Building out of reclaimed wood is a tricky process and there's definitely no easy way to do it. From sourcing the wood, to tearing down old houses and barns, to hand picking the right pieces for the specific project we are working on, everyday we are presented with unique challenges.

Rustic Furniture Finishing Technique Furniture

I guess you could say that our job is not a boring one and that's probably what keeps us coming back for more everyday. Here is a quick overview of our process of building with reclaimed wood. This is what we are looking for; roof rafters, framing and also floor joists. Most of our table tops are built from this material.

Next is the fun part(and the dangerous part)!

Making sure, of course, not to step on any nails!

Digging through the rubble is always fun, except for when there are snakes!!!

We then load all of the wood up on a trailer and transport it back to the shop. Once we get the wood back to the wood shop, we de-nail it in preparation for cutting. Festool 12x100 dominos to join all the pieces together.

Easy Wood Finishing Rustic Style!

A simple method to do a professional looking finish. Wood finishing a rustic bench. Rustic wood finish.

We have about 5 of these sanders and they are one of the tools that we use the most around our shop. Once all of the sanding is done, we start applying the urethane. A farm table made from historic reclaimed wood. This isn't something you can buy from a furniture store. From start to finish we transform old dusty wood into heirloom pieces of furniture.

We believe that the history of the wood and our story are just the beginning. The other half of the story has yet to be told. The stories that you will share around our tables and the memories that you will create with your family while sitting around this old wood, inspires us to bring the next piece back to life.

We are reclaiming history, one table at a time.

We are a trying to figure out how to finish it.

I don’t want to lose the beautiful patina and saw marks.

I noticed on the farm table you did sand it prior to the poly coats…sanding it smooth doesn’t take away the saw marks??

I sanded the planks and it did not take the marks away.

We are once again worried about loosing the top rustic finish. This kills the bugs and gets the moisture of the wood to the proper level. The trick is to really slather it on (and we mean slather) , keeping the surface wet as you apply the glaze. Or you can use glazes to create soft layers of colors. Make the layers of color as intense as you want. Choose furniture with some character such as raised panel doors or decorative molding - most pine pieces will work well. This is a great kitchen cabinet finish as well. Let dry for 2-4 hours and buff between coats with #400 grit paper or a super fine sanding pad.

You have the option of painting a second color over the first, and sanding through to allow the first color to show through (color washing), or simply sanding though to the wood below. While the first color is still wet, immediately apply a second color over the base color. Then brush out the two colors using a dry bristle brush.

Unfinished Furniture Finishing Tips

Finishing Technique Wood Farm Table

We want to be your unfinished wood furniture store!

We do not share or sell your address or personal information with anyone externally. Here are seven ways to distress furniture to get the look you love. You'll probably want to remove much (if not most) of the glaze with a lint-free cloth so that only a hint of the dark, moody color remains behind. Chalky paint is a novice's dream: it requires no prep work (besides cleaning the surface) and the paint can be applied heavily and still turn out great. Apply jelly to areas where you want the base coat to show through. Wait for the jelly to set before painting or staining the furniture (or parts of it) a contrasting color. The top coat won't stick to these areas, revealing the two-tone effect. This two-step process – removing as much paint from the brush as possible and then using a light touch to apply what's left – requires restraint. But it's one of the surest ways to distress furniture like a pro. The trick is not to get carried away so that you damage the furniture to the point that it needs repair. But once the paint is gone, it's gone, so it's best to use a light touch and begin on a somewhat hidden area to distress furniture. The trick with stripping is not going down to the bare wood. Distressing furniture is both fun and rewarding, especially if you practice first to ensure that you're exerting the right amount of force or emphasis. To keep your losses to a minimum, practice on a scrap piece of wood. In no time, you’ll have the skills to create the look you’ve always wanted. Not sure if the rustic, antique look is what you're going for?

We get furniture donations every day that may be perfect for this type of project, and there are always pieces you won’t find anywhere else. Visit either of our locations and see for yourself !

