How to Age Treated Wood

Although generally people use treated wood to avoid weathering, you may need to weather a piece of treated wood so that it's not obviously a mend or repair.

If you must replace a board on a deck, for instance, you may wish to age that board to a silvery gray so that it matches the rest of the wood that has been outside for years. This can be done using a combination of stains.

  1. Wash the treated wood. This will remove any sawdust, dirt, or grime on the wood. Use the scrub brush, warm water, and two drops of mild detergent. Make sure the wood is dry before you start treating it.

  2. Thin the acrylic paint. Pour about half of the paint into another bucket, then add paint thinner in small amounts--about half a cup at a time--while stirring. Stop thinning when the liquid is the texture of heavy cream.

  3. Paint the wood. This will provide a primer for the next step and get rid of any green or fresh tints that the treated wood may have without destroying the protective elements of the treatment. Let the paint dry completely before you move on. Generally, you should use only one coat of the acrylic paint; this lets you maintain the natural grain but lose the treated look.

  4. Mix your India ink and isopropyl alcohol. Start out with 3 cups of isopropyl alcohol. Add no more than 1 tablespoon of India ink at a time and stir it thoroughly. Test the color of the painting mixture by using a paint brush to place a drop of the liquid on the paper towel. When it is the gray, aged color you want, stop adding ink.

  5. Stain the wood with the gray alcohol mixture. The acrylic paint must be completely dry before you start staining. Apply a thin coat of the stain with a paintbrush or rag, then let the coat dry. This may take up to 30 minutes. Continue applying coats of stain until you achieve the weathered look you want.

  6. Tip

    Roughing the wood with sandpaper will help make the wood look even more weather-beaten and aged.

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