Artfully Aged Wood Finishes

Bring out the natural beauty of wood in dramatic new ways with these decorative staining and aging techniques

INSTRUCTIONS:

Each finish requires its own set of tools and materials you’ll need to purchase before beginning. Some finishes rely on the chemistry of the wood itself, so colors may vary from the results shown and from board to board in the same wood species.

Step 1: Place two clean steel wool pads in a jar with two cups of distilled white vinegar. Allow the steel wool to soak for 12 to 24 hours. (The longer the steel wool soaks, the deeper the color produced by the solution.) Pour the mixture through a coffee filter over a glass jar to remove the bits of steel wool.

Good to Know: The solution you create reacts with chemicals in the wood called tannins. Different wood species will produce different results, as will different boards of the same species. Test the finish on a scrap board before committing to it on a project.

Step 2: Smooth the wood surface with 120-grit sandpaper. With a foam brush, apply enough vinegar solution to soak the wood. Work quickly from the wet to the dry areas of the wood and avoid leaving brushstrokes or drips. Let the wood dry completely.

Good to Know: If you notice a slightly rusty appearance on the surface, don’t worry. That will disappear with the next step.

Step 3: Using a light touch with the electric sander, gently sand the surface just enough to remove the raised grain. (You can also use a 220-grit sanding sponge for this step.) Vacuum and wipe the surface clean.

Step 4: Brush on two coats of Polycrylic finish, sanding lightly between coats

Aged Stained Wood Finish

Step 1: If this is your first experience texturing wood, practice on a piece of scrap. Attach a wire wheel brush to an electric drill and set the drill to its maximum speed. Clamp the wood on a flat surface and brush the wood surface with the brush rotating in the direction of the grain. The brush will wear away the soft portions of the wood between the growth rings or grain lines. Continue brushing until you can feel noticeable ridges on the wood surface.

Good to Know: The longer you brush, the greater the texturing you’ll produce for a worn and weathered look. Avoid brushing at a right angle to the grain as you work.

Step 2: Lightly sand the wood surface with a 220-grit sanding sponge to remove any splinters. Vacuum and wipe the surface clean.

Step 3: Apply water-based wood conditioner and let dry. Then apply a water-based stain (Aegean shown), allow it to penetrate the wood for five minutes, and wipe off the excess. Let the stain dry overnight.

Step 4: Lightly sand just enough with a 220-grit sanding sponge to remove the tiny whiskers of wood raised by the stain.

Step 5: Brush on two coats of Polycrylic finish, sanding lightly between coats.

Aged Pickled Wood Finish

Step 1: Attach a wire wheel brush to an electric drill and set the drill to its maximum speed. Clamp the wood on a flat surface and brush the wood surface with the brush rotating in the direction of the grain. Continue brushing until you can feel noticeable ridges on the wood surface.

Step 2: Lightly sand the wood surface to remove any splinters. Vacuum and wipe the surface clean.

Step 3: Place two clean steel wool pads in a jar with two cups of distilled white vinegar. Allow the steel wool to soak for 12 to 24 hours. (The longer the steel wool soaks, the deeper the colour produced by the solution.) Pour the mixture through a coffee filter over a glass jar to remove the bits of steel wool.

Step 4: With a foam brush, apply enough vinegar solution to soak the wood. Work quickly from the wet to the dry areas of the wood and avoid leaving brushstrokes. Let the wood dry completely.

Step 5:Using a light touch with the electric sander, gently sand the surface just enough to remove the raised grain. (You can also use a 220-grit sanding sponge for this step.) Vacuum and wipe the surface clean.

Step 6: Brush on two coats of Polycrylic finish, sanding lightly between coats.

Aged Charred Wood Finish

Step 1: Attach a wire wheel brush to an electric drill and set the drill to its maximum speed. Clamp the wood on a flat surface and brush the wood surface with the brush rotating in the direction of the grain. Continue brushing until you can feel noticeable ridges on the wood surface.

Step 2: Lightly sand the wood surface to remove any splinters. Vacuum and wipe the surface clean.

Step 3: Apply water-based wood conditioner and let dry. Then apply a stain (Kona shown), allow it to penetrate the wood for five minutes, and wipe off the excess. Allow the stain to dry overnight.

Step 4: Using 120-grit sandpaper, sand until you see light ribbons of wood emerge from the stained wood. Stop sanding before the surface becomes smooth; you should be able to feel a soft ribbed surface.

Step 5: Apply stain (Summer Oak shown), allow it to penetrate the wood for five minutes, wipe off the excess, and let dry

Step 6: Brush on two coats of Polycrylic, sanding lightly between coats.

PROJECT DETAILS

Tools:

  • White vinegar (pickled finishes)
  • Random-orbit sander
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • 220-grit sanding sponge
  • Electric drill (except for pickled wood)
  • 6-in wire wheel brush (except for pickled wood)
  • Clamps (aged pickled wood)

Materials:

  • Steel wool (pickled wood)
  • Minwax water-based wood conditioner, quart (aged stained wood, aged charred wood)
  • Minwax water-based stain, quart, Aegean (aged stained wood)
  • Rust-Oleum wood stain, Kona and Summer Oak (aged charred wood)
  • Minwax Polycrylic satin polyurethane, quart

 

Products and prices may change; check your local Lowe’s store for details

Almost any do-it-yourself project involves risk of some sort. Your tools, materials, and skill will vary, as will the conditions of your project site. Lowe’s Companies Inc., and its subsidiaries ("Lowe’s") have made every effort to be complete and accurate in the instructions and other content contained in this publication. However, neither Lowe’s nor the publisher will assume any responsibility or liability for damages or losses sustained or incurred in the course of your home improvement or repair project or in the course of your use of the item you create or repair. Always follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions in the use of tools, check and follow your local building codes, and observe all standard safety precautions. Prices and supply may vary, so check the cost of materials and labour in your area before beginning any home improvement project. We strive to be accurate, but unintentional errors may occur and we reserve the right to correct any error. See a Lowe’s store for information regarding product warranties and any available protection plans. All prices, products and promotions are limited to Canada locations only.