How to Age Wood


I have a little tutorial to share with you today.

Last week I went thrifting almost every day. I was hunting for vintage chairs for my dining table. At one thrift store, that carries mostly clothes, I saw this console table hiding under a clothes rack with a lot of stuff on top of it. The price tag said $65. I asked the lady working there when it was going 75% off and it just so happened that it was the very next day.

I set my alarm so I could be there first thing in the morning. I made it! I grabbed the price tag and took it up to pay. You won’t even believe how much it really was….

ONE DOLLAR!!!! Crazy lucky for me. All sale items were $1 that day. What a steal!

The console is all wood in a blonde color. I started to refinish it by stripping the finish. The turned legs would be a lot to sand so I decided to bring in the heavy chemicals to help.

After I let the stripper eat away the stain I didn’t scrape it but I pressure washed it. It’s the easiest way to get all the old goo off.

Once the table was rinsed off I used a hammer, flat head screw driver and needle nose plyers to rough it all up. I made bird peck marks, scratches and divots around the edges and corners.

My goal was to make this piece look very old and worn. I sanded the whole thing quickly to get rid of loose slivered pieces and to smooth out my “on purpose damage”.

Let me explain my technique here but you can watch the 5 minute video at the bottom of this post to see exactly how I did it.

With dark walnut stain I took a small paint brush and filled in the divots. While wet I used clear wax to move the stain around. What happens is the dark stain stays in the imperfections and the wax helps to fade it out. I did one small area at a time.

See how the divot is darker? It makes the wood look old and worn.

I added some stain around corners too. For the larger flat surfaces like the shelf and top I did clear wax first so the raw wood wouldn’t absorb the deep color so much.

After the whole piece was clear waxed I then took a white wax and applied that in various places to create more versatile wood colors avoiding the dark divots. The white wax makes some of the wood grain a bit gray, which is a good thing because as wood weathers naturally it goes gray.

Once I got the wax how I thought it looked right I took a 180 grit sand paper and went over the corners and edges to bring the original wood color through. It warmed it up a lot.

And there she is! My $1 console table looking very old but beautiful.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a different but easy way to create old looking wood.

Be sure to catch the video below to watch the whole process.

Thanks for being here!

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Nana Diana

Nice job, Holly. It is funny-when I was a young bride the focus was on taking aged wood and stripping it and renewing it so it looked like new. Love how things change over the years! xo Diana