How To: Age wood

Age wood

For furniture or wood projects, adding an aged wood look can give real character and interest to an otherwise ordinary object. With a little sanding, stain and lacquer to finish you can transform any wood object.

It's easy to age wood with common household items.

You Will Need

* A solid piece of quality wood
* A chain, a rock, or keys
* Sandpaper
* Paintbrushes
* Strong, cold coffee or tea
* Dirt or coffee grounds
* Wood stain
* Lacquer
* Lye (optional)
* Safety gear (optional)

Lye is a hazardous chemical. Never mix lye with aluminum. Wear safety glasses, chemical-resistant gloves, and a vapor-resistant mask when using lye.

Step 1: Distress the wood

Distress the wood by beating the surface with a chain, rock, keys, or other implement that will scar the surface.

Lye will also change wood's color, texture, and appearance, but is caustic and can cause chemical burns.

Step 2: Sand wood

Sand the wood lightly to smooth any rough spots.

Step 3: Brush on coffee or tea

Brush on coffee or tea with a paintbrush to add a patina to the wood surface. Aged wood typically has dark spots from handling and air exposure.

Step 4: Rub in dirt or coffee grounds

Rub dirt or coffee grounds into the wood surface once it has dried completely. This further accentuates the distressed areas in the wood.

Step 5: Brush on stain

Brush on wood stain with a clean paintbrush.

Step 6: Brush on lacquer

Apply a coat of lacquer using a clean paintbrush after allowing stain to dry completely. The lacquer seals the wood and gives a finished look.

Did you know? In 2008, Scientists in Sweden identified a 9,500-year-old spruce as the world's oldest living tree.

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