How to make any wood look like Barnwood

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Barnwood is a favorite option to create a rustic home or introduce aged wood elements to modern décor. You can turn ordinary wood into rustic wood that seems nearly identical to the real thing.

You don’t have to sift over heaps of splintery old lumber or even pay astronomical sums for Barnwood’s appearance.

In this article, you will encounter the ten simple steps of making any wood have a similar appearance to Barnwood.

Required Tools for the Process

  • A hammer with claws.
  • Roller for painting.
  • Angle grinder.
  • Cup with brush knots.
  • A utility knife
  • An awl

Steps of Making any Wood look Like a Barnwood

1. Support the Wood

Use the 6d finishing nails to secure the wood to the sawhorses. By using clamps, it will obstruct the grinding machine operations. This is the reason why the wood should be nailed to the sawhorses.

The above procedures are for distressing only one side of the wood. If both sides of the wood will be exposed, you should turn it and redo the procedures.

2. Grind both Ends and Edges of the Wood

This is can be done by the use of the grinder. You can make some random gouges on the wood’s ends with the grinder rotating inwardly.

The sharp manufacturing edges should be rounded over. Make the ends of the wood look aged by grinding them down.

3. Erode the Wood Surface

In between the growth rings, you can get rid of some softwood. This can be done by moving the cup brush along with the board.

If you want to get the best out of your wood, you should follow the grain pattern. The tougher growth rings will survive, unlike the softer wood between them, which the brush will wear away.

4. Develop some Convincing Wormholes

With the help of an awl, make clusters of wormholes in a significant random arrangement. You can lengthen some of the holes by dipping the awl down right after punching.

The sets of the holes made should be spaced six to twelve inches apart.

5. Addition of Dents on the Wood

This should be done by using a claw hammer or virtually any blunt tool to create the dents. The dents should be arranged randomly across the wood.

6. Carve out the Splits

To imitate a crack or even widen an existing fracture, you can carve off the softwood down the grain. At the end or edge of the wood, make false cracks.

7. Make Marks with the Saw Blade

For you to achieve the look of aged, rough-sawn lumber, brush the grinder across the wood surface in several arcs. To add variation to your wood, use the design on a handful of them.

8. Begin by Applying a Base Coat

With the use of the roller, apply the first coat of stain. Make sure you completely cover the wood. Using a cotton swab, wipe away the excess.

Give the coat a time of around five minutes to dry. Please do so before moving the next stain layer.

9. Apply a Small Smount of Dark Stain

Dip a wrapped cotton rag in the black stain and smear it on the wood surface in a random pattern. The rag should help you smear the patches to develop an uneven layer of dark stain on the wood.

10. Use the Gray Stain to Complete the Look

This time around, do not use the same cotton rag used in applying the dark stain. Use a separate cotton rag to apply a coat of gray stain.

It’s worth noting that this coat might be consistent with the dark one. Wipe away any extra discoloration with a dry cotton rag until the desired old effect is achieved.

Allow the stain to cure with zero disturbance, preferably overnight. This should be before any brushing scenarios on a coat of flat polyurethane in case you want the added of a clear finish over it.


Turning your wood into a Barnwood is much simpler and cheaper than paying some considerable amount of cash just for a barn wood appearance. All you have to do is to follow these simple steps.

1. Support the wood

2. Grind both ends and edges of the wood

3. Erode the wood surface.

4. Develop some convincing wormholes

5. Addition of dents on the wood.

6. Carve out the splits

7. Make marks with the saw blade.

8. Begin by applying a base coat.

9. Apply a small amount of dark stain.

10. Use the gray stain to complete the look.

Distressed wood also looks great on the outside of your house. Your home will be transformed into a rustic haven with Barnwood siding.

Barnwood will look well in both new and vintage homes. You can utilize it with practically any current enclosed design since it’s such an adaptable alternative. END