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Author Topic: Aging wood, best method so far.  (Read 5581 times)
JingleJoe
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« on: April 18, 2010, 05:01:26 pm »

I age alot of wood for all the things I make, mostly wood to make boxes for the device mechanisms to go inside. Anyway, just wanted to write this up somewhere like here before I forget:
  • 1. Bash the wood around and get it dented and scratched, round off the corners a bit too
  • 2. Stain it with a dark wood stain, maybe even black wood stain
  • 3. Sand it off in the areas the wood would get worn (like edges) leaving some stain in the grain of the wood and your dents and scratches
  • 4. Stain the wood again with a lighter wood stain, either the first stain watered down or just a brown stain if you used black first.

That should get your wood looking pretty nice and old Smiley practice makes this method perfect.
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2010, 06:44:07 pm »

an old "antiques restorer" friend of mine advocated burning with a gas torch and wire brushing to get a worn grain look. At time he also used hot caustic soda and burying in the garden!
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Kevin C Cooper Esq
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2010, 06:52:04 pm »

I age alot of wood for all the things I make, mostly wood to make boxes for the device mechanisms to go inside. Anyway, just wanted to write this up somewhere like here before I forget:
  • 1. Bash the wood around and get it dented and scratched, round off the corners a bit too
  • 2. Stain it with a dark wood stain, maybe even black wood stain
  • 3. Sand it off in the areas the wood would get worn (like edges) leaving some stain in the grain of the wood and your dents and scratches
  • 4. Stain the wood again with a lighter wood stain, either the first stain watered down or just a brown stain if you used black first.

That should get your wood looking pretty nice and old Smiley practice makes this method perfect.

That'll do it, to replicate the grime of ages I have used "black lead" the stuff which comes in a tube for shining up your cast iron range. Use it sparingly though a little goes a long way.
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JingleJoe
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2010, 10:38:57 pm »

Aparently blacklead is graphite Cheesy I'm hypothesising that I could grind up some pencils and add water or perhaps clear oil to get a similar substance.
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Herr Döktor
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2010, 12:37:42 am »

I've found that 'random bashing' is best done while NOT looking at the wood- it looks like you've been aiming otherwise, I've also used the ol' blowtorch and selective sanding to give it some character before staining and varnishing.

Smiley
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jringling
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2010, 12:44:48 am »

You could always use some authentic weathered wood. Old barns that have collapsed are good sources, not only from the wood they were made of, but of the wood that is usually stored inside.
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Bo Ek
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2010, 12:54:57 am »

hot caustic soda...


Sounds fun!  Grin
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2010, 06:11:59 am »

powdered graphite rubbed into the wood gives it a nice dirty look.
luckily, I work with graphite daily. all the free graphite dust I could ever want. lucky for my projects but unlucky for my lungs.

I combine it with using linseed oil. using oil is very forgiving and once it's dry, you can use just about anything else you want for a final finish.

I burn and wire brush the wood. black primer soaked into the cracks and crevices. a byproduct of lots of heat is a multitude of cracks can appear. the black dust from sanding the heaviest char is almost as good as graphite for rubbing back into the wood. I haven't tried but I would suppose sanding a piece of grilling charcoal would give you plenty of black dust.

thats the nice thing about the oil finish, you can wipe it off or glom on more and add any sort of dust of dirt to it and if its too much, just some more fresh oil to wash some off. you can even use the torch after the oil, it will darken it and really cook it into the wood. sanding the char, even the oil soaked char, will work it into the surrounding woodgrain and even it all out.

stain always seems(to me)to look one dimensional when you seal it, while scorching really pops out when you seal it.
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2010, 05:49:35 pm »


yep his toenails (open toes sandles always worn) often used to go yellow and fall off!...
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alfa1
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2010, 06:34:16 pm »

And yet if you look at real antiques, they do NOT look as if they've been hit randomly, stained badly, sanded at the edges, buried in the garden, burned with a gas torch and then attacked with a wire brush.
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jringling
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2010, 07:14:45 pm »

That depends on the antique! I have a nice 1920's picture frame with termite damage...
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Herr Döktor
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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2010, 08:30:08 pm »

And yet if you look at real antiques, they do NOT look as if they've been hit randomly, stained badly, sanded at the edges, buried in the garden, burned with a gas torch and then attacked with a wire brush.



Ah, you'll be wanting the 'Keeping Wood Looking Pristine and New, Best Method So Far' thread.

Easy mistake to make!

Wink
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JingleJoe
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« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2010, 08:45:00 pm »

And yet if you look at real antiques, they do NOT look as if they've been hit randomly, stained badly, sanded at the edges, buried in the garden, burned with a gas torch and then attacked with a wire brush.

