How to age pine wood to add patina

Written by angie oney | 13/05/2017
How to age pine wood to add patina
Pine furniture can be refinished to add patina. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Give a room character by using a pine table, desk or chair with a patina finish. Artisans and furniture lovers often refinish pine furniture to make it look as though it has been aged and used. The soft texture of the wood requires special care to ensure a consistent stain, but you can achieve a unique finish on new or old pine furniture at home.

Sand down the entire piece starting with 100-grit sandpaper.If needed, repeat the process with the 150-grit sandpaper and then again with the 180-grit sandpaper.

Distress the wood. Use a link chain to distress the wood by swinging the chain at the piece to create a worn look. Avoid hitting the wood in a pattern in order to keep the look natural.

Build a mallet to create the look of worm holes. Using the 24-inch long piece of 1-by-2, drill five or six pilot holes with your drill on one end of the wood. Drill drywall screws through the pilot holes. Distress the wood by hitting it randomly with the mallet. Hit gently at first until you are comfortable with the softness of the pine; mark just the surface of the wood.

Distress the edge of the wood with a coarse wood file. Do this on the wood where it would naturally occur.

Coat the wood with a caustic soda mixture. Mix one part household drain opener with one part water. Brush the caustic solution on the furniture. Initially the wood will turn yellow, but it will turn grey as it dries. This step allows the pine to take the stain evenly.

Finish the piece by either staining it or applying a furniture wax.


Sand the wood evenly. An even finish will help the wood absorb stain consistently.


Wear chemical gloves and safety goggles.

Tips and warnings

  • Sand the wood evenly. An even finish will help the wood absorb stain consistently.
  • Wear chemical gloves and safety goggles.

Things you need

  • 100 grit sand paper
  • 150 grit sand paper
  • 180 grit sand paper
  • Link chain
  • Drill
  • Piece of wood, 1-by-2, 24 inches long
  • Drywall screws
  • Coarse wood file
  • Chemical gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Bucket
  • Household drain opener
  • Paint brush
  • Wood stain or wood wax

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