Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Make new wood look old and weathered

Pin It
make new wood look old and weathered in minutes!
 Happy Halloween y'all! After all the costume ideas going in my head, I ended up going for the easiest one. A pregnant hick. Maybe I can spice it up and be pregnant with my cousin's baby? A little too much??? I tried the pregnant cheerleader costume. My butt has grown bigger than I thought lol. It no longer fits in the skirt. Oh well. So a pregnant hick I am :) I guess the next question is, am I too old to be dressing up for Halloween??? lol

Old Weathered Wood Look
Okay. So back to the real topic of discussion ;) How to get new wood looking old. I had a vision for my farmhouse table when I was making it. I knew exactly how I wanted it to look, but didn't know how to get it there. So I almost just caved in and wanted to paint it all white. Which I still think would have looked great. Maybe distress it a little around the edges. But then the hubs wanted it all a dark brown. I told him that looks too much like our current table, and since eventually this table will move inside, I didn't want that. The whole purpose of making the table was to make it a little lighter colored since I didn't like the dark brown we currently had. I almost wanted it grey. But not real grey, a weathered grey.

So I started to experiment getting that weathered grey. I know there is grey wood stain, but I was too lazy to go to the store and find it lol. I figured that would be a last case scenario. So I was going to use what I had on hand and come up with something -dark walnut stain, chestnut stain, and white paint.

So I took a couple of approaches that I wasn't completely thrilled about. Staining and then white washing. Painting and then staining. White washing and then staining.

I think my favorite out of these was the white paint distressed with walnut stain. Which I was going to use until I tried one last thing...
And got the perfect look. A perfect distressed weathered greyish brownish whitish finish. And on a plus, the hubs loved it too.

Step one to getting this finish:
Sand your wood ( I used pine boards for mine) . Try to get out the weird manmade textures. There was a ton on mine, so I had to sand pretty good. Also sand the corners and edges to make them less jagged. This last part doesn't have to do with the finish, but it helps :) I used 120 medium grit paper for this process. Don't over sand and get rid of all the wood grain because you'll be sanding again later and need those parts that are somewhat still 'raised'.
Step Two:
Paint the wood with one coat of white paint, very lightly...letting a lot of it absorb into the wood. I used White Linen from Glidden, but any white paint would work. The paint I used was a latex paint and in semi-gloss. Let it dry.

Step Three:
Sand again.This time I used a paint stripping sandpaper in 80 grit.  When sanding this time around, just sand enough that some wood shows through on the higher surfaces, but still leave enough white paint behind. There's really no right way to do this. Just start sanding and remember that the wood that shows through will be holding the most stain, so if you want more brown, then sand a lot, if you want more white, then sand a little.
Step Four:
Stain. I used Minwax's dark walnut, put it on a rag, and just went up and down each slat of wood until I got the look I wanted. If I wanted it darker in some places, I would put another coat on.
The nonpainted wood picks up the stain beautifully and brings to life all the characteristics of the wood. The left over white paint changes to a pretty weathered grey :)
Step Five:
Seal. I used polycrylic to seal mine.

Here's the difference on the before piece of pine 2x6 and the finished:

And there you have it! How to get new wood looking old in pretty much 4 easy steps. 5 steps if you want to seal it.
Old Weatherd Wood Look
I wanted to do the whole table this finish, but when it got down to it -staining, painting, sanding, staining and bending down while 7 1/2 months pregnant didn't sound so fun.
And trying to get in all those grooves and joints and what not, well, it just wasn't going to happen lol
So for the base of the table, I used the walnut stain. Simple. Got the hubs to sand the legs a little. Then just one coat of stain and sealer and done.
Table Finishes
I think the contrast from the top really works well, and it pulls out those darker hues. When staining, make sure you work it in really well on the edges of the wood to pull that distressed and very used look. You can kind of see that in the picture above and below.
DIY Farmhouse Table

You can find the plans on how to make this farmhouse table by clicking here.

Until next time! Have a great Halloween and keep safe!

Also, before you start, it is always a good idea to test this on a scrap piece of the same type of wood you are finishing. You may have to tweak this technique depending on the wood you use. It's better to get your technique and look down on small scale before you go large scale :) 

Here's another great way to "weather" wood, no sanding required :) Just a little different technique!