How to Age the Surface Texture of New Pine Wood

Updated February 21, 2017

Pine is one of the most common woods used in wood working. It has a light golden colour and bold grain that work well in western and rustic themed projects. Since pine is such a light coloured wood, it is simple to age the appearance considerably with a special chemical solution made from ingredients you may already have in your pantry. Use common household tools to complete the effect, creating a rustic look that will be hard to tell from a genuine antique.

Pour one cup of white vinegar into a glass jar with a screw on lid. Cut a piece of steel wool in half with scissors, or tear it in two. Drop one half of the steel wool into the vinegar and put the lid on the jar, turning it clockwise to lock in any fumes. Set the jar in a warm dark place overnight.

Lay the pine lumber out on a sturdy, level work surface with the side that will be seen turned up. Beat the board with light blows from a medium sized ball peen hammer. Space the blows randomly along the surface, using the rounded side of the hammer's face.

Whip the board with a heavy chain. Drag it along the length of the board, being careful not to break the edges, which will cause splintering. Use strokes from left and right to create an uneven pattern of wear. Start from one end and work to the other, then repeat, working in the opposite direction.

Heat up a soldering iron, or wood burning tool with a flat tip installed. Jab the hot iron into the face of the board, dragging and tipping slowly to create small burn marks. Add more burns across the surface randomly.

Sand the board gently with 80-grit sandpaper to round the edges and remove any splinters you may have broken off with the hammer and chain.

Open the jar, with the lid facing away from you. Put on rubber gloves and retrieve the steel wool from the now rusty grey vinegar solution. Apply the solution liberally to the lumber's surface with the steel wool, working it into any divots created by the hammer and chain process. Allow the lumber to sit for several hours.

Reapply the solution to the now greying surface to weather it as much as desired. Allow the surface to dry completely before using the boards. Apply the vinegar and steel wool solution to any cut ends in the finished project, to grey them to match the face of the boards.

Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Steel wood
  • Glass jar with lid
  • Ball peen hammer
  • Heavy chain
  • Wood burner
  • Sandpaper
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About the Author

Mark Morris started writing professionally in 1995. He has published a novel and stage plays with SEEDS studio. Morris specializes in many topics and has 15 years of professional carpentry experience. He is a voice, acting and film teacher. He also teaches stage craft and lectures on playwriting for Oklahoma Christian University.