Monday, April 29, 2013

Toning Down of Red Bird

This morning I thawed out my walnut stain from what was stewed up 2 years ago plus brewed up a cup-o-tea to decide which should be applied to my rug to tone down the cream border.  But first I hooked a few rows on scrap foundation using the same wool as in the border so I could experiment first.  

 Although my mentor Lori said I couldn't go wrong with walnut staining I still wanted to practice first.  And Lori was right...... I like the look.

There was a little difference between the walnut and tea; the walnut made it look like a dirt stain with age and tea had a mellow appearance.  I wanted the dirt to replicate an old rug with use over time vs. the near dip dyed look.   
The far left row is unstained wool; the upper section of the top right hooked wool was dabbed with the walnut stain and the bottom top section was dabbed with the tea stain.  You can probably see a gentle difference in the color of the wool without it being a slap in the face.

I took an inexpensive half inch brush and dabbed some walnut stain randomly all around the rug.  Since wool naturally wants to repel water it would lay on top so proceeded to brush it a few times in the same place (just on top). 

Lori reminded me that antique rugs get stains just on the top of the loop and when the loops are separated you can then see clean lighter colored loops.  So I didn't douse the rug but rather tried to paint the top until that first amount was absorbed into that 1 - 2" section.
The above photo was taken with a flash and the one below without so you figure the rug looks somewhere in between.  And, notice the shiny speck to the left of my brush stroke below?  That is the solution on top of the wool being naturally repelled by the wool.  That is why I would brush the liquid a couple times until the dollop was absorbed.
HA!  You thought you were going to see a picture of the rug tonight, didn't you.  Since I liked the results and was a little timid this first time think perhaps I might think about touching it up a bit more.  Are any of you old enough to remember the "Burma Shave" road commercials?  I recall reading signs along the road and the one that sticks in my mind is "A little dab will do ya".  Well, I think more than one dab will do me better.  Come back tomorrow for another update.


p.s.  My friend Lauren says it was the Brylcream commercials where they said "a little dab will do ya".  Thanks Lauren.


  1. I love the walnut stain. I cooked up my own last Fall and left one jar SUPER strong.
    Lori is certainly the right mentor for this project. Her creations look so wonderful and naturally aged.

  2. Love it, but is the walnut dye hot or cold? I never thought of using a little brush, great idea.

  3. (...I should have metnioned that this technique is addicting! )
    Happy you're having fun with it Saundra, can't wait to see your finish!

  4. Isn't "a little dab will do ya'" from the Brylcreme (sp?)ads?
    Red bird is a winner.
    Hugs :)

  5. is this stain from real walnuts?
    it looks very good!
    yes, I vaguely remember that, of course, I was only hearing the elders say the slogans (I am a liar, I do remember)!! have a great week!

  6. This method of aging is wonderful.
    It gives a wonderful 'feel' to the work.
    Can hardly wait to see the finish !

  7. What is secret to cooking up my own walnut stain? Love the idea. Thanks! Karen M


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