If you love farmhouse and rustic, you’re probably also wanting the best stain for weathered wood look too! Those things go together like peas in a pod right? Learn how to give wood a weathered look right here, right now!
Learn more about refinishing furniture here.
Have you ever tried to get that barn wood look on new wood and the color just looked fake? Or have you looked at the price of faux weathered wood?? It’s expensive!
So why not DIY weathered wood yourself. Here’s how!
Learn how to create a weathered wood finish by painting instead of staining here. Because sometimes you aren’t starting with raw wood, or wood that can even be stained. Paint it instead!
The Best Stain for Weathered Wood Look
I have tried a few products hoping to get the perfect barn wood finish. But they all seem to just look fake. Nothing has worked for me until I finally tried this DIY weathered wood stain.
If you like painting or refinishing, you most likely already have these two ingredients in your home!
DIY Weathered Wood Stain
Have you ever heard of homemade stain?
It’s a simple recipe with vinegar and steel wool that turns wood different shades, just like a stain. But without the strong chemical smells or the price tag.
I mean sure, a quart of Minwax stain is less than $10, but what if you could make the same amount of stain for less than $5?
Plus there are no VOC’s and it’s eco-friendly! AND it looks more authentic. What more could you ask for?
First things first, if you want it to really look like weathered wood, you will want to recreate the dings, scratches, and gouges that you see in real weathered wood!
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How to Make Weathered Wood
Keep in mind that this should be done before you apply any stain. So after you mix up your stain, grab some of these tools and start making weathered wood!
Here are a few ideas on how to make weathered wood from new wood:
- Take your hammer to the wood and get your frustrations out.
- Lay some screws and nails on the wood and hit them a few times randomly on the wood.
- You can drop a heavy metal chain on your wood to create dents in the wood.
- Or scratch up the surface with a screwdriver!
- You can use a chisel to take some wood from the edges as well.
- And even drop rough rocks on the wood.
If you really want to look crazy, you can drag your wood down the road and back to create a lot of scratches and gouges. Yeah, I’ve definitely done this a few times. haha!
Once you have it scratched up to your liking, you can sand it down a bit with 220 grit sandpaper and then stain it.
Supplies Used for DIY Weathered Wood Stain
- Steel Wool (0000)
- Mason Jar with Lid (I used a pint)
- Wood Project (I used common pine)
- Cheap Paint Brush
How to Make DIY Weathered Wood Stain
Pour your distilled white vinegar into the jar, making sure to cover the steel wool completely.
Grab the lid to the jar and LOOSELY screw on the lid. You don’t want to screw it on tightly because of the chemical reaction taking place inside of the jar.
Now the hardest part – let it sit for 15-24 hours. The longer it sits the darker the stain will get. I did this before bed one night so I could easily be patient.
Remove the steel wood pad from the vinegar. Don’t throw it away until you have tested the stain and know that it is the right shade for you.
If you want it darker, place the steel wool back into the vinegar and wait a few more hours. Keep repeating this process until it is just right.
Once you know it is just right you can dispose of the steel wool.
**Just a reminder – before applying the stain to all of your wood, test it out on a scrap piece of the same type of wood.
Apply your new stain just like you would any other stain, except you don’t have to wipe it off. Simply dip your brush into the stain and brush it on.
It will look clear and it may look like it didn’t work. Don’t worry! The stain has to react to the wood, this usually takes about 15 minutes to complete.
Let it dry completely and then add more coats if desired. That’s all there is to it! I found it fun to see what different shades I could get by trying the stain at different stages.
That’s all there is to it! I found it fun to see what different shades I could get by trying the stain at different stages.
Once I found a shade that I liked I poured some of the stain into a new jar (without any steel wool) and kept the rest of the vinegar with the steel wool to see what new shade I could get in a few hours.
There are many other recipes out there just like this. They use the same principle, vinegar and some form of metal to produce different colors of stain.
Try using balsamic vinegar or red cider vinegar instead of distilled white vinegar and rusty nails instead of steel wool to get different colors!
It really does give the appearance of the popular barn wood finish!
I love to hear from you! Let me know if you’re going to try it or if you already have! I can’t wait to hear from you!
- Put a pad of steel wool into an empty mason jar.
- Pour distilled white vinegar into the jar and make sure to cover the steel wool completely.
- Cover the jar with its lid but just loosely screw it on.
- Let it sit for 15-24 hours. The longer it sits the darker the stain will get.
- Afterward, test the stain to see if it's the shade you want. Get some gloves and remove the steel wool from the mason jar filled with vinegar. Don't throw the steel wool away just yet.
- Brush the stain onto wood to test. Let the stain react to wood, around 15 minutes. Let it dry completely and then add more coats if desired.
- If you still want the stain to be darker, place the steel wool back into the vinegar and wait a few more hours. Keep repeating this process until it is just right. You can dispose of the steel wool once you decide on a shade.
- If you finally have a stain shade you like, you can now stain your furniture for that weathered wood look!
More Weathered Wood Ideas
- White Painted Coffee Table with a Weathered Wood Painted Top
- Refinishing an Old Dresser
- How to Whitewash Wood to Create a Natural Raw Wood Finish
- Weathered French Provincial Nightstands Makeover
- How to Bleach Wood Furniture
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