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Distressing/Aging Maple

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Forum topic by Dustin posted 03-13-2018 12:24 AM 399 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dustin

596 posts in 940 days


03-13-2018 12:24 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question maple finishing rustic

Well, I finally have another reason to go out in my shop. Some friends of mine just remodeled their kitchen, and have a roughly 5ft wide space which I’m building a shallow buffet table for. The base and drawer fronts will be painted poplar, with the drawer boxes and top being made out of maple. I plan to spray on the top coat, likely something durable like lacquer to protect it from the UNintentional damage that comes after it leaves my shop.

For the top, I’m wanting to get a little more of distressed/aged look to the maple, both to darken it and give it some wear marks/faux worm holes. I’ve been doing some research this afternoon, and found a couple of things:

1) For color, the baking soda method. This works better in woods with more tannins, but does serve to darken maple a little bit. I’d love to have that dingy yellow/gold look of a vintage Stratocaster neck, but even the luthier forums really only recommended aging it and/or chain smoking around it, and I just quit :p

2) For distress: just wail on it. Found some flooring guys doing distressed installs having all sorts of fun beating the snot our of the hardwood floors. Random awl punches, smacking it with pipes, hitting it with chains; the usual Greaser/Socia rumble.

For anyone out there who’s made new furniture to immediately antique, what are some of your favorite methods?

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."


5 replies so far

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jbay

2872 posts in 1099 days


#1 posted 03-13-2018 12:42 AM

There are many different levels and looks for distressing.
I’ve never been one for just beat the crap out of it with everything.

One job I did, I made a club that had nails and screws sticking out everywhere and used it to beat it with,
but it mainly just put a bunch of holes and scratches, so I quit using it.

Now I take a more calculated approach.
I still use many different objects to make the marks but I go slow and decide where to put the marks so that it doesn’t look so deliberate.
Tools I use include box knife to take out small scoops, awl to poke small holes, saw blade to make multiple scratch marks, ratchet handle with the hatch marks, and basically anything else that makes marks so that all the marks are not the same.
The best part about it is there are “No Rules”

Here is an example of one job I did.

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Dustin

596 posts in 940 days


#2 posted 03-13-2018 12:54 AM

Jbay,

That looks great and is exactly the kind of thing I’m going for! I’m curious if you used any sort of glaze on it, as the scratches and other marks look decidedly darker than the surrounding wood, or is that just going to be a byproduct of the light hitting it differently?

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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jbay

2872 posts in 1099 days


#3 posted 03-13-2018 01:05 AM

No glaze, just the stain soaking in more in the dents.
Alder is a lot softer than maple so you may need to experiment on how dark the dents get.
There may not be enough contrast, if thats what your looking for.

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Dustin

596 posts in 940 days


#4 posted 03-13-2018 01:07 AM



No glaze, just the stain soaking in more in the dents.
Alder is a lot softer than maple so you may need to experiment on how dark the dents get.
There may not be enough contrast, if thats what your looking for.

- jbay

Yup, sounds like I’m going to be making some noise playing around with this one. Good thing I’ve got plenty of scraps ready!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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BoardButcherer

144 posts in 294 days


#5 posted 03-13-2018 02:37 PM

If you’re looking for a dingy yellow why not smoke/roast it?

Treat it like a ham. Cigarrette smoke isn’t the only smoke that ages wood.

I’d experiment a bit to see what works best for the color you’re looking for though. You might be better off using grass trimmings or dry oak leaves. If you find something that looks good this probably won’t be the last time you use the technique.

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