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How to Create a Weathered Wood Gray Finish

How to create a weathered wood gray finish

Last week on the blog, I shared a Rustic Tree Branch Desk DIY, that Brandon built and finished. The photos I took didn’t quite show off the rustic, distressed finish like I wanted, so I am sharing some close up photos today of the finish as well as how we created a weathered wood gray finish.

We tested out a few different combinations to get a more gray washed looked. Ultimately, we decided on using a combination of stain and white washed paint (paint mixed with water) to achieve a more gray tone.

Note, this post contains some affiliate links for convenience.

How to Create a Weathered Wood Gray Finish:

Supplies Needed:

*A printable version of this tutorial and step by step video are at the bottom of this post!*

1. Stain your wood

Before staining, make sure your wood is properly prepared for finishing. To learn more about how to prepare your wood surface for a weathered wood finish, as well as other weathered wood finish tutorials and how to protect your weathered wood surface, check out Weathered Wood Recipes!

learn more about weathered wood recipes

Then, apply the pre-stain wood conditioner and then one coat of the Dark Walnut stain. Wipe away any excess stain. See my tutorial on how to stain wood for tips on staining wood!

Allow your stain to fully dry.

How to create a weathered wood gray finish

 

2. Apply a white wash mixture to the wood

To create a whitewash paint mixture, we mixed about 1 part water to 1 part white paint. We ended up making the mixture a bit thicker with paint and less watery to achieve our desired finish.

Next, apply the white wash paint mixture to the wood in long strokes with a paint brush. Allow the paint mixture to set for 3-5 seconds, then rub over the white wash paint strokes with a staining rag or lint free rag to smear the paint mixture into the wood. Allow it to fully dry.

See my whitewashing wood tutorial for more details on how to whitewash wood.

How to create a weathered wood gray finish

 

3. Distress wood finish with sandpaper

Finally, very lightly distress the wood finish with sandpaper until you achieve your desired look!

And that’s it! Pretty simple! You can also add a top coat of poly or wax if you’d like, we chose not too since we liked the look at this point. Here is a close up of the wood grain with this rustic, gray, weathered wood finish. I just love how the grain lightly shows through!

How to create a weathered wood gray finish

How to create a weathered wood gray finish

What do you think of our weathered wood, gray finish? I think it definitely gives off a rustic vibe!

If you’re interested in more easy weathered wood finish tutorials, learning how to properly prepare your surface for a weathered wood finish, or learning about top coats and how to protect your finish for the best results, check out Weathered Wood Recipes here! Weathered Wood Recipes includes easy and budget friendly tutorials on how to create weathered wood finishes like this:

Easy DIY Blanket Ladder

Easy DIY Blanket Ladder

And this!

Farm Table Makeover with DIY weathered wood gray finish

Click here to learn more about Weathered Wood Recipes!

I’d love to see photos of your project using the weathered wood finish in this tutorial! Feel free to share with me on Instagram @angelamariemade, Facebook, or e-mail pictures to [email protected]!

Be sure to follow along on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks!

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel here!

How to create a weathered wood gray finish

How to Create a Weathered Wood Gray Finish

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Easy tutorial on how to create a weathered wood gray finish. Make new wood look like old weathered wood or refinish your furniture with this gray wash look!

Materials

Tools

  • Paint Brush

Instructions

  1. Make sure your wood is properly prepared. Then, apply a pre-stain wood conditioner.
  2. Stain your wood with one coat of Minwax Dark Walnut stain. Wipe away any excess stain. Allow it to fully dry.
  3. Apply a white wash mixture to the wood, using one about 1 part water to 1 part white paint. Apply the white wash to the wood in long strokes with a paint brush. Allow the paint mixture to set for 3-5 seconds, then rub
    over the white wash paint strokes with a staining rag to smear the paint mixture into the wood. Allow it to fully dry.
  4. Lightly distress the wood finish with sandpaper until you achieve your desired look!
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Vivian

Thursday 3rd of September 2020

I can’t believe how many emails you’ve gotten, wow, fantastic, are you saying you can add a whitewash chalk paint directly over your oil based stain. I’m really struggling with a piece and would like to use oil based stain, but lighten with a white wash paint or glaze on top. I didn’t think you could add water base over oil based stains. Love your piece.

Angela Marie Made

Friday 4th of September 2020

Thank you so much! Adding a water based whitewash/paint over an oil based stain is a great way to get a more rustic finish. I definitely recommend testing it out first to see how it will look before applying it to the whole project.

Kyle Mackee

Tuesday 1st of September 2020

I have an ash table that is being made, and they are going to use a wire brush to make new wood look old. Will I have problems getting this natural weathered grey look, since the wood will be more engrained in areas. If so, what would you suggest?

Also they are matching the glue to the stain we use, to put the boards together, would you recommend that they just use the dark walnut stain?

Could they use a water base stain instead of an oil base?

Thank you in advance. I really appreciate your help.

Angela Marie Made

Tuesday 1st of September 2020

That sounds awesome. I don't think it will be a problem applying the weathered wood gray finish to the table, see if they can get you a scrap piece of the ash that has been wire brushed to test out on. I haven't used ash wood and so the dark walnut stain and weathered finish may look different than on the pine that I used and I would test it out, but it's totally a personal preference. A water based stain can totally be used instead of an oil base.

Milissa

Sunday 16th of August 2020

Can you achieve this same look on a painted piece of furniture? I have a great console that has an almost crackled finish on it and I want to change it to something similar. I know I might not get the crackled look to go away but I want that washed gray color.

Angela Marie Made

Monday 17th of August 2020

Yes, absolutely. Depending on the current finish you will probably need to do some sanding/removing any varnish. I would highly recommend testing it out on a small portion of the piece of furniture that isn't shown before doing the whole project.

Renee

Monday 3rd of August 2020

I'm wondering, do you think the white wash can be done over dark cabinets to achieve the same look?

Shahrukh

Tuesday 21st of July 2020

Just finished a table with this tutorial and it looks great. What sealant/clear coat would you recommend that preserves the look without making it all shiny or plastic-y? I just wanna keep the look I have now

Angela Marie Made

Friday 24th of July 2020

That's great to hear! I would do a clear, high quality wax for the best preservation of the finish. Although a clear water based poly may work well too. Either way I'd test it out first on some scrap wood to be sure!

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