I love a challenge, and one of my favorite creative projects is making brand new wood look old and rustic. Yes, you can buy distressed wood, and there are a lot of reasons to do so (I love real distressed wood, too). But sometimes, it makes more sense to achieve the look of distressed wood while using new wood.


Why Use New Wood?

There are advantages to using new wood. Usually, I use pine, but will occasionally use Douglas fir. Either way, new wood is clean, I know exactly where it came from, it’s already even so I don’t need a planer and it’s easy to work with.

Plus, there is no mold, fungus or other elements that can develop in nature on old wood. (um… spiders? No thank you.)

One of the biggest benefits: I know I won’t run out. Inevitably, if you work on enough projects, you’re going to find you didn’t buy enough materials and need more. Say you’re working on a project that requires 10 distressed wood planks, so you buy 10, and then you find you need two more, but there’s no more distressed wood for sale to match.

With new wood, you won’t run into that issue.

Making New Wood Old

When starting with new wood planks, we run them through a special machine that adds texture. The machine adds texture by scraping up the wood, giving it the distressed feel that lends itself to an authentic reclaimed look.

Once you have the right feel, it’s time to give it the right look. This is where you can let your creativity go as far as you want, because there are so many options.

One way to get a distressed wood look is to apply a General Finishes water-based wood stain to the newly textured wood. You can choose any color you want, and even experiment with mixing colors for unlimited unique looks. Don’t worry if the stain doesn’t go into all the nooks and crannies. Once dry, sand it back and notice how old the wood already looks.


One of the best parts of making new wood appear old is how many different ways you can experiment to create your ideal look. You can stain the textured wood in a solid color or even layer with paints and glazes to achieve a custom color. Sanding the finish on your distressed wood with 60 grit sand paper is another great way to create depth or a unique finish.

Three Ways to Make New Wood Old with Restyle Junkie

img_20160206_124049We help you create your own distressed wood with exactly as much involvement as you want us to have. If you want to use your own wood but don’t have a machine to add texture, bring us the wood. We’ll rip it for $1 per linear foot ($20 minimum), and you can take it home and refinish it.

We can also buy the wood for you, rip it, and then sell it to you for you to take home and refinish.

Looking for an example of how to use distressed wood to add character to your home? One of our clients documented her entire project as a blog post details how to install your own distressed wood (she used our textured wood!).

Or, if you have neither the time nor the desire to refinish it yourself, we’ll take care of the entire project, from getting the wood to ripping it and refinishing it.

Contact us for ideas on how to get started on your project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *