How To: Age Wood

A few weeks ago I posted about my recent { DIY Factory Cart Table }. During that process, I discovered an amazing process to aging wood.  In the past when I needed to age wood for a project, I typically grew impatient and didn’t put in the time or effort to do it right. I did the whole {hit it with a hammer} trick, and called it quits. I blame it mainly on my laziness and desire to finish the project quickly, but after researching actual vintage pieces, I really grew a true love for the real thing. But… as we all know,  sometimes you just can’t always get the real thing. That’s when I knew I needed to dedicate the time to more authentic process.

I will warn you that this process isn’t as short and sweet as we all might hope, but it will be worth it, I promise!!! Below is my step by step process:

What you will need:
 
– Decking wood
– Hammer, or any hard object to hit or scrape against the wood
– Sand paper or electric sander (or both!)
– Stain
– Rubber gloves 
– Old rag or brush for stain
Step by Step:
1. Buy decking wood at your local home improvement store. I chose the most beat up pieces – chipped edges, knots, holes, you name it. If the wood looked bad, I bought it! I also used the pieces with the stamps showing from the lumber yard. It adds to the vintage feel:)
2. The edges at the end of the wood are not rounded out like the rest of the wood. I hammered these down to give it a vintage feel and also to match the rest of the wood.
3. I then began to beat the wood with any tool I could find – hammers, screw drivers, anything I could find. I scrapped, hit, and dropped. Basically, I beat up the wood as much as I could without breaking it. I will warn you that it might look like you have aged it too much, but keep calm, it will sand down later if it’s too much. Some of the aging was done in random patterns, but other areas I made tighter patterns. Imagine if you found some old wood laying in a barn. It’s knocked around for years, and some damage is random, but other damage is focused into one area. That’s exactly what I wanted my wood to look and feel like – old, weathered and worn.

 

4. Once the aging process was finished, I began to stain the wood. I used a combination of a dark and light stain. I started with a lighter stain and then layered the dark stain on top. I didn’t use the dark stain in all of the areas because I wanted it to look natural. Also, make sure to let the dark stain seep into the holes and cracks of the wood. Before it totally dried, I blended them together in certain areas. By doing this blending method, you get a high variety of tone in the wood. You can use a brush to apply the stain or an old rag – either will work, but make sure to wear some heavy duty rubber gloves so you don’t stain your hands!

 

5. I then began sanding off some of the stain in random areas. More concentrated in some areas, and more rare in others. I focused sanding on the edges and corners as well to really enhance the vintage look.

 

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you get your desired look. If you over sand in step number 5, no problem, just add a bit more stain until you are happy with the final result.
7. Step back, and enjoy!

 

{ And here is the before once more }
{ And the after! }
So I hope this will help you during your future projects! I know the next time I’ll be aging wood, I will for sure put in all the time and effort needed in order to make it look completely authentic. It’s always worth it in the end:)


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Thank you for stopping by The Blissful Bee! I'm Amy and I'm the writer and designer behind the blog. I have a passion for interior design, fashion and simply living a stylish life. I hope you enjoy your "stay"!

25 thoughts on “How To: Age Wood

  1. Oooh, I love this…I want to make an aged wood table! Stopping by from the Networking Blog Hop…I am your newest follower! I would love if you would check out my blog and if you like what you see please follow back 🙂
    Modern Modest Beauty

  2. This looks fabulous! I found your blog while researching. I have this old wooden chest I had for the longest time. My old tenant was working for the army and he left behind this chest (apparently the storage box for M16) when he left. I kept it. Now I am in the midst of redecorating and wanted a coffee table that fits with the rest of the decor, rustic vintage. Since the chest is old and stored in my storage room for a while and has a bit of writing in marker on it, I thought I’d do a bit of restoration. Now, bare in mind I am hopeless in this area. What do you suggest I do with it? I can send you pictures of this chest if you want. I really hope you could help me 🙂 Thanks!

  3. I prefer taking the wood out to the driveway and jumping on it, dragging the edges etc.. A lot more fun and seems -to me- to come out more natural

  4. Looks great!
    Thanks for all the instructions!
    I want to work on a table top that looks quite used already but could still be improved (in order to look refurbished)
    Would you tell us the exact stain product that you used. I love the colors!
    Thanks so much!
    I love your web site!

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