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How to age wood with paint and stain

by Viktor

This is the process I used to create the aged wood look of my reclaimed wood moose head and extra large pallet and burlap frame.

This is a quick and ridiculously easy tutorial on how to age wood using paint and stain. I used pallets for this project and raided the garage for paint and stain, so it actually cost me nothing to do this. To start sand your wood down just enough to remove large splinters. If your wood is brand new take both sides of a hammer to it as well as other garage tools to create dents and gouges. Since my wood was from pallets it was already pretty banged up. This technique is very easy and almost impossible to mess up. The key is to create depth and texture using many light coats of paint and stain. Wait until the stain or paint is dry to the touch before moving onto the next step. Honestly, I found that by time I finished one step the first pieces were already dry. Here’s what my wood looked like before I started to faux age it:

Aged Wood Renovation

I’m going to use this wood in two upcoming projects I am really excited about and I wanted different shades of wood so I raided the garage and found these 3 stains:Mission Oak, Red Mahogany, and Jacobean. Ideally you don’t want the stain to be gloss or have polyurethane in it. Only one of mine did and it came out fine though.

Aged Wood Renovation

Step 1: Using a chip brush add an even coat of stain to each piece of wood.  At this point it will still look like new wood just stained. I used the same brush for all 3 stains so I wouldn’t waste any brushes. Keep your stain and brush out for steps 2 and 4.

Aged Wood Renovation

Next, find a flat finish white paint. I used ceiling paint which worked out perfect, but you could also use latex primer or craft paint.

Latex Ceiling Paint

Step 2: Dry brush the white paint onto the wood. To dry brush dip the brush into the paint then try to remove most of the paint on the side of the can. Next, using quick light strokes brush over the top of the wood.  You’ll notice that the wood is starting to look aged now. Here’s what is should look like:

Aged Wood Renovation

Step 3: Dry brush a coat of stain onto each piece. You’ll notice that this starts to really bring out the texture of the wood. For this step I used the mission oak on the unstained wood to give it more depth.

Aged Wood Renovation

Next, I created a grey wash by mixing equal parts grey craft paint with water. I used Americana Slate Grey that was left over from another project.

Aged Wood Renovation
Aged Wood Renovation

Step 4: Dry brush the grey wash onto the wood.

Aged Wood Renovation

Step 5: Dry brush the stain on one last time. When the stain is completely dry I gave it a light sanding with a sanding block.

Aged Wood Renovation

That’s it! You’re done. Wasn’t that easy? You really can’t screw this up. If you find you are a little heavy handed on one step, just keep repeating the steps until you achieve the look you are going for. Here’s another look at them:

Aged Wood Renovation

And one last close-up:

Aged Wood Renovation

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