There are sooooo many different methods and techniques out there for distressing or aging wood to look like rugged old barn boards. I tried to be random with the marks, except for clusters of pinholes I made with a nail, meant to look like worm holes. You can buy wood or if you have it on hand, use salvaged barn wood or something equally as cheap and you can knock the cost down considerably. Then I rubbed Minwax Special Walnut stain on it, let it sit for about a minute or two, and then wiped off the excess. Give it a quick sand with 220 grit sandpaper to make it feel smooth but not necessarily perfect. The tannin content of the wood is the predominate factor in the darkness of the stain.
We stumbled across a pretty neat technique to quickly age wood when researching finishing methods for a house project: a mixture of tea and iron solutions can turn wood from bright I’m brand new” yellow to someone left me on the patio for 2 years” grey to even a yeah, you just try to get this deep a color with regular wood stain” dark brown. I’m not sure about lightening the wood, but I totally know the look you’re going for. When restoring old molding, this technique helps aged the new to match the old molding.
Make sure your steel has had time to soak in the vinegar, the idea is to accelerate to creation of iron oxide (rust). I do a lot of projects with old fencing, like this: -/2012/07/ (we had a whole fence blown over in the tornado that hit our house this spring) and I think this look would be great even on my pre-distressed fencing wood – can hardly wait to try!! After you’ve stained your floor, give the stain about 5 or 10 minutes and go through to wipe away the excess stain to avoid an uneven look.
The Second mix is Balsamic Vinegar with ONE WHOLE steel wool (0000), ((I also did a jar with half of a steel wool, to see if that would make a difference). I like to mix the milk paint a little thicker than i normally would so that the paint wont penetrate into the wood. That means that I love pretty things, and also that I like to make free printables!
You can read all about the demo in fine detail via the link above, where there’s a step-by-step guide showing the demonstrator using a tinted wood stain to help age the instrument to perfection. Experimenting with ratios and application time will yield different results, so best to try a few techniques out on some similar scrap wood first. Top to bottom, that’s walnut, aspen (the wood that we used for our tabletop props ), and pine using a 24-hour old iron solution.