Black Walnut Stain DIY Finishing Process - January 2022

Back in November, I posted a couple of photos and talked about the process of turning a collection of Black Walnuts into a homemade1 scratchmade wood stain.  In that post, I laid out the steps from collecting the walnuts to bottling the stain - and about midway is where we pick things up in this post.  Six weeks of macerating in the five gallon bucket with a little bit of evaporation ended up yielding about 3 gallons or so of material.  A quick stir with a stick every once in a while and I had a thick, black syrup.  Along with a mass of walnut hulls and bits.

I grabbed a piece of cheesecloth that Nat had on hand and a couple of rubber bands and donned a set of disposable gloves.  Knowing this is, indeed, stain, I opted to deal with the process out in the yard.  You can see the setup below.  The five-gallon bucket on the right, topped with cheesecloth strainer.  A smaller, one gallon finish bucket in the middle and a couple of pints of rubbing alcohol (91%) to thin the syrup out.  I dumped the liquid out and it didn't go perfectly smoothly as I don't think I extracted the full amount of syrup, but the lumpy walnuts kept pulling the cheesecloth away from the bucket.  I ended up getting the one-gallon bucket filled up about half of the way.  Then, when I added the rubbing alcohol, I had enough to bottle up as a gift for my brother-in-law(s).  

We have a couple of these pint jars on hand (they're from the cocktail setup situation you can buy at various places around town.  You know the kind, right?  They have dried fruit and sugar cubes and what-have-you in them and you just add a bunch of liquor to them and let them steep for a day or so.), so I used a couple of them to bottle up the stain.  Here, below, is one of the jars:

Will the stuff work?  I'm not sure.  At least yet.  I'll wait to hear back from the gift receivers - if they get to it before Spring - and then I'll apply the batch that I kept to the patio container box.  Hopefully...(and finally) knocking that item off my multiple-year to-do list.  

1. [I'm always struck by how using the phrase 'homemade' isn't quite right, especially in restaurants. You see it all the time on menus: homemade this. homemade that. Well, if this was made in someone's HOME, I'm not sure that is what everyone wants. I much prefer housemade. Or...what I'm using here, above, 'scratchmade'.]


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