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DIY: Age Unfinished Wood

DIY: Age Unfinished Wood
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When workers remodeled the kitchen of our town hall several years ago, they tossed out an old unfinished kitchen chair with one missing leg. I brought it home, thinking I might fix it. The chair sat untouched for so long that I finally decided to throw it away. But an auctioneer friend said that he’d buy the chair if I fixed the leg. Naturally, I couldn’t resist the offer.

It was not difficult to turn a new pine leg on my lathe. The challenge came when I tried to match the finish of the new leg to the chair. “Aging” new wood is the hardest finishing job there is, so instead of working with commercial stains, I tried an old trick I know to age unfinished wood.

Materials to Age Unfinished Wood

  • Wood Ashes
  • Water
  • Can
  • Paint Brush

Directions to Age Unfinished Wood

  1. Mix some wood ashes into a small can of water to make a stain—just enough ashes to give the water some thickness, but not enough to make a paste.
  2. Apply the stain to the the unfinished wood with a paint brush.
  3. After stain dries completely, add another coat in areas where the color was still too light.
  4. Where the stain is too dark, sand lightly.
  5. Repeat steps four and five until your wood has a uniform, aged look.

The new wood absorbed my homemade stain the way it would any other. In the end, you couldn’t tell the new leg from the old ones. This works on all types of furniture, and you might find this trick useful if you ever have to stain new wood to match aged, unfinished wood. And it’s not just for repairs — it also a great way to add vintage charm to new furniture.

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