How To Make Wood Look Old For An Even More Rustic Look

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2. Oxidizing The Wood

In addition to beating the crap out of it with all sorts of odd tools and objects, I often oxidize the wood.

Oxidizing wood is a way of speeding up the aging process. Instead of waiting for years in the sun and snow for Mother Nature to take effect, try this way of adding color to your wood.

What you’ll need:

  • Paint Brushes
  • Mason Jars
  • Black tea
  • Vinegar
  • Steel Wool


  • Brush the wood with strong black tea, let dry. The wood gets darker as it reacts with the tea and brings out the natural tones in the wood. Wait until it fully dries to see what color you have, and if you want a darker shade, add another coat!
  • Soak a piece or two of steel wool in a jar of vinegar for at least three (3) days. Pull the steel wool apart to loosen the fibers and allow the vinegar to penetrate quicker. The longer it soaks, the darker the color the wood will become.
  • Paint on the vinegar solution like you would with any other paint and watch the wood turn darker right before your eyes. It takes a good 15-20 for the color to fully change, so wait for it to dry before deciding if it needs another coat.
  • Seal with polyurethane or add a layer of stain if you would like a different color added to it.
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