Distressed Wood?

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JackLeg

New User
Reggie
OK, fellow "wood butchers." I need your expert advice. (That's "expoit" for youse Jersey guys!)

I want to build an entertainment center piece, low profile, similar to what is being seen right now on another thread. My LOL wants it to look "antiquey", so I'm wondering how you guys give wood that "distressed" look? I have some great F&S KD 5/4 red oak. Would you go "all oak" or use oak plywood for the case? Plan to make some RP doors for the front.

I'm pretty sure there are probably several methods, from beating it with a log chain to simply hammering the surface. But, as I said, I'm looking to the experts for your solutions.

Thanks in advance.
:notworthy:
 

jerrye

Jerry
Corporate Member
I remember an episode of "Trading Spaces" where it was done with a 12 gauge! LOTSA FUN!:eusa_danc
 

farmerbw

Brian
Corporate Member
Reggie, I've seen lots of cool things done by "pros" from back in the days when I did a part time lighting gig for a furniture company in High Point during the market weeks.

They used small burlap bags filled with nuts, bolts, and ball bearings, both mixed together and separate, to hit the furniture after the finish was applied, but before the topcoat was sprayed. I think they only used the smaller bags to do touch ups in the showroom and larger sacks back at the factory. I didn't get to see them do this first hand but they also heated various metal items with a blow torch, nails(bent and straight), threaded rod, nuts, wire.....etc, and randomly touched it to the wood.

HTH.

Brian.
 

ErnieM

Ernie
Corporate Member
If you want to come to Chocowinity, I'll take you over to the local BORG. You can find just what you're looking for right on their wood racks. :gar-La; :gar-La; :gar-La;

Good luck with your project.
Ernie
 

JackLeg

New User
Reggie
If you want to come to Chocowinity, I'll take you over to the local BORG. You can find just what you're looking for right on their wood racks. :gar-La; :gar-La; :gar-La;

Good luck with your project.
Ernie


Now WHY didn't I think of that???

:rotflm::rotflm:
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
Reggie, just stack your truck so the load falls out at a busy intersection at rush hour. I think a few members can give advice on that trick. :rotflm::rotflm::rotflm:
 

JackLeg

New User
Reggie
Reggie, just stack your truck so the load falls out at a busy intersection at rush hour. I think a few members can give advice on that trick. :rotflm::rotflm::rotflm:

Heck, I think I invented that move over 10 years ago coming out of Lowe's in Albemarle!!

:gar-La;
 
J

jeff...

Do you actually want to damage the wood or just leave distress marks?
 

DaveO

New User
DaveO
Wood gets distressed every time I look at it. If it had legs it would run :gar-La;.
Short of beating it to the look you like you can start with a dark wood or dye/stain the wood dark. Then apply several layers of different color Milk Paint sanding back through the Milk Paint to the wood in various random wear areas. That will give you the multiple painted layer look worn through to "bare wood" in some areas.
If painted ain't in your desires. Distressing the wood with various blunt instruments, taking care to pay attention to where the piece would get "distressed" naturally. And then use a glaze to highlight the "distress-ness" and add an element of dirty/dingy color to the final finish.

Dave:)
 

Bigdog72

New User
Geoff
Bring it to my shop. Seems no matter how I try, the wood leaving my shop looks distressed. I won't charge for the service either!!:gar-La;
 

JackLeg

New User
Reggie
Thanks to all for your suggestions, both serious and "udderwise.":gar-La;

I knew I could count on you! Now, if I can just get my back to cooperate and get up my nerve------

:wsmile:
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
Would you go "all oak" or use oak plywood for the case?
I would not use plywood, because any kind of distress you apply could damage the outer veneer and you'd see the plywood.

I seem to do a good job distressing things unintentionally with a deadblow hammer (I will POUND this thing square!) and belt sander. You can also bring your piece to the local elementary school and put it in a classroom full of 4th graders. For the real authentic look, build it now, hose it down with water next summer and put it outside in the heat. Then repair all the checks and cracks with woodfiller, dye and stain. :rolf:

(Sorry, but I really don't like fake. It's the same when they use pre-blackened bricks around a gas fireplace in a house. Remember, all true antiques were new, shiny and bright when they were built. That's how the woodworker intended it. Age, sunlight and dirt turned it into the dark, rickety furniture).
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
I haven't distressed oak, but I had some really paranoid pine once... :rolf:

Actually, I have seen various opinions and techniques discussed (it is a very hot topic in the mandolin building community; take a look at what Gibson charges for beating the you know what out of a Master Model before delivery :eek:). You can make a "cat-a-nine-tails" with a nuts and bolts on the end of short pieces of string attached to the handle. The bigger the nuts and bolts, the more damage you get. The random dents are easy. The hard part is wear. Some people use the paint strippers that you attach to a hand drill.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
To me all that just looks so FAKE.

Go to a good antique store and look at very old, well used furniture. I mean really who beats their fine furniture with a logging chain?

Think about how the piece is used. Where is it handled most? What happens in day to day real life? Antique does not = damaged. Antique = aged, respected, well used, well cared for, well made, patina, real wood, old looking but not ready to throw away.

Put a little more thought and effort into it and you will be happier for a lot longer.
 

scsmith42

New User
Scott Smith
I'm with Mike on this one - so often the "store bought" distressed wood really looks fake. Ditto his recommendations.

And now, for the "shamless commerce plug".... Reggie, I'd stay away from plywood - it just doesn't look the same. I can fix you up with the real stuff for a great price!

<grin>

Scott
 

JackLeg

New User
Reggie
I've really enjoyed the input on this thread. However, I think I may need to clarify exactly what I'm after.

We have several old antique pieces that have darkened over time. We just don't want to insert a "new oak look" into a setting of older looking stuff. So, maybe "distressed" was a poor choice of words, (really got the opinion blood flowing though) and hopefully this will explain "more better."

Scott, thanks for the offer. I have plenty of nice F&S red oak that should do nicely. I like the solid stuff also. Shouldn't be over a 3 board glue up to get the depth I need, so that's probably the way I'll go.

Thanks again for all the input. :notworthy:
 
J

jeff...

I've really enjoyed the input on this thread. However, I think I may need to clarify exactly what I'm after.

We have several old antique pieces that have darkened over time. We just don't want to insert a "new oak look" into a setting of older looking stuff. So, maybe "distressed" was a poor choice of words, (really got the opinion blood flowing though) and hopefully this will explain "more better."

Scott, thanks for the offer. I have plenty of nice F&S red oak that should do nicely. I like the solid stuff also. Shouldn't be over a 3 board glue up to get the depth I need, so that's probably the way I'll go.

Thanks again for all the input. :notworthy:


Reg I think the right term my be antique finishing. They make glazes and crackle lacquer that should help in your quest.

Thanks
 

flatheadfisher

New User
Michael
Try sanding a piece of oak with 80 grit and then wipe on some stain, leave the dust on the wood if you want. Let the stain dry and then sand again with 220 grit until you get the look you want. The wood won't be "beat up" but it will have a unique look. I discovered this by accident when I was testing some stain to see if I liked it.
 
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