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Rusty Nail Muti – The Best DIY Aging Wood Stain

There are so many gorgeous projects on Pinterest that use old weathered wood, but not everyone is lucky enough to have a huge pile of wood in their backyard, quietly rotting away. And even if you do, the pieces don’t always match up or the wood is so rotten it’s unusable. Well, have no fear, my fellow DIYers. We make our own homemade aging wood stain and it works like a charm. But that’s not all. Not only is it easy to make, it’s cheap, eco-friendly, and literally takes seconds to give new wood that old, grey, weathered patina.

Looking for an all natural aging wood stain recipe that’s budget friendly and easy to make? Then you have to try Rusty Nail Muti. It transforms new wood into old and weathered in minutes and by making a few small adjustments you can control the color and intensity too #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail #woodstainrecipe

So no more waiting to start building the aged creation you’ve been dreaming about. Now you can make your own aging wood stain just like we do. We call it Rusty Nail Muti.

The word “muti” is derived from the Zulu word umuthi, meaning “tree,” and we use it all the time here in South Africa to refer to any medicine that has a miraculous effect. And that’s exactly what this aging wood stain is – a homemade miracle cure for transforming wood from new to aged and well worn.

Okay, before we get to the tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

What you need

This recipe couldn’t be easier. All you need is:

  • Rusty Nails or any other rusty bits
  • Coarse salt
  • A clean glass jar with a lid. I used 500 ml sauce bottles, but any glass bottle or jar with a wide mouth will work.
  • Rusty Nail Muti Labels – free to download here
  • White Vinegar (Grape, Apple) or Balsamic Vinegar

We normally make two batches of the Rusty Nail Muti. One using a white vinegar; like grape or apple, and another using balsamic vinegar. The white vinegar produces a grey stain, while the balsamic stain is richer, with russet undertones. We mix both batches up in the same way.

What you need to make the aging wood stain #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail #weatherwoodstain  #woodstainrecipe

How to make Rusty Nail Muti aka Aging Wood Stain

Put two tablespoons of coarse salt into the glass jar and add a handful of rusty nails.

Pour 2 tablespoons of coarse salt into the jars and add the rusty nails #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail #weatherwoodstain

Pour in enough vinegar in the jar to cover the nails. Don’t fill the jar completely. There’s needs to be some “air-filled” space to allow for the expanding gas and chemical reaction to take place.

Fill the jars with vinegar to cover the nails Testing the wood stain mixture on day 3 #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail #weatherwoodstain

Salt and vinegar creates sodium acetate and hydrogen chloride and when you add rusty nails, the acetic acid pulls the iron particles out of the rust and forms Ferric acid, a yellow, brown liquid. It’s that yellow, brown liquid that stains the wood so beautifully. Give the mixture a good stir.

Give the mixture a good stir #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail #weatherwoodstain

And put the lid on. Don’t tighten the lid all the way, just one small twist to stop the vinegar evaporating, but not tight enough to seal the jar. It gives that chemical reaction some room to work it’s magic 😉 If you look closely at the photo below you can see bubbles coming off the rusty nails. That’s the hydrogen gas escaping. So cool right!!?

The hydrogen escaping after adding the vinegar Testing the wood stain mixture on day 3 #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail #weatherwoodstain

To make it easier to see how the stain develops over time, I labeled a few stirrer sticks as testers. That way you can get an idea of how the color of the stain changes with time.

Testing the wood stain mixture on day 1 #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail #weatherwoodstain
Testing the wood stain mixture on day 2 #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail #weatherwoodstain
Testing the wood stain mixture on day 3 #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail #weatherwoodstain

How to Use the Rusty Nail Muti as an aging wood stain

The stain can be used almost immediately. The stirrers marked day one went into the mix about an hour after it was made. On day 1 the balsamic version shows the biggest change. The white vinegar version is very subtle, but once it dries it turns a light grey, which is real pretty.

Looking for an all natural aging wood stain recipe that’s budget friendly and easy to make? Then you have to try Rusty Nail Muti. It transforms new wood into old and weathered in minutes and by making a few small adjustments you can control the color and intensity too #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail  #woodstainrecipe

Here’s a close up of the balsamic tester sticks. The stick on the left is the stirrer with days 1 to 3 next to it. The stirrer is a good indication of how the stain would look if you use multiple coats on a piece of wood.

Looking for an all natural aging wood stain recipe that’s budget friendly and easy to make? Then you have to try Rusty Nail Muti. It transforms new wood into old and weathered in minutes and by making a few small adjustments you can control the color and intensity too #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail  #woodstainrecipe

And here’s the white vinegar sticks. Stirrer on the left with days 1 to3 on the right.

Looking for an all natural aging wood stain recipe that’s budget friendly and easy to make? Then you have to try Rusty Nail Muti. It transforms new wood into old and weathered in minutes and by making a few small adjustments you can control the color and intensity too #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail  #woodstainrecipe

The longer you leave the Rusty Nail Muti, the deeper and richer the color gets. I find that after a week the color doesn’t change much anymore and if it does, it’s really subtle. So I’m guessing all the chemicals have done what they need to do 😀 You will probably start seeing a dark scummy growth forming on the top after a week or two.

After two to three weeks a scum may form on top, remove and mix again #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail #weatherwoodstain

It looks like some kind of black pimple monster 😀 but don’t worry about it. You can break it up and stir it back into the mixture. If it gets really bad, use a kitchen towel and lightly dip it into the mixture to pick up the worst of the scum. The Rusty Nail Muti can be applied to wood as you would any other stain and sealed or left as is.

