Painters / Properties

How to Age and Distress Wood


I’ve recently been learning how to do weathering for scale models and gaming miniatures, so when I bumped into Eloy Escagedo’s video on Facebook, on how to distress wood, it immediately caught my attention. I’m now fascinated by all methods of weathering, aging, distressing, regardless of the scale of the thing being aged.

It doesn’t look like much (or, in fact, it kind of looks like too much) while he’s beating, scratching, poking, and burning, but once he adds the stain and varnish, the surface really comes alive and you can see that all of the effort pays off. The wood surfaces he is distressing are for two benches to be used on a farm table he’s also building.

In this video for WoodWorkWeb, Colin Knecht offers his take on aging and distressing techniques. Most of them are the same as in Eloy’s video, but he also uses some randomly applied black paint (ebony dye), a few different tools (scrappers, a hole-cutting bit, files), and he offers some tips I have not encountered in distressing, such as using a mechanic’s vise to press the chain into the wood instead of just randomly slamming it into the lumber. He also finishes the board he distresses in the demo with different stains and dyes so that you can see how these finishes look with the various distressing techniques.

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