How I “Weather” Wood

I know there are many techniques for achieving the weathered wood look many of us love. And I have tried many of those combinations without getting the tone I was looking for. So for my “new“ coffee table I went with my own technique which gave me exactly what I wanted.

This table was being tossed by my neighbor (thank you Debbie!).

It was definitely a bit weathered, chipped and water stained. Nothing we can‘t fix with a good sanding. 

We didn‘t worry about getting into the crevices too much. And here are the products I used to achieve the weathered wood finish.

Minwax Stain- Special Walnut

Rustoleum Stain – Weathered Gray

Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Satin

Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray 

So I think the technique I used is maybe what made a difference. I started with a coat of Special Walnut. But instead of brushing on the stain and wiping off, I used a rag (dipped in stain and squeezed out) to lightly rub the stain into the wood. Then I did the same with the Weathered Gray stain but even lighter on the amount. I was really just looking to tone down the stain with the gray but I still wanted to see warm wood tones, like it was just starting to weather. Here it is with just the top board wiped down with the weathered gray. The bottom boards just have the Special Walnut stain. 

And if you put a little too much of the gray (which I did in some spots), I just lightly sanded when all was dry. Here is one piece all done and the other before gray was applied. Such a difference! 

I didn‘t photograph the metal frame being painted but that‘s where the Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray was used. Here we are in place.

Now, all wood will take the finish differently so make sure you do a test before you begin. I just tested a few different stains on the underside of my tabletop. I bet oak would take this nicely with the grain. 

If you give this technique a try, please share! I would love to see! 

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  1. 1

    Really great job Dawn. You were so lucky to snag that great table and your transformation is beautiful. Thanks for giving us the “how to”.

  2. 3

    Love, love, love. I have never done anything like this, but when I do I will go back and read your instruction in this story. I love the weathered wood look. You did that coffee table much more than it deserved. Did you neighbor want her table back? I would.

  3. 5

    Wow! A real “My Fair Lady” renovation! I wish I had the ability to see the potential in found furniture as I am always so impressed with the finished products. It is such a nice talent. Your living room looks so cozy. It has so much appeal and warmth. Lovely work Dawn! Thanks for sharing the technique. 🙂

    • 6

      Thanks so much Nancy. So much can be done with furniture pieces. I usually look for all wood. Fun to see the transformation! I have shared a lot of before and after on my blog and hope to show them here. Fits in with the them of this site I think. Have a great weekend!

  4. 7

    Hi Dawn! I absolutely love the weathered stain look of your table. It gives it a warm rustic feel that goes perfectly with your room decor. I have a large french style coffee table in my sun porch and I just can’t part with it. I was thinking of painting it white to give it a new look. But after seeing what you just did, changed my mind. I am definitely going for the weathered look now! Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  5. 9

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