Looking for an all natural aging wood stain recipe that’s budget friendly and easy to make? Then you have to try Rusty Nail Muti. It transforms new wood into old and weathered in minutes and by making a few small adjustments you can control the color and intensity too #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail

The Rusty Nail Muti aging wood stain doesn’t produce the same results on different woods, so I would test it on a small spot first to check if you’re happy with the color. The stirrers I used to show how the color intensifies over time are all pine.

Rusty Nail Muti Labels

It’s a good idea to label the bottles if you’re making both versions since the white vinegar goes dark and murky after a few days. You can download the ones we used free here. Just print them out and stick them on with clear sticky tape.

Looking for an all natural aging wood stain recipe that’s budget friendly and easy to make? Then you have to try Rusty Nail Muti. It transforms new wood into old and weathered in minutes and by making a few small adjustments you can control the color and intensity too #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail  #woodstainrecipe

Store the Rusty Nail Muti in a cool, dry spot until you run out and then make some more. Remember to check for the black pimple monster. You don’t want that thing escaping and taking over your craft cupboard 😉 Seriously though, I have no idea how big that thing can get since we use our stain all the time.

Looking for an all natural aging wood stain recipe that’s budget friendly and easy to make? Then you have to try Rusty Nail Muti. It transforms new wood into old and weathered in minutes and by making a few small adjustments you can control the color and intensity too #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail  #woodstainrecipe

If you like the idea of making your own aging wood stain or muti from rusty nails, don’t forget to pin it for later.

Looking for an all natural aging wood stain recipe that’s budget friendly and easy to make? Then you have to try Rusty Nail Muti. It transforms new wood into old and weathered in minutes and by making a few small adjustments you can control the color and intensity too #Naturalwoodstain #DIYWoodStain #Agingwoodstain #acraftymix #rustynail  #woodstainrecipe

Now if only I could find a miracle muti for reversing the signs of aging, I’d be content 😉 Does anyone have any secret recipes they’d be willing to share?

Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉

Maze Nails, CMH8-1 Hardened Steel Cut Masonry Nails, 1-Pound 2.5-Inch
3 Pack Flavored Wine Vinegar
Sale Rustic Weathered Reclaimed Wood Planks for DIY Crafts, Projects and Decor (6 Planks - 24' Long)

Or if you prefer to buy rather than DIY

Sale Katzco Furniture Repair Kit Wood Markers - Set of 13 - Markers and Wax Sticks with Sharpener - for Stains, Scratches, Floors, Tables, Desks, Carpenters, Bedposts, Touch-Ups, Cover-Ups, Molding Repair
SamaN TEW-212-12, Antique Walnut, Interior Water Based Stain for Fine Wood, 12 oz, 12-Ounce
Sale Pro Grade - Paint Brushes - 5 Ea - Paint Brush Set

And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix

Categories:   Craft Tutorials, DIY Tutorials, Hacks & Revamps, Quick & Easy Crafts

Comments

  • Posted: January 14, 2020 21:53

    Kim

    Oh and I voted!! Best of luck...you totally deserve it!
    • Posted: January 15, 2020 05:07

      acraftymix

      💓 Thank you Kim, that means so much to us 💓
  • Posted: January 14, 2020 21:52

    Kim

    You're kidding me!? I've never seen this before but it looks amazing. And I bet it smells much better than those toxic commercial stains. I'm pinning this for my next project. Love it!!
    • Posted: January 15, 2020 05:06

      acraftymix

      It sure does smell better, almost like fish and chips if you use your imagination 😃
  • Posted: January 14, 2020 19:17

    Linda at Mixed Kreations

    It is amazing what vinegar and rusty nails can make. I have been making my wood aging solution for a while now with steel wool. No patience in waiting for it naturally. LOL . I usually have some waiting for the next project so it does get pretty dark, so I just add a little vinegar to lighten it up if needing lighter.
    • Posted: January 15, 2020 05:05

      acraftymix

      Isn't it just the best recipe. My Ouma told us that back in the day the men would use the tobacco spit in the spittoons and mix that into the vinegar and rust mixture for a very deep stain. I'm all out of tobacco spit thank goodness 😁 but I would love to see how it works.
  • Posted: January 14, 2020 02:21

    Anita Holland

    I did pop on by and voted for your website, Good luck.
    • Posted: January 14, 2020 05:08

      acraftymix

      Thank you soooo much for the vote, Anita 💞
  • Posted: January 14, 2020 02:20

    Anita Holland

    Great idea using the rusty nails. I use fine steel wool in the vinegar. After a few days, it is rusty as all hell. Looks great on pine to make it look old.
  • Posted: January 13, 2020 19:49

    Lynn Spencer

    This is such a handy post! I can't wait to try my hand at some of your stain recipes! Thanks.
    • Posted: January 14, 2020 05:05

      acraftymix

      I'm glad you enjoyed it, Lynn. The stain recipe is a great, budget-friendly alternative and we use ours all the time
  • Posted: January 13, 2020 19:21

    Maria Brittis

    Thanks for sharing I am always looking for stain colors.
  • Posted: January 13, 2020 19:09

    Deana Landers

    What a great idea. I have a lot of rusty nail and now I'm going to collect them for a project like this.
    • Posted: January 14, 2020 05:06

      acraftymix

      Those rusty nails come in so handy for so many different things 😉
  • Posted: January 13, 2020 13:08

    Sherry

    I have never seen this technique but I am so interested in trying it. I have some pieces that need staining. Thank you for sharing.
    • Posted: January 13, 2020 13:29

      acraftymix

      You're welcome Sherry 😘 It really is the easiest aging stain recipe ever

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