Thats weird because I have all these real old antiques that look just like that has happened to them. Huh
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Narsil
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« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2010, 09:55:05 pm »

In order to distress things convincingly you really need some understanding of how things acquire wear and tear in the real world, so techniques like burning and bashing, in themselves don't guarantee a good result but by the same token you can achieve very good results with very simple materials.

Probably the most difficult thing to achieve is the patina of long and careful use , its often much easier to fake 'ancient' rather then merely 'old'.

One more useful technique is a stain made by soaking iron nails (or any iron or steel) in vinegar for a week or so, this produces a solution which reacts with the tannin in wood, darkening it to quite effectively emulate age. Its particularly effective on oak and other woods which tend to darken with age. Te nice thing about it is that you're really accelerating the natural process rather than faking it with a pigment. It works on veg tanned leather too.
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2010, 02:46:34 pm »

And yet if you look at real antiques, they do NOT look as if they've been hit randomly, stained badly, sanded at the edges, buried in the garden, burned with a gas torch and then attacked with a wire brush.

Thats weird because I have all these real old antiques that look just like that has happened to them. Huh

One thing i learned from him was, antiques are often not as old as they make out. In fact some are months old rather than centuries. Others are "restored" (a table top on a old base, maybe a old top on an new base either of which might have been "restored" a few times) or made of old wood or just plain forged. Its usually not in anyone's interest to reveal a "Sexton Blake" in the antique world.
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JingleJoe
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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2010, 05:15:06 pm »

And yet if you look at real antiques, they do NOT look as if they've been hit randomly, stained badly, sanded at the edges, buried in the garden, burned with a gas torch and then attacked with a wire brush.

Thats weird because I have all these real old antiques that look just like that has happened to them. Huh

One thing i learned from him was, antiques are often not as old as they make out. In fact some are months old rather than centuries. Others are "restored" (a table top on a old base, maybe a old top on an new base either of which might have been "restored" a few times) or made of old wood or just plain forged. Its usually not in anyone's interest to reveal a "Sexton Blake" in the antique world.
Maybe it's the sleep deprivation but I'm not really sure I know what you're saying Huh that my antiques are not genuine?

Anyways I'm not going for complete authenticity and realism, I'm just making the wood look good and old.
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2010, 07:54:18 pm »

I was referring to "real" antiques that one might find in Antiques shops, one supposed to be old.
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Slackratchet
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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2010, 08:51:03 pm »

I've aged a fair amount of wood for use as an attic in a doll house. I used steel wool that had been soaked in white vinegar. Let it soak overnight then paint the resulting liquid on it it ages the wood to an old grayish look rapidly.
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JingleJoe
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« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2010, 10:14:15 pm »

Yup I have seen that method too Smiley To get a similar effect I have just used very watered down black acrylic paint Cheesy But disolved iron in acid does give a deeper covering with more depth to it's appearance.
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Sir Nikolas Vendigroth
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2010, 10:26:31 pm »

Have you experimented with that linseed oil yet? It's probably no good for making things look old, but if you care to sand your wood down, it may well make it look well-maintained.
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Narsil
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« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2010, 10:35:52 pm »


Oils and waxes are certainly much better for antiqued finishes than varnishes. Among other things they tend to age much more gracefully. Varnishes, especially synthetic ones tend to look either new or scruffy and don't really develop a proper rich patina.
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JingleJoe
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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2010, 10:40:21 pm »

Haven't tried the linseed oil yet, I'm still shaping the stock and I haven't done much work on other wooden things yet, there is some building work to be done in the lab first.

I concur about the varnishes Mr narsil Smiley I try to steer clear of varnish and use oil on woods that I don't apply woodstain to.
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Atherton A. Aylward
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« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2010, 07:53:54 pm »

I would agree with Sir Nikolas.  Linseed oil won't really age the wood, but it does a wonderful job of bringing out the natural color of the wood, as well as helping to resist stains/water/etc.  Plus, its period correct!  I'm told it's what was traditionally used on boiler cladding.  It's definitely a pungent smelling oil, though.  I usually let it cure for a week or so and then add a coat of shellac to seal in the remaining smell.

This chest I made is done in just such a fashion, and I think it gives the wood a nice glow:
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Kevin C Cooper Esq
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« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2010, 07:40:42 am »

That's nice, fine work.
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Amaterasu2314
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« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2010, 03:10:03 am »

I've found that 'random bashing' is best done while NOT looking at the wood- it looks like you've been aiming otherwise, I've also used the ol' blowtorch and selective sanding to give it some character before staining and varnishing.

Smiley
I'll remember that when I'm throwing wood at the side of our barn.  Cheesy
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