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How to Distress Wood

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Give new wood character and age when you follow this step-by-step faux finish technique.

Distressing Wood by Hand

Project Overview

Skill Level

Beginner

Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost

$$$$$

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Drill
  • File
  • Awl
  • Paintbrush
  • Handful of gravel

Materials

  • 1 (1x2x24-inch) craft board (#9356)
  • Drywall screws (8x3) 50-pack (#64405)
  • 1/2 pint Minwax® English Chestnut Wood Stain (#74469)
  • 1/2 pint Minwax® Dark Walnut Wood Stain (#45810)
  • 1 quart Minwax® Satin Poly finish (#45862)
  • Optional: 1 quart Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner (#46575)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Instructions

Step 1

Place a board on the ground and spread gravel across it.

Step 2

 Lay a second board on top of the gravel and stand on it to distress the gravel

Lay a second board on top of the gravel. Stand on the second board and use it to "surf" across the gravel. Do this several times, checking your progress to achieve the amount of distressing you desire.

Step 3

Make a mallet to create the look of wormholes. Drill pilot holes near the end of a 1x2x24-inch craft board to accommodate drywall screws. Drive the screws (we used six) through the board.

Step 4

 Use the mallet to randomly strike the distressed side of the board to create a wormhole effect.

Use the mallet to randomly strike the distressed side of the board to create a wormhole effect.

Step 5

Stab the boards a few times with an awl.

Step 6

Use a coarse wood file to rough the edges of the board and knock off corners in an uneven and irregular way. Hit the board a few times with the end of the file.

Step 7

Brush on a heavy coat of Minwax® Dark Walnut Wood Stain following the manufacturer's directions. Let dry.

Good to Know

Using a pre-stain wood conditioner on porous wood such as pine helps promote uniform color when applying stain. Be careful if your project requires glue. If glue gets on an area that needs to be stained, it will resist the stain.

Step 8

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Brush on a heavy coat of English Chestnut Wood Stain following the manufacturer's directions. Let dry.

Step 9

Apply two coats of satin polyurethane following the manufacturer's directions.