This past Monday I completed my first LIVE build on @Hometalk’s facebook page. My project that day was to make picture ledges with homemade steel wool and vinegar stain. The broadcast pulled in over 100k views within the first 24hrs- pretty wild! The best part BY FAR was interacting with the viewers in real time. It was a ton of fun and I’m super grateful for the opportunity. Below you’ll find the 40 minute facebook live broadcast (sorry for the vertical video it’s optimized for mobile phones) and below that you’ll find the step by step guide so you can make picture ledges with homemade steel wool and vinegar stain yourself!
1 – 1x2x6 Pine
1-1/4″ Pocket Screws
1-1/4″ Brad Nails
3″ Wood Screws
Distilled White Vinegar
1 – 1×4 @ 60″
1 – 1×4 @ 60″
1 – 1×2 @ 60″
Kreg Jig & Accessories
Ryoba Hand Saw
1/2″ Forstner Bit or 1/2″ Bit
Elmers Wood Filler
Power Sander or Sanding Block
Foam Brush/Paint Brush
Here are a handful of my favorite comments from the how to make picture ledges with homemade steel wool and vinegar stain LIVE broadcast…
OMG you cut like a girl – Kathy R.
He says to mark the studs on the back but when he turned around I didn’t see any marks on his back 😂 – Sarah E.
He is not handyman just a show piece… never seen that dumb handyman….lol – Shoib K.
Not sure what that last one means exactly but I LOL’d nonetheless.
Make Picture Ledges with Homemade Steel Wool and Vinegar Stain
Here is EVERYTHING I’ll be using to make picture ledges with homemade steel wool and vinegar stain. It may seem like a lot but there are always substitutes if you don’t have everything pictured here.
Step one is to measure out your desired picture ledge length and make a mark (mine will be 5ft or 60 inches). Carry that mark the width of the board with your utility knife. This is going to create a guide to rest the hand saw’s teeth into to enable you to make a straight cut. Think of it like bowling bumpers that keep your ball from FAILING- same thing here! Next, clean up the ends of your cut with a sanding block.
I’ll be using a Kreg Jig to join the back and bottom boards of our picture ledge. I mark out 2″ from each end and 8″ thereafter. Next I pre-drill on those marks using my Kreg Jig that has been setup to accommodate 3/4″ material.
If you don’t have a Kreg Jig you can use screws and wood glue through the back end of your back board.
Place a line of glue along the bottom board and flip it over!
Use 1-1/4″ pocket screws to secure the two pieces together…forever!
Fill in all of the holes using wood filler and a putty knife.
It may take multiple coats of wood filler and sanding to get the hole nice and smooth.
Next we’ll join the from 1×2 trim. Run a bead of wood glue along the front of our bottom piece…
Line the from 1×2 trim to the end of the 1×4 back board and use multiple pressure clamps to join them. If you’d like you can use a brad-nailer to reinforce the joint!
Locate your wall studs and transfer where they fall onto your ledge. Using a 1/2″ drill bit, drill a pilot hole just past 1/2″ deep.
We’ll be using these white caps to conceal the hardware.
Grab your mason jar and tear up your steel wool. I’m putting 2 pieces of the steel wool in my one quart mason jar.
Take your distilled white vinegar and pour (4) cups into the mason jar (fill it to the top). Do not put the lid on as the chemical reaction will give off hydrogen gas and needs to breath.
Let the mixture sit 24-48 hrs.
Chemistry time!! When you combine steel wool and vinegar the solution is called iron acetate. Iron acetate reacts with the tannin in the wood, which is a naturally occurring astringent. Because pine is a softwood, it does NOT have a lot of tannin. But guess what does? Black tea!
So our first step in getting a nice rustic look is to brew a few bags of black tea and let them steep for about an hour. Liberally apply the tea to the wood. Once absorbed into the wood, the tea (tannin) will react with the steel wool and vinegar stain give the wood a weathered look.
Finally, pour your steel wool and vinegar mixture into a smaller container so that you can get a paintbrush into it. Paint the steel wool & vinegar stain onto the ledge. It will go on clear, but don’t freak out!! After a few minutes you’ll get an amazing weathered finish!
After staining the entirety of your ledge, throw some clear-coat on and attach to your wall using a level and 3-inch screws (or heavy duty wall anchors). And that’s it!
What I love about these picture ledges is that you can use them for a ton of different applications. I have some in my girls’ room for children’s books. You can use them for your family photos or your collection of succulents, if you’re into that. The sky’s the limit!