How To Weather Wood

One of my favorite things ever is the look of old weathered gray wood that’s had years in the sun out to oxidize and produce an amazing patina. Our materials included rubber gloves (because stain is messy), a cheap $1 paint brush like these (because stain is messy and tends to ruin good brushes) and spare rags to wipe up excess stain (because stain is… well, you know). Before aging your own wood, ask around for real aged wood from old barns or houses. On the conditioned surface, the dye acts like a liquid oil stain (Step 3). Let it penetrate for a couple minutes before wiping. So, I finished this one and then thought it would have really been cool to stain it with a more natural option. The important detail here is that when you wipe off the stain you want to wipe in the direction of the wood again.

He thinks that the wood will not remain the color that I stain it and will get very dark and that I will get a more permanent color using store bought stain like minwax. My husband and I just bought all the materials to make this and I am so excited! There were a few spots I had to go back over and apply a little more of the oxidizing stain that left a few blotches, but I’ll sand them down a bit to even it out. If the wood is light, with a relatively undistinguished grain, it may benefit considerably from a stain. You could use any type of wood for this, but I love pine because it has awesome wood grain and I love how it accepts the stain.

It’s a beautiful finish for an otherwise budget cut of wood and definitely not one that’s easily achievable with ordinary wood stain. You won’t get the same results if you skip the wood stain and put the milk paint directly on raw wood. Plus, most wood stains will stain clothes, rugs or furniture so it’s important to let it dry before you move anything in the room.

This will remove any previous color or stain from the wood, and enhance the natural grain and texture. We love the larger squares of wood and you can do this in any shade that you want so if you aren’t a huge fan of the darker cherry color, do it in a lighter oak. We want the new pine to have a color similar to the old wood, not the scratches and holes as those will come with time. You simply toggle the planks so that they don’t all match up perfectly, which also gives it a great look. Unless you consider a bag of screws, a hammer and a can of stain scary DIY supplies.

Two coats later, I sanded the entire top with a 220 grit block, going with the grain though this table doesn’t have a grain you can feel or see once painted, I still wanted it to resemble the look of wood and this is a great technique for doing that. Allow the wood to dry completely, sand the piece down to bare wood, and apply a coat or two of stain, wiping off any excess.

I built a dining table and used fir and pine for a dresser (did not use the oxidizing solution), but used a different type of wood for a piece of furniture and the oxidizing solution did not work. I have a fifteen year old item which was painted white when I got it and had a kind of natural looking wood with a clear coat on it. I have been thinking for a long time I wanted to do something like this to it and now I know I do.

After the stain has dried a day or so there are a couple ways you can seal and protect your project. They also quickly change appearance from a wet, close approximation of the final look of the wood after it’s been sealed to a dull matte that is impossible to judge for coverage or color. Then I’d like to compare it to other methods, such as using wood conditioner on pine before stain (which I’ve never tried). You’re going to want to follow the directions on your stain container to determine if anything needs done after your final application.

If you are pregnant, very sensitive to fumes, or need to stain something in an area that is not well ventilated, coffee stain may be the way to go. If you can’t find a compatible stain, you’ll have to apply a clear penetrating resin sealer over a noncompatible stain. You will want to let the tea completely dry to make the new wood look old before continuing to the next step – this generally takes about 30 minutes to an hour. I also tried cutting the solution with more vinegar which lightened the stain a bit, but still turned it black. I’d also like to try the steel wool/vinegar method, and then follow up with stain BEFORE waxing the wood.

The staining process was much more enjoyable with the coffee vs. conventional oil based stain which is stinky and can really do damage if it accidently gets on a surface you didn’t want it to. In the morning, the old finish came right off with a plastic spatula and a steel wool pad. For example, pine wood turns a grayish-brown while redwood becomes a deep shade of sienna brown when using the vinegar-steel wool solution. I also build two bookcases from Ana’s site and I have been waiting to stain them until all of the pieces are done so it can be as even as possible. Just as the flower stem sucks up the water in the vase, so too did the wood use to do for the to stain wood to look old

While I was at it, I also stained a little star sign that I picked up at Michael’s for.. you guessed it… $3.99. The star was pre-aged, but the little sign was plain, unstained wood. The ‘staining’ comes from the chemical reaction of the solution with the tannins in the wood (that’s why the tea solution is recommended- the tannins in tea help the process). Wiping tacky oil based stain back down with a rag soaked in stain will usually dissolve the excess stain, since the stain contains solvent. As you scrub the grains of the wood will be visible, creating the distressed look.