How to Make Wood Look Old and Distressed

Everyone has his own choices and interests. Conversion of new wood into look old and distressed is one of the interests of people. It is due to the people’s love for antiques and for a vintage look. Wood is being used in almost all major furnishings of our home. The furniture of our home or office is just incomplete without wooden furnishings such as the sofa sets, beds, and chairs, tables, doors, and even the flooring and ceilings. The antiques lovers always search for the query how to make wood look old and distressed. Actually there’s nothing like the old and distressed, distinguished look of antique wood. But wooden furniture and accessories obviously takes long to age naturally and no one has so much time to wait to see it. So, here comes the need of distressing techniques which we are going to discuss in detail that how to give old and distressed look to wood.

Mechanical Way of Distressing

We can mechanically transform the wood surface prior to finishing.  But in case if the original texture of the reclaimed wood has been lost or distressed of new material. If you want to give a rough-sawn look then cut the surface with an old framing blade.

For more classy and old look, one can create faux worm or termite holes by randomly driving an awl or 1/16″ drill bit into the face of the wood. Carefully study patterns and sizes of holes in the original piece before starting.

A chisel tip can be used for adding scratches and nicks in the wood for more distressed look. A scratch awl and even a chain beaten can also be used against the board, for this purpose. It is better to study the pattern of distresses in the wood and do a test piece before carrying on the process.

Chemical Weathering

Chemical weathering takes place over years of exposure to water, chemicals from the air, high temperature and UV light from the sun. With the passage of time, colors fade and oils are pulled from the wood.

Light Grey – Chemical Weathering

Vinegar is useful in many ways and it can also be used for making wood look old and distressed. To add an ashy or gray hue (to mimic sun fading), fill a spray bottle halfway with white vinegar. Then cut into strips one pad of steel wool and shove it into the spray bottle. Then spray the mixture onto the wood and let to dry. But first allow the mixture to dissolve fully by letting the bottle sit in a warm sunny area for at least 3 to 4 hours.

Dark Gray Look by Chemical Weathering

For dark gray wood look use the same material. First spray the material with black tea, and then follow the steps for a light gray hue. Black tea will add tannins to the open grains and react further with the steel wool and vinegar solution.

Concluding Remarks

You can bring more variety in colors. Mask off select areas or darken random areas by applying the previously mentioned solutions with a sponge. This will re-create the wood look.