How to Age Wood to Gray

Ava Perez

Aged wood develops a silvery gray color over time. This coloration is due to oxidation and exposure to the elements. The wood fades from its natural beige color to a washed-out gray color. Speed up this graying process and transform your wood from new to gray using household ingredients.

Give wood age and character using household ingredients.

The technique works well for matching new wood to older pieces or giving a distressed, antique look to a craft project.


Adjust the gray color by sanding the wood after the solution has dried. The more you sand, the lighter the color will be.

  1. Tear the steel wool pad into tiny pieces and place them into the glass jar.

  2. Fill the jar with vinegar. The steel wool should be completely covered with vinegar.

  3. Close the jar and set it aside for one full day. As it sits, the vinegar will partially dissolve the steel wool.

  4. Put the teabag into another glass jar and pour boiling water over the top. Allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes.

  5. Dip the paintbrush into the tea and paint the wood. Cover every surface with tea. Allow the tea to dry.

  6. Brush the vinegar steel solution onto the wood after the tea has dried. The two solutions will react, creating a gray color.

  7. Allow the wood to dry completely.