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Articles, Barbara Briggs

A Great And Inexpensive Way To Get A Naturally Aged Finish!

How to distress wood

Looking For A Quick And Easy Way To Distress Wood?

Well here is an inexpensive process to get an aged look very quickly.
There are several techniques, but this is the one that works best for me.


  • 2 inexpensive chip brushes
  • 2 glass jars(spaghetti sauce type work best)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic or tarp
  • 6 teabags
  • Hot water
  • Jug of white vinegar
  • A steel wool pad and/or rusty nails
  • New lumber for project(pine works best)


The day before your project

  • Boil water place tea bags in the jar and add boiling water to fill.
  • Take the steal wool and/or nails place in the second jar.
  • Add vinegar and shake.
  • Let the jars set over night or 2-3 days if you can.

The day of your project

  1. Place tarp down on work surface and put on gloves. (This project can get messy so wear old clothes and protect surrounding area. Best done outside.)
  2. Remove all tags from lumber.
  3. Lightly sand and clean lumber. (Try to sand off all sap if there is any).
  4. Wash off the lumber.
  5. Take first brush and dip into the tea solution. Apply to wood surface. Make sure the wood is completely saturated and all surfaces are covered. Let dry. You will see the wood start to darken in some areas.
  6. Next take a clean brush and dip into the vinegar solution. Soak the tea stained wood.
    Watch the magic happen!

How Does It Work?

The tannins in the tea react with the “rustyā€¯ vinegar and stain the wood a dull gray-brown.
If you want a darker look, repeat the process or touch up missed areas.

The stain will not take if there is any glue or sap residue on areas of the wood.
Knots stain differently, but this gives the wood a naturally aged look.