Aging New Wood? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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Default Aging New Wood?

Anyone have success with aging new wood (cedar) to look old/weathered?

Going to try the black tea followed by rusty vinegar solution method here:

Forcibly Aging Wood

Don't know how it reacts with spray ink letters, or poly top coat, but will test first.

Or any other suggestions?

Thx in advance,
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 07:19 AM
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lime wash and baking are other methods...
distressing the wood will add a lot of character...

Wiki has some good tips... 4 Ways to Age Wood - wikiHow

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2015, 09:13 AM
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Ron..........I've only tried it on the fresh cut ends of some barn wood that I made a picture frame from that was old red oak. For that application, I found that tea or coffee gave the wood too much of a golden hue, so I went back to just steel wool and vinegar. It worked pretty well.

Be sure to remember that the vinegar mixture gets really strong FAST. I found that any that had been mixed for a week or more produced more of a gray painted effect than of aging. So from now on, I'm going to make a small batch a day or two before I'm going to use it. Then make a new batch when the need arises. Also, remove the steel wool after a day or so to slow down the darkening process. Jim
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2015, 10:20 AM
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I used vinegar and steel wool. Soak the steel wool in vinegar solution for a couple days and then paint onto the surface.

May the grain be ever in your favor.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2015, 10:30 AM
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Ron, let us know how it works out with the spray ink and clear coat. I have a couple of projects I want to do that I was thinking about doing just that. Pictures would be even better.

Papa Bob
Using a couple of old Craftsman routers & a Bosch 1617EVSPK & a Dewalt DWP611PK Routers in SW Louisiana.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2015, 10:36 PM
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I used vinegar and 00 steel wool to make a solution to age cedar for some table numbers I made for my son's wedding reception. The first solution was too dark. I just kept adding vinegar until I got the shade I wanted. They were very happy with the rustic look I achieved.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2015, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Sign is going on an old platform scale barn discovered on property and restored (used for weighing livestock/produce) research shows the history of Gen. Jones, civil war general who established his scale works back in 1866...

Thought the barn was worthy of some signage (my first attempt), and wanted to age the background to go with the barn siding/vintage look, etc. (btw, that font is a PITA to route with all the serifs).

The stain test piece was done by using black tea followed by vinegar/rusty nail mix aged for one day. You can see the results beside a scrap piece of barn wood in the second pic. Pretty pleased with the result.

Still want to test it over a spray ink on cedar scrap and poly or spar varnish over it...will post the final result, but I expect it will be fine.

Critique on the sign is welcome, still learning!

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Last edited by rpludwig; 06-29-2015 at 10:37 AM.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2015, 10:28 PM
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1st post here.

I age my wood by spraying it with spray on oven cleaner (aka lye soap). I use the Carbon brand from Wally world that comes in a plastic spray bottle but any brand should work. Spray it on the wood then after a certain amount of time rub white vinegar on it to neutralized it. The time will need to be determined by doing a test piece. Be sure and do a test piece as leaving it on to long will turn it black. Test time can range from 3 - 30 minutes depending on how dark you want it and the type of wood being used. This is the best way I've found to give it a truly 100 year old weathered look in less then 10 mins. Basically it causes the woods natural tannins to react and age similar to the way it would if it was being exposed to nature, just at a much faster pace. Once neutralized and dried it should be safe to paint, stain, finish, ext... Good luck!

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2015, 10:41 PM
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Welcome to the forum Jon. That`s similar in principle to the way oak was aged about 100 years ago. They used ammonia fumes to react with the tannins. Ammonia is also alkaline like lye.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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