly appreciate the exterior boards. The next thing I knew I was heading south in my jean over-all’s with my hammer, crowbar and a song in my heart. We lovingly dismantled every piece of perfectly aged shiplap and loaded it into the back of my truck. The best surprise of all was the original sliding barn door hardware that was installed (and in near perfect condition) on the inside of said shed…which meant it hadn’t been affected by the harsh Alberta elements. Score!! I had no idea what I would eventually use these rare finds for, but knew I couldn’t just stand back and watch as they were torn apart by angry heavy equipment. I am still always on the lookout for fine weathered wood, which really isn’t that easy to come by. Over the course of my few short years woodworking I experimented with many stains and techniques to try and replicate the beautiful oxidization that only mother nature can truly create. Nothing could really compare until I stumbled across a recipe for home-made stain, which claimed to give new boards that true weathered look I was after. I experimented with a few different pieces of wood and loved all of it. It gave every piece the unique character I was after. Best of all, it only called for a few cheap & simple “ingredients”: Tea Bags, White Vinegar & Steel Wool. Simply brew yourself up the strongest black tea known to man (I will throw around 6 tea bags in for every 8 cups of water, however you can experiment with this) Steep for a couple hours & then store in a jar. Next, mix about half a large jug of vinegar with one clump of fine steel wool in an extra-large mason jar. Allow this mixture to sit until steel wool has dissolved. When ready to apply to your project, simply apply tea to wood with a paint brush. Allow to dry & follow this with a “coat” of the steel wool mixture. Trust me, it’s like magic before your eyes. Turning a boring piece into something that looks like it’s weathered a few storms.