How Can I Achieve The Reclaimed Wood Furniture Look?

Reclaimed StyleThe reclaimed wood look gives furniture an attractive appearance that is popular amongst many homeowners. The only downside is that sometimes this style of furniture can be costly when brought from pricy places. However, there are ways that you can achieve this look without breaking the bank. You could shop around (especially online) and hunt around for good bargains. Alternatively, if you are lucky enough to be creative and good at DIY, you could achieve this yourself.
Let’s Start…


To begin, you will need to sand all the original finish off your furniture. Failure to sand down the original finish will result in a much longer staining process. Be sure to get the flat surfaces sanded adequately by using a palm sander or a belt sander. Do not forget to sand the legs, in particular around the curves or bulbs if any. Use a chemical stripper if you absolutely must. Sand the finish off properly to avoid ending up with light spots during staining.


Next, distress the furniture using a variety of objects.  Get creative at this point as any sharp or rough tool can work well in roughing up the wood. For instance, use a BBQ brush to simulate rot at various places by rubbing it very hard against the legs of your table or chair in patches.

Create interesting scratches and dents on the table by whipping it with a chain. Add bolts, nuts and wing nuts onto the chain to prevent the dings and dents from turning out too uniform. Do this all over your table and don’t worry if certain areas take more of a beating than others. The last thing you want is to end up with uniform distressing that will not look natural at all – Remember to be careful, this chain method is unconventional and can be dangerous but trust us, played safe and executed with caution it will give you the aged look you’re after.

Make divets on your table using a hammer. Hammer a couple of nails through a board to re-create worm holes. Use nails of different sizes or even screws. Hit the worm holes in a few concentrate areas keeping in mind that worms tend to eat up in one space and not all over the table. Use a chisel to fashion divets and cracks. Also chisel out a little bit on the legs or feet to show more age on your piece of furniture.


Stain your furniture with a black or dark brown stain that shows age. Brush it on and allow it to sit for a short time and then wipe it off, remember the looks we’re going for is of age, not destroyed or painted. So look around and get an idea of old wood looks like.


If you end up with light spots on areas where the original finish was not properly sanded off, you may fake the stain using paint. Keep sanding and staining until you get it right.

Don’t worry if the finish on certain areas is glossier than others as the uneven look is what adds character to reclaimed wood furniture items.

Once your lovely reclaimed wood table top or chair is finished, take a step back and grab a well-earned cuppa, you’ve just created your first piece of imitation reclaimed wood furniture which can usually cost hundreds of pounds.

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