If you want to make a newer piece of wood appear more aged and rugged, spend some time distressing the wood to give it a little rustic appeal. Use rocks, heavy log chains, and even a hammer to beat the wood to give it the texture of aged wood. You can give texture to new wood by using heavy grit sandpaper or a wire brush to roughen the surface of the wood before applying stain or paint to the finished project.
Use a propane torch to apply burn marks into wood to add a rustic touch. Burned edges on shelves and picture frames give an aged appearance. Add random burned spots to decorative wall hangings to make then seem more authentic in your rustic décor. Remember when using propane torches to follow proper safety precautions to prevent injury. As a safety precaution, children should never use any flammable source such as a propane torch.
Apply wood stain using a heavy bristled paintbrush or a piece of steel wool to give the wood a more rustic look. You can also consider using multiple shades of stain to create an interesting rustic appeal to your wood project. You can also apply wood stain using a sponge to give additional texture to your rustic wood piece.
Add a whitewash to wooden cabinets, shelves or wall hangings to give then a weathered appearance consistent with your rustic wood décor. Apply whitewash using a paintbrush and use a dry cloth to wipe away any excess. Apply multiple coats until you have achieved the desired look for your rustic wood piece.
You can also use special crackle paints that will give a rustic look to your wood pieces. Crackle paints can be purchased in at your local home improvement stores and come with complete instructions for how to create the look you want. When you use crackle paints, consider using a test piece of wood and experiment with assorted base paints to make sure you get the finish you desire.