If you ever want to create your own aged-looking barnboard out of new lumber, here's an old farmer's secret for a permanent, non-toxic and dirt-cheap stain. (See Mag demonstrate making barnboard by visiting CTV's Canada AM - then click on their ToolGirl link)
- Pour a few cups of vinegar into a jar.
- Add a handful of rusty nails or steel wool.
- Put the lid on the jar.
- Wait a few days.
Brush stain onto lumber and give it a few minutes to interact with the tannins in the wood. The more tannin (cedar has a lot of tannin, for example), the deeper the hue of the stain. Cedar goes dark gray, whereas pine turns dark brown. I haven't tried it on hardwood yet but I'm told that oak turns black. I'll find out and post photos.