A lot of homeowners want and love the way vintage looking home decoration and design looks those are made with “age wood”. If you happen to be in a tight budget and are planning on building and decorating furniture yourself, then you are going to buy all the items at once just because it is much more convenient and cheaper this way.
Why You Should Try Aging the Wood Yourself?
You love the way aged wood looks because of the patina that develops on it but it is so expensive because of the time it takes to age the woods and the process the wood has to go through.
You have nothing to worry about because there are a lot of ways to make new wood look like it has been weathered and aged but in reality, it really has not. This means it will still be cheaper and it will also not take longer than a week.
How to Age Woods Fast
There are a handful of methods to age your wooden furniture fast but every type of wood gets different results even if the process is the same.
Therefore this is all about experimentation and implementing woodworking skills with spare pieces of wood so just go ahead and make a play around a bit to get exactly what you are looking for.
1. Weathered and Abused Method of Aging Wood
Supplies Needed for this Process
You will be needing a few things to make your furnishings look aged and weathered. You will be needing a hammer, a crowbar, safety glasses, paper bags, nails, screws, wire brush or steel wool, a 1/16 inch drill bit and sandpaper.
The Procedure of Weathered and Abused Method of Aging Wood
The texture of the wood has to be imperfect because that shows the years of abuse it could have taken over its lifetime. Therefore you need to beat the wood up with blunt objects you have such as hammers, crowbars, etc. You should also not let any edge stay perfect.
Hammer nails or screw in screws in random locations on the board, make sure that it is random and not in any particular order or pattern. Take the wire brush or the steel wool and then drag it back and forth in the direction of the grain of the wood.
This leaves striations on the board and looks like the wood has seen a lot of years. Take the 1/16 inch drill bit you got earlier and tap with a hammer into the wood. This is done to mimic the look of damage from insects such as worms or termites.
These are all ideas, feel free to add whatever you want to the mix. After you have finished doing what you wanted with the wood, take sanding paper and sand the whole piece of wood down in the direction of the grain which will temper the weathered look of the wood.
2. How to Age Wood with Vinegar and Steel Wool to Give a Gray Look
For this second method, you will be needing fine steel wool, a mason jar, a paintbrush, and distilled white vinegar.
Procedure for Aging the Wood to Give Gray Look
To begin with, this is going to be a very easy method of making wood look old and gray. Start with the steel wool pad and have it stuck in a jar with 1 and a half cups of white vinegar. Tightly screw the lid on.
The steel wool will start to rust and that will change the color of the vinegar. Then take the paintbrush and brush it onto the wood.
The darkness and the tone of the color will vary and depend on the amount of time it is being left to sit in the vinegar to rust and the number of steel wool used in the vinegar.
A general calculation is that if you leave the steel wool sit in the vinegar for 30 minutes, then you will get a very subtle gray color. Then the longer you go from there, the shade of gray will get darker and eventually after two days of being soaked, you will get a silvery gray color.
Most people try to use lighter tints of grey on light-colored woods and use the darker shades when they are trying to fade darker colors such as red or brown. So once you have your steel wool soaked and out of the solution, you are ready to brush it on to the wood.
Just like wood paints or wood stains bought from the market, wet wood will look different compared to after it dries so do try the same solution on a test piece of wood to check if that is the exact shade of gray you are looking for.
3. How to Age Wood to Get a Grey Tone with Stain
Supplies for This Method
You are going to be needing fine steel wool, tongs, rubber gloves, a jar, distilled white vinegar, a paintbrush, and a rag.
The Procedure of Fading the Color of the Wood
To get a gray tone on your wood or to fade the real colour of the wood, you have to soak the steel wool for 30 minutes to 2 days but to get your piece of wood to look rustic brown, you are going to need to soak it for about 15 days depending on the type of brown you want.
Lighter browns will require anywhere from 2-12 days while darker colors will take more than 15 days up to a month. Sometimes because of how acidic vinegar is, it may happen that your steel wool might have dissolved totally in the vinegar.
In this case, you can use your tongs to get the remaining parts of the steel wool out of the solution since you will be painting it on the wood next. If you feel like your solution is too dark, there is an easy fix, just add water to the solution to get your desired lighter shade.
Once you are satisfied with the color, brush it on in the direction of the grain and use the rag to wipe excess up to keep your Woodworking project looking neat and clean.
4. Aging Woods to Look Weathered and Painted
Supplies Needed for this Method
You are going to be needing a few things to get this finish on your wood. You will be needing sandpaper, hammer, a few colors of paint, paintbrushes, and orbital sander wood stain and an old rag.
The Procedure of Giving this Color Scheme
At first, take a piece of sandpaper and sand the wood down by hand. Then bang down on any perfect edges with a hammer to make it look rustic. Then use a mostly dry brush with inconsistent coats in three to four colors to your choice of a colour scheme.
It is recommended by most that one of the colors is white to have better contrast between the other colors. The main trick to this method is to sparingly apply every color on top of each other layer of color but leave some parts of the wood without paint.
You do not even have to wait between coats to let them dry, just go ahead and do whatever you want and once you are done putting down all your coats of paint, let it dry overnight.
The next day once it is all dried up, take out your orbital sander and start sanding randomly. Be sure that you are sanding inconsistently and not going in a pattern because imperfection is the key to perfection this time around.
Once you are done sanding, clean the dust-up and apply a light coat of wood stain. Once the wood has dried, you have made yourself a piece of wood that has been reclaimed from an old barn wall or something painted.
5. Bleach in the Sun Method Using Baking Soda
Supplies for This Wood Aging Method
You are going to be needing a few different ingredients before getting started. You will need, baking soda, water, a plastic container, a sawhorse, a drop cloth, a paintbrush, a hard-bristle brush, and some rags.
It is not a must but you can have white vinegar and a spray bottle since it may help during the process.
Procedure for Giving a Bleach in the Sun Method
This method will only work on tannic woods. Tannic woods are woods such as redwood, cedar, red oak, and mahogany, therefore, it is important for you to be sure of what type of wood you are using and that the wood is untreated.
If for some reason it is treated, you must sand it down. On a sunny part of the yard, set up sawhorses. Then mix equal portions of baking soda and water in the plastic container.
You will later apply a thick layer of it on the wood so make sure you make enough. Once you have prepared the solution, apply a thick coat of baking soda paste over the wood with a paintbrush.
Leave the wood to dry for at least six hours out in the sun. If you do not want to wait so long, then you can spray the surface with white vinegar right after applying your baking soda paste.
Once your wood has been out in the sun for about a day, take a hard bristle brush and brush away the dried baking soda in the direction of the grain of the wood. Rinse the wood with water and then dry the wood with a clean piece of cloth.
Once you are done with this, there should be a faded, gray tint to the wood. If you were looking for more then you must repeat the process.
Last Few Words
The best thing about these methods of aging wood or making wood look aged is that it can be done in a rather short amount of time with minimal effort.
It also lets you experiment and play around with the variables until you find the exact shade or the right amount of fade you were looking for.
The effect you put on the wood is the only surface deep so if you wish to change it, feel free to just sand it down and begin again to suit your taste better this time. It is very cheap and is an excellent alternative to expensive and real aged wood.
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