Register now to get rid of these ads!

How would I go about giving wood and "aged" look?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Frank, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. Frank
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 2,321


    I had been kicking around the idea of using some old wood rescued from my great grandparents old homestead to use on the sides of my bed. There are several nice straight planks laying in a old chicken coupe. The wood is perfect the way it looks all gray right now. As soon as I cut it, there will be those fresh bright ends.

    While the rpu isn't completely traditional, I have several elements I am using that were my Dad's, granddad's on both sides as well as other men in our family. One example are the motor mounts made from pieces of old T frame rail that once made up rafters in an old shed my Grandpa had built.

    Aside from just letting time take its course, is there a way to speed up the process to make the ends of the wood look like it was cut long ago? I didn't really like the idea of painting it gray. You can only hide so much with careful planning and placement.
  2. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 5,934


    I've used graphite on the fresh cut ends of old barn wood. You might try on a piece of scrap to see if it's what you want.
  3. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,571

    from Zoar, Ohio

    I hope this turns into an interesting thread.
    I have dealt with antiques for many years and lately even i have seen pieces that are imported that have fooled me.
    The only reason i was alerted of this was because i began to see other pieces with similar techniques.
    If your serious about wanting old looking pieces consider using old barn planking. Replicate the end cuts and color to match.
    Last month I stayed at a restored Bed and breakfast home that was 150 years old. The flooring looked beautiful and older than dirt.
    I asked if they re-finished it and they told me they installed it.
    Here i find out they are sell old planking with the worm holes and all the defects from age and they slightly re-plane them and sell them for these applications.
    There are alot of women and men who are into country crafts that replicate these looks very well. It wouldn't fool a professional but it has a generalize old look from a distance.
    Kinda like $100,000 patina'd plastic rods.
  4. 29 sedanman
    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 2,282

    29 sedanman
    from Indy

    Also if you roughen the edges with a course wood rasp it may also let the Graphite or any thing else soak into to give it the aged look a little easier. The uneven edges will look more real giving contrasting shades of the grain once stained as aposed to the nice even smooth cuts of fresh cut wood.

  5. if the woods soft enough, you can run your blade backwards on your saw..that will scorcth the wood..or just use a lil torch...or just stain it...
  6. ThePress
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 56


    There are many 'recipes' for making wood age, but each recipe depends on the kind of wood used.

    Brand new Oak planks can be aged to a dark gray if a plank is put in a sealed compartment (usually a tarp taped up into a big bag) and a bucket of chemicals is put in the 'bag' with it.....I can't recall the recipe right now, but I remember there was a liquid in the bucket in which you would dump old rusty nails, chain, or any rusted scraps.....The chemical reaction of the rust and the liquid would emit a gas that will discolor the oak.

    Bleach works on some soft woods (pine, etc.) but again, I would have to find my old book to get the recipe.....Maybe do an Internet search
  7. Frank
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 2,321


    Yeah, Petejoe, these would be genuine barn planks already. I just figure the new cuts would stick out like a sore thumb.

    An idea I just had when ThePress mentioned rusty nails...after having done some electolysis rust removal on some parts recently, there is this blackish looking muck in the bottom of the bucket that stains pretty much anything. I think I'll do some experimenting and post the results.
  8. rebstew187
    Joined: Jan 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,476


    I've done this doesn't work perfect but real close.after cutting the end I used a propane torch. the fire gives it that aged look and get rid of the bright colored wood,be easy on it just in some spots not all over it,use some sandpaper to work some of it out.they sell colored stains now depending on the color of the aged wood you will need to get a few small can of different colors and mix up close to what you have on the wood already.after the stain dries go back over it again with the torch and sand carful with the stain you may have to reduce it down in order to not get too much color on the wood.I did this in my old house on a mantel over a turn out pretty good i will need to do alot of practice pieces before you do the big one though.just to get the hang of it
  9. rebstew187
    Joined: Jan 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,476


    not sure but that sound like sulfuric acid.I used to get that stuff from BRO cleaners out of could put it in a spray bottle and shoot it on rusty chrome or what ever and watch the rust roll off it with out scrubbing.only could use the spray bottle once it would eat the spring out of it within a few hours.great on aluminun rims too but thats for another post.
  10. 47bob
    Joined: Oct 28, 2005
    Posts: 625


    Try ammonia for aging the fresh cuts. I've seen it done on oak. ....Bob
  11. LOWCAB
    Joined: Aug 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,989

    from Houston

    My Dad used to do these crafty things at times and I remember seeing him lightly sandblast the edges of the wood where it had been cut to match the weathered surface of the wood. The grain was a harder material than the softer, lighter wood and so the softer wood eroded away more than the grain. It takes a light touch with softer wood verses the hardwoods. (On wood like pine he just used a wire brush). After that he took ash from the bar-b-que and dusted it on the ends of the wood and worked it into the wood using a bristle brush. I'm sure it takes a certain eye to do.
    You can try this on a spare experimental piece of wood. I would try any method on a spare piece first.
    Hope this helps.

  12. One thought is that you can cut 45 degree angles on the corners and that will put the fresh cuts edges together and hide them. Won't work in some applications but will in others like picture frames.
    For instance if you were to put vertical pieces at the end of your long horizontal pieces on your truck stake sides that would work.
    Just a thought to keep in mind.
    Joined: Nov 6, 2002
    Posts: 3,412


    I've gotten interesting results out of Thompsons water sealer mixed with used motor oil and a tad of black rustoleum paint.

    ....hey! I was trying stuff out....what can I say? :D

    I painted a set of steps with that stuff. They're made of treated lumber. That green looking Lowes lumber thats wet when you pick it up. Nothing looks newer...or crappier.

    Anyhow, I painted it with my mixture and it looks ancient now. It looked real dark at first but after a few weeks, it mellowed out and looks real old.

