Friday, April 22, 2016

Reclaimed Wood

My version of reclaiming wood was salvaging the cedar on the walls of my enclosed back porch. When the porch was built these walls were a light creamy white, but over the years they turned orange and a blotchy orange at that.

At one point I had a little roof leak which added to the streaky mess on parts of the ceiling.

This is the entrance I use daily and the entrance used by almost everyone who comes to my house, I thought it might be time to come up with an improvement plan.

After discussing it with my brother, Dan, I decided to take his advice and scrub the walls with TSP.
The ceiling....well, more on that later.


This was the color of the water after just a few passes with the scrub brush.  Then came the rinse cycle and way too many trips to the sink for fresh water.

This is what this section looked like after it was scrubbed clean.



Dan and I discussed the weathered wood recipes we had seen on Pinterest.  After some deliberation I decided to give it a try.  I tested it on an inconspicuous spot.  This was taken after brushing on the black tea.  A meaningless shot since I took it while it was still wet.

This is the tea I used but any black tea should do the trick.

They suggest letting it steep for about 25 minutes.  At one point in the process I think I left the tea sit for two whole days before using it. That didn't seem to affect anything.

It is difficult to see any change in the color of the wood after the tea dries.  However, when you brush on the vinegar that has been sitting in a jar with steel wool, it does darken. This shot shows it while still wet with vinegar.

This shows the dramatic change in color.  Again this is still wet and it does lighten as it dries.

I let the first coat of vinegar dry and then brushed on a second coat.

You may have notice in the previous picture that the window trim on the large window had changed color.  The trim around the rest of the windows received the same tea and vinegar treatment.

The double doors really stood out once the walls were subdued.  Of course, it was part of the plan to paint them.

That little strip of wood above the blinds had been stained to match the doors and the large window.

That too needed to be painted.  This is just the primer coat.

Now about that ceiling.  There was just no way I was going to scrub and rinse that entire ceiling and then give it three coats of tea and vinegar.  Besides, it would have been too dark.  So I enlisted Dan to prime and paint it the same color as the painted brick wall.  I know painting the ceiling before staining the walls would have made way more sense but I was winging it and not sure where I was going when I started.  So, the walls had to be protected with plastic.



A little bonus is that the light colored ceiling bounces more light into the kitchen.

The doors went from this...

to this.


I was avoiding showing the floor in the previous picture.  I have some thoughts about what to do about the floor but have not decided for sure on that.  So the threshold you see in front of the doors is on hold until I decide on the floor.

The same goes for the tabletop in the corner.  (In case you are wondering, that box in the corner gives headroom to the outside stairs leading to the basement.

Since this post is really about the walls, I wanted to give broad shots of the room.  However, they show up very dark when shooting into the bright windows.

Other than the floor, there is one more detail to be worked out.

Like what to do about lighting.  The current lighting is the ceiling fan shown here minus the blades that were removed for ease in painting the ceiling.  The solution may have to be saved for another post.