New wood looks a lot different than old wood. Old,
unfinished wood often has a dark, dull gray color resulting from
oxidation over time. When stained and/or finished, new wood will
continue to look noticeably different than old. In order to cleanly
integrate new parts into an old case, the new wood needs to be
Aging of wood cannot be
achieved with stains or finishes. What is needed is a means to
actually oxidize the wood fibers, but in a much short time than
There are products on
the market for aging wood and they all work to one degree or
another. As an alternative to commercial products, I have found that
some common household products can be used to very effectively
oxidize and age wood.
solutions are simple to make an use. The results are very
is necessary to create a new case part to replace a damaged or
missing original. Creating the piece is usually not difficult, but
making the piece fit in with the rest of the case takes some extra
New wood simply doesn't
look like old, oxidized wood. No matter what type of finish or stain
is used, it still just looks new.........
The back side
of molding pieces needs to look old even though it is unfinished.
New veneer, when used along with original veneer needs to be aged to
better fit in with the old original veneer.
My wife always get a terrified look on her face when she catches me
in the kitchen, going though cabinets with a determined look on my
Unfortunately for her, it is in
the kitchen that some of the best clock finishing products are to be
gathered a tea bag and common household white vinegar.
The #0000 steel wool pad actually came from the shop.
To begin, tear up
some bits of #0000 steel wool and place them loosely in a small,
sealable jar or bottle.
Add enough household vinegar to fully cover the steel wool.
Attach the top of the jar and set aside for 24 hours or longer.
The vinegar and
steel wool will interact to create an iron based solution.
the steel wool to fully dissolve. It will to some degree, but due to
impurities, it will never fully dissolve.
Next day, boil some water then add about 1/3 cup of water to a small
Add the tea bag and
allow to steep and make a really strong tea blend.
Lipton both work just as well at English tea.........It's all a
matter of what's in the pantry at the time.
Once the tea is steeped, brush it onto the piece to be aged.
It isn't necessary that the tea remain warm.
Here two pieces
of Pine are used. One is the very
white shade of
soft Pine while the other is more the pinkish shade
seen in Fir.
Allow the tea to dry on the wood.
The tea contains tannic
acid that is transferred to the wood.
Once the tea has
dried, brush the area with the vinegar/steel wool mix.
You will see
darkening of the wood begin almost immediately depending on the
Once the vinegar
is applied, allow the pieces to sit for 10 to 30 minutes.
In warm weather, 30 minutes will result in the wood turning very
Here, both the light
colored and darker Pine samples took on a lot of darkness.
It is sometimes
necessary to lightly sand the oxidized area to bring the shading up
Close examination of the
aged wood will show that the "shine" seen in new wood is gone. If
the wood were to be stained, it would look very much like old wood
technique works well for aging new veneer when used in combination
with existing old veneer. It is a good way to match the two.
Aging is a great way to make your replacement parts fit into the overall
Taking the extra time to age the wood
is another way to set your restoration work a step above............