Making oak look old

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Forum topic by RichGreer2r posted 04-23-2016 09:32 PM 671 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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48 posts in 1057 days

04-23-2016 09:32 PM

Many years ago I built a old style flower cart with white oak. I put no finish on it and we left it outside. The oak aged just like I wanted it to. Now it has aged too much. Several boards are bowed badly and one board is rotting. I want to replace the bad boards. Does anyone have a trick to make these new boards look old?

-- Rich in Cedar Rapids, IA

2 replies so far

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2200 days

#1 posted 04-24-2016 12:06 AM

Put some 0000 steel wool or iron dust/filings in vinegar and stir it every day or so for two weeks. This very black mixture can help new oak look a little like weathered wood by chemically reacting with the tannin in the wood to darken it. You can wipe it on, let it sit, and try a little less or more and also sand it back a bit. It’s kind of an art form.

The only real way to make the boards look old quicker than leaving them outside is to buy some powerful UV lights and put them over the boards for a while. Probably not worth it in this case.

View RichGreer2r's profile


48 posts in 1057 days

#2 posted 04-24-2016 12:12 AM

Thank you, Tim. That sounds promising. I’ll probably try it out on some scrap material first.

-- Rich in Cedar Rapids, IA

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