Needing to age a wooden fence

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Forum topic by baby86bear posted 01-13-2012 09:24 PM 7842 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 1427 days

01-13-2012 09:24 PM

Hello my fellow lumberjocks. I have been asked to replace some old fence board around my aunts house. The fence that is up now has that nice weathered look.

She has asked if i could make the new look like the old that I am leaving up. I was told my a friend that all I need to do is mix one box of baking soda in a spray container with hot water till dissolved and spray the boards.

i have never heard of that??? Please give me advice and i will try them all. and reply with the results.


16 replies so far

View JNP's profile


106 posts in 1670 days

#1 posted 01-13-2012 09:46 PM

I’m looking for photos but we torched a fence to “age” it. Used one of the large propane torches used to melt ice and apply roofing. Got it at Harbor Freight

-- Jeff

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3572 posts in 1579 days

#2 posted 01-13-2012 10:00 PM

Build a box large enough to hold your fence boards, use a jar of ammonia with some steel wool submerged in it. IT should take about 12 to 24 hours to age the wood.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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106 posts in 1670 days

#3 posted 01-13-2012 11:02 PM

Here are some pics…if you want to apply any stain, do it before burning. The heavy black will wear off or can be scraped.

-- Jeff

View Viking's profile


858 posts in 2287 days

#4 posted 01-13-2012 11:24 PM

I have used a method similar to this before with good result;

1. Shred a piece of steel wool and place the pieces in a jar.

2. Cover the steel wool shreds with white vinegar. Tighten the lid on the jar and leave the steel wool to break down in the vinegar for one or two days.

3. Bring some water to a boil in a saucepan. Pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the hot water into a second glass jar. Drop a tea bag into the water. Use a plain, dark type of tea. Place the lid on the jar and allow the tea to steep until the water becomes dark.

4. Paint the wood with the tea, allowing the tea to thoroughly soak into the wood. Leave the wood to dry.

5. Paint the wood with a generous amount of the solution of vinegar and steel wool. Wait for the wood to turn a deep grey color

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View FenceWorkshop's profile


269 posts in 2216 days

#5 posted 01-16-2012 08:15 PM

View baby86bear's profile


15 posts in 1427 days

#6 posted 01-25-2012 08:08 PM

thanks to everyone for all the great comments. I mixed up baking soda and hot water and sprayed the fence with pump sprayer. looks ok. but, i am going to let nature do the job.

View nikar's profile


5 posts in 846 days

#7 posted 08-07-2013 12:03 PM

Hi everyone I am new here and was just wondering if I can get some more info about the torched fence that JNP posted pics of. I am wanting to possibly try this tecnique to a privacy fence we just are putting up. Thanks for the help!

View CharlesNeil's profile


1308 posts in 2963 days

#8 posted 08-07-2013 12:54 PM

What is the wood, chemical aging works well, but it depends on the species which technique to use.

View nikar's profile


5 posts in 846 days

#9 posted 08-07-2013 01:09 PM

The fence wood is pressure treated….pine i guess?? I am looking for something that looks a bit different than what everyone else has and something that doesnt have to be done every few yrs. I will probably just let it age naturally if the only treatment i can find has regular upkeep. Thanks!

View HorizontalMike's profile


6981 posts in 2006 days

#10 posted 08-07-2013 01:27 PM

I used a 10% solution of nitric acid (very weak, but use loves anyway) to age the Ponderosa Pine inside of my narrow Amish Cabinet. It goes on like water and colors in about 24hr. Turns gray with occasional flecks. No streaking and it did not matter how much you used, it all comes out uniform. Just my 2-cents worth…


-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View nikar's profile


5 posts in 846 days

#11 posted 08-07-2013 02:18 PM

That looks very nice! Thanks for your 2-cents!!!

View distrbd's profile


1833 posts in 1539 days

#12 posted 08-07-2013 06:17 PM

If you like greyish “weathered” look,Minwax stain is not a bad choice:
MINWAX 271 Classic Gray(for “weathered look”)

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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10263 posts in 949 days

#13 posted 08-07-2013 07:35 PM

Probably whatever artificial method you use will just make those new boards look different from the naturally aged wood which defeats the purpose. The only thing that ages like the weather is the weather.

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

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Steve Peterson

294 posts in 2174 days

#14 posted 08-07-2013 09:45 PM

Look at any existing fence with automatic watering. The portion that gets hit by the sprinklers is usually much more weathered than the top of the fence. The repeated wetting and drying will rapidly age the wood.

You should be able to speed up the aging process with a sprinkler that wets the boards every hour or two every for about a month. I think that anything else that you do will only match the color for a short amount of time.

Another option is to steal a few already weathered boards from the back fence to put into the front fence. Then put the new boards in the back where less people will see them.

-- Steve

View nikar's profile


5 posts in 846 days

#15 posted 08-07-2013 10:58 PM

Thanks everyone for your ideas!! I appreciate it!!

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