Ferrous Sulphate – powder
Price: from $9.95
An economical option for staining wood or concrete. Acting much like the popular "Lifetime" but at a fraction of the cost, the naturally acidic solution created by mixing this powder with water will uniformly 'age' wood and also enhance its natural acidity for protection. On concrete, it creates a rust coloured stain. In both cases, you can add a separate sealer (test first) or leave unsealed.
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Carefully mix the powder with water - keep from breathing dust or getting it on hands or clothing.
Usually 1 Tbsp per litre (4 per gallon) is plenty strong enough to provide a stain for both concrete or wood but you can experiment with different strengths.
Material can be dipped or sprayed using a standard garden sprayer. Be patient to see results. The final appearance may take a couple weeks to establish.
Depending on application rates, a pound of ferrous sulphate will provide enough solution to dip several hundred shakes or spray several hundred square feet of concrete. Experiment. This is a cheap and easy product to play around with.
Wood - Ferrous sulphate stains wood by reacting with the tannin present in the wood. It works best on woods that are high in tannins such as oak, walnut, mahogany and cherry and to a lesser extent on woods such as maple, birch, cedar and beech. It will produce silver-gray to steel blue colors depending on the strength of the solution and the species of wood. Prestaining woods that are low in tannin with a solution of tannic acid will produce results similar to woods that are naturally high in tannin.
Stucco and Concrete - The finished product is a rusty orange colour of varying strength depending on the solution strength. This happens because the alkaline concrete neutralizes the acidity of the solution, causing the iron particles to precipitate out and oxidize. Literally, rust staining your concrete.