    I'd suggest something similar....something that soaks in.
  14. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    from Falcon, CO

    Left untreated and outdoors, it won't take all that long to dry out.
    ' coupla months at best.
  15. old beet
    Joined: Sep 25, 2002
    Posts: 5,750

    old beet

    Ask my wife!.........OLDBEET
  16. TORR
    Joined: Dec 17, 2002
    Posts: 298

    Member Emeritus
    from BOSTON, MA

    Propane or Oxy Acet. Torch, then a heavy duty wire brush, burn and comb to desired look. looks amazing on large old pieces.
  17. Amonia fumes turn White Oak a golden brown.
    Commonly used on Craftsman furniture.

    Mixing rusty nails,steel wool,etc into Vinegar creates a black
    stain on woods that contain Tannin,like Oak and Walnut.

    George Frank refers to a chemical that turns wood grey,
    in one of his books.Probably some nasty shit.
  18. abonecoupe31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2005
    Posts: 696

    from Michigan

    go to the Hardware store and get some Bleaching gives new wood the aged appearance of old wood.....paint it on and you've got it....

    or leave it out in the weather for 3 years and it'll look like my 28 Model A Ford woodie....just like it rolled out of the barn....
  19. junkman104
    Joined: Mar 10, 2005
    Posts: 163


    It was just a matter of time..............
  20. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,571

    from Zoar, Ohio

    Old Beet ! You fart..that went right over my head.
    you dirty old man.
  21. Flatulus Antiquitus
    Joined: Aug 13, 2006
    Posts: 27

    Flatulus Antiquitus
    from SoCal

    You don't want to use bleach, it will make the wood lighter in color.

    Here's a link on how to darken with ammonia:

    Test it first, it may not give the gray color you want.

    Here's a link on coloring wood:
    Look for the section on Ebonizing, this should be closer to the color you want, and it describes the 'nails in a bucket' trick that ThePress mentioned.

    Watch out for dyes and stains, some of them change color over time, especially when exposed to the sun. You wanna drive your RPU in the daytime, dontcha?

    And I second hotrod1940's idea to plan your joints ahead of time so that the fresh cut ends aren't exposed. Talk to a woodworker, or look in the library for info on basic woodworking & cabnetry joints.

  22. NVRA #84
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 361

    NVRA #84

    Try an old folks home. some of them granny's love to look at a good wood.:D Sorry mind was in the gutter the second I read the title.
  23. Ah, so searching the threads BEFORE creating a new one DOES help!!! :)

    I'm creating a "barn find" 49 Dodge flatbed truck and although I did use very authentic looking rough cut planks and "real 2 inch by 4 inch" 2x4's from the same sawmill for the bed, the planking that I bought for the decking still looks way too clean and new. My problem is that the truck is really close to being on the road again and the show that I want to debut the truck at is less than 2 weeks away! Will these recipes (I like the Thompsons / used motor oil / Rustoleum recipe myself!) work in a short amount of time?

    I've also had trouble finding hardware that WILL rust and that'll look like it's been there for a while, but that's another thread... (Some people are never happy! :D )
  24. DJR13
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 116

    from Venice, Ca

    I say just cut it and roll with it! I'm sure it will look just as cool. Keep it organic. Making it "look" old just seems to be trying a bit too hard. (Please don't take any offense to that comment – None intended.) Just my opinion. Good luck!
  25. R Frederick
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 2,660

    R Frederick
    from illinois

    That would be like the "faux patina" on steel. I agree, if it's old barn wood - it should be dry throughout.
  26. Try Chlorine Bleach, on a test piece.
  27. Slick Willy
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 3,011

    Slick Willy

    Make a pot of coffee...have a cup yourself...dump the rest on the boards and spread it out for coverage( dont make it even, just cover)...take the rustiest chain you got and dunk it in a bucket of water,...then go to town and beat the snot out of the boards with the wet chain...once youre tired finish your cup of take the grounds and rub them into the wood...let everything dry then blow or sweep off!
    not only is this fun but when it rains or is humid your truck smells good!!:D
  28. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,664


    Brand new pressure treated pine.

    Burned the soft grain with a propane torch.

    One coat of a very dark stain.



    Attached Files:

    • wood.jpg
      File size:
      39.1 KB
  29. 4t7flat
    Joined: Apr 15, 2009
    Posts: 266


    Sand blasting can add 100 years to a board in a few minutes. I have a piece of a board from an old outhouse found in the desert. The grain stands out a full 1/4". I can duplicate that grain with sand blasting,and waterbased wood tint.
  30. Francisco Plumbero
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,536

    Francisco Plumbero
    from il.

    All good ideas, it really depends upon the species which one you choose to use. There will be one annoying problem by trying to apply any technique to just the board ends, if you stain them or seal them they will age different than the rest of the board. The main thing that gives the wood it's coloration is going to be oxidation, the wood in a sense rusts, the thing you want to do is cut the rusted wood, you will expose the ends which have not rusted yet. In order to get a perfect match the best thing to do would be to let the end cuts rust or oxidize naturally, it would take some time, maybe six months to a year. If you want to hasten the process of rusting / aging the wood you can use some of the same technique as done to metal. A very fine mist of brine to the fresh ends, just enough to moisten slightly, a very fine mist of true ammonia, any ability to expose the wood to any type of strong sunlight will speed up the process. The only problem you may encounter using catalysts to hasten the process is a lack of uniformity, this is what will happen if you use a stain or sealant as well. If the wood is Oak Cherry or Walnut just cut it and leave it on the truck in the shop all winter, the moisture will activate the natural tannic acids in the wood and by spring time you should start to look real good. If you want to learn more about processes to age or patinate woods go to your local WoodCraft store or visit them online, may have to google search. Have fun.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.