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barn wood finishing

I would appreciate some detailed instructions from someone that has had some experience, in making newer wood look like old barn wood. Thank you.:)

J Roper
Re: barn wood finishing

I made a display for a Home and Garden Show recently where I wanted to show an example of a deck that was aged compared to a deck that had been cleaned and sealed with Rhino Shield Clear Acrylic Sealant. I needed to make part of the display to look old and weathered and the other side to look clean and protected with the sealant.
To make the old weathered look on new preasure treated deck flooring, I memicked nature by getting dirt and dead leafs from the wooded area next to our parking lot and filled a 5 gallon bucket. Then filled the debis with water so it would soak into the leafs. I let it stand for a couple of days and then spread it out on the boards and covered them with plastic. Every day for about a week or so I would check to make sure the surface stayed wet. As time passed the leafs and dirt began to stain the boards and within about 1 1/2 weeks I raked it all off. For a couple of weeks I misted it to keep it damp and got the look of an old nasty deck. (close to that of old barn wood)
There are also some stain colors that are close to the grayish brown color of weathered barn wood. Check with a paint store to see what they have. It might require some distressing of the new boards so the look older.

Re: barn wood finishing


I'll preface my comments with a big, BE CAREFUL. I say this because I don't remember all the cautions.

Years ago, I needed to chemically age some wood to make it look older for a trade show. I ended up using Potassium Permanganate, which gave the wood an aged brown color. I got the material easily as I think it was/is used as a part of water softening systems.

It went on purple and as it oxidized the surface went brown. What I really wanted was a grey tone, but we settled for brown and then beat the wood up with some chains and gravel in a bag. Worked well.

What I can't remember is the precautions I used when working with the material, sorry.


Re: barn wood finishing


I don't know what your time frame is, but Cabot's sells a product called "bleaching oil" which will turn your siding gray within several months.

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