Aged wood is the latest trend in home decor. Undoubtedly, aged wood furniture adds flavor to the overall ambiance of your home. It gives a cozy rustic vibe. But what if you have brand new, straight out of the store, furniture?
Don’t worry. You can make your furniture age. Yes, you read, right! Well, it’ll not be technically aged but will appear to be old. How do you ask? By following some simple methods. In this article, we will present some methods on how to age wood.
How To Age Wood Using Different Methods
Method 1: Vinegar – Tea Process
In the very first step, you need to take half a glass of vinegar. Keep the vinegar in a glass jar or tumbler. Now you need to put steel wool into the jar of vinegar. It will be best if you cut the steel wool into smaller pieces. Once this is done, let the jar sit at least 24 hours and a maximum of 5 days.
Keep in mind that the jar needs not to be disturbed. As time will pass, you will see that the steel wool has dissolved in the vinegar completely. The color of the resultant mixture will be quite dark. You must remember to keep rust from forming in the solution. It is advisable to keep the jar uncovered.
Once you have fixed the vinegar solution, keep it aside. Now boil the water. Add tea in it. Prepare black tea. Directly pour the tea in another jar and keep it aside to cool.
Tea is used to pre-soak the wood. We apply tea on the surface of the wood before applying the vinegar. Tea consists of tannic acid. This acid helps in removing any protective layer on the surface of the wood.
Now before applying any of the mixtures, make sure that the wood is exposed. If you are not sure about the exposure of the wooden surface, you can sand it. Take sandpaper. Rub the surface of the wood on which you will apply the solutions, with the sandpaper.
After rubbing the sandpaper on the wood, you take a piece of cloth or a brush to apply the tea on the surface. Keep in mind that the tea does not have any color of its own. It will appear as if the wood is wet. However, tea reacts with the vinegar and darkens the stain. So, we apply it before vinegar to make sure that the color of the wood becomes dark and adds an antique look to it.
After applying tea evenly on the surface of the wood, it is time for the actual thing. Apply the vinegar – steel solution on the wood. It is advisable to use a brush for an even application. Apply one coat thoroughly. If you want an unusually dark color, then you may apply multiple coats. Let it dry. Once it is all settled, take a piece of cloth and rub the wood to remove any residual amount of steel wool.
Wait for the wooden surface to be dried completely. Remove the residual substance from the surface with the help of a piece of cloth. Now you can leave it like that, or you can coat the surface with a layer of wax. The wax layer will give a smooth finish to the wood. It will also help in preserving the effect of the vinegar for a long time.
Method 2: Paint Stains
In this method, you need to use paints to make the wood look aged. First of all, you need to have the sun bleach. The use of sun bleach is to stain the wood. So, let us get started!
Take the sun bleach and apply it to the wood. Make sure to use the right amount of the bleach. You should keep in mind that the bleach should be applied evenly and coat the surface entirely. Once you are done, wipe off the extra bleach. Use a piece of old cloth for this purpose. This step is significant because the whole process of staining the wood to make it appear old depends on this first step. Applying the sun bleach on the wood ensures to remove all previous colors and coatings from the wooden surface. This will help your wood to look naturally distressed.
After applying the bleach, wait for some time to let it settle. Once it is done, move on to the next step that is applying the wood interior stain. You can use any of the wood interior stains available in the market like Early American Stain, Weathered Oak Stain, etc. The wood interior stain will provide a rustic and old color to the wood.
Now while the wood interior stain settles on the surface of the wood, you prepare a mixture of glaze. Make a mixture of glaze by adding color glaze, mixing glaze as well as the antiquing glaze. You can choose from any of the brands. Just make sure to use all three components from the same company. The same brand products will complement each other and mix well. Once the mixture of glaze is prepared, it is time to move on to step 4.
In this step, you need to apply the rustic stain. Use a paintbrush to coat the wood with the stain thoroughly. Now you can adjust the amount of stain and the way of the application according to the darkness of the wood required.
You should apply a single coat for a less dark look. Apply multiple layers of the stain for an antique appearance.
You can also create your freckles to enhance the richness of the wood’s look. Flick the stain with the help of the paintbrush. If you are not comfortable with it, you can also use an old toothbrush for this purpose. This will create small dark spots on the surface of the wood. Make sure you let stain dry.
Method 3: Distressing The Wood
In this method, as the name suggests, you need to use some machines and tools to make your wood look aged. Distressed wood and furniture are on high demand in the market. These are considered to be luxurious items. So, if you plan to renovate your decor in the budget, this method is for you.
You need to take a sock, nails, and small screws. Put the nails and screws in the sock. Now make a small bag like structure out of the sock. Hit the wood with the sock bag filled with nails & screws.
Once you get the desired effect from the sock bag, it is time to kick things up a notch. Take a hammer and hit the wood. Remember that powerful blows from a hammer can cause structural damage to the wood. So, hit softly. The slow and moderate blows of the hammer will create small turfs in the wood. If you need slightly wider turfs, use a mallet.
Now your wood is covered with small spots, narrow and wide turfs, etc. So, you now need to go to the next level. You must add roughness to enhance the look of the distressed wood. To get the desired effect, you need sandpaper.
Take a piece of sandpaper and rub the surface of the wood. By doing this, you will remove any extra stain from the wood. It will also make the surface rough. This will impart a naturally distressed look to the wood.
Things You Need To Age Wood
As you must have noticed already by now that there are many items that we have used in accomplishing the task. But the good news is you will most likely find these items in your house easily if you take a tour from the kitchen to the garage. So, here is a complete list of items that you will need to age wood effortlessly.
- White Vinegar
- Black Tea
- Sun Bleach
- Wood Interior Stain
- Colour Glaze
- Antiquing Glaze
- Old Sock
- Nails or Screws
- Hammer or Mallet
1. When I used the vinegar and steel wool solution on my table, the surface became orange. Can you tell me why this happened and what I did wrong?
The orange color is due to rust. As we already pointed out in the process, you should not allow the vinegar steel solution to sit for too long because it will react with oxygen present in the air and form rust.
Well, if you follow the latest trends and have an interest in home decor and woodworking, you must know that how popular and in-demand the aged wood is. However, it is quite a rare and expensive item. But, fortunately, with the help of the above-listed tips and tricks, you can now know how to age wood with almost zero additional expense. So, try out the methods and transform the aura of your home interiors.