Reclaimed Wood Farm Table

Why limit yourself to three or four color options, when unfinished furniture offers you endless possibilities. Whether you want the bold, luscious colors of waterbase paints and stains, the look of aged wood that has acquired a patina from generations of use or the classic traditional wood tones of our wipe-on oil base finishes, we have the finish for you. Prepare the surface by using medium sand paper first, and then proceed to finer grades. Water based finishes need a smoother surface than oil based finishes, but do not over sand or you may seal the wood so much that it will not take a finish. End-grains (areas where the wood has been cut against the grain), such as the front side of a table, tend to soak up more stain than other surfaces. Give end-grain areas an additional sanding to control the absorption of stain. Refer to our sanding tutorial for more information. Allow the wood to dry and then sand lightly with #220 sandpaper to remove the raised grain. A natural (clear) stain can be applied to raw wood to condition the surface for uniform penetration of the stain. Pre-sealing will cause the final stain to be lighter. Always test your color on a hidden part of the furniture!

Remove dust with an air hose, damp cloth or "oil free" tack cloths. Do not use oil based tack cloths when using water based finish. Most tack cloths contain oil and will contaminate the surface. Do not use tee shirts with water based products – they do not absorb water based products well. Foam brushes or latex paint pad applicators and a bristle brush to pull stain out of corners.

You must brush or wash paint pad applicators before use to remove loose bristles.

Simple Rustic Finish

After designing a custom Coffee Bar for my wife I was in search of a Old Rustic worn look to give it. Lots of research later.

Note: purchase a brush that will fit in the can. Do not use steel wool because steel particles left behind will rust. Paper plates and aluminum foil to make disposable paint trays. Watch our video of how to apply water based finishes!

Taking a little extra time to remove backs of cabinets, drawer fronts etc, will make staining much easier. Lightly sand the wood with 180-220 grit sandpaper to open the grain to allow the stain to penetrate evenly. Allow the wood to dry completely and lightly finish sand again with #180 to #220 grit sandpaper. Do not sand through the grain raise layer. This conditions the wood to accept water based finishes. Always test the color on the underside of the project before you begin. A second coat of stain will produce a slightly darker color. Use only tack cloths made for water based products (containing no linseed oil). Stirring reduces the thickness of the stain and distributes pigments that may have settled to the bottom of the can.

It is essential to apply a wet, liberal amount of stain with a foam brush or a latex paint pad applicator to insure easy workability. If too little stain is used, the surface can dry too quickly causing an uneven appearance. Divide your project into manageable sections (top, side, drawer, door). Stain a complete section and wipe off the excess evenly with the grain using paper towels or a clean cloth. Check for missed spots and lap marks before moving to the next section. Immediately correct lap marks by rewetting the entire working area with stain and wiping the excess off. If you must buff because you have imperfections that need to be smoothed out, do so with caution using a superfine sanding pad or #320 or #400 grit sandpaper. Creating these layered techniques requires using layers of color combined with sanding techniques. The results are stunning and well worth the effort. Distressing is a technique of marking the wood to give the character of generations of use. If itÂ’s been a long week and you need a lift, start a little character therapy project for yourself. Glazing is the process of applying a translucent color to the surface, and then rubbing off the excess glaze to create many effects. The process goes fast as water based finishes dry much more quickly than oil based finishes. If you want a smoother finish, just add a third coat. Taking a little extra time to remove backs of cabinets, drawerfronts etc., will make staining much easier. If working over existing paint or finish, always test a small area to make sure paint will adhere. Sand glossy surfaces with #120 grit sandpaper before proceeding. Make disposable paint trays by covering paper plates with aluminum foil. Test the color on the underside of the project.

Decorative Finishing Tips

It is your responsibility to insure that the coloris what you want. Paint on a wet, liberal coat with a wide foam brush, bristle brush, or paint pad applicator. If too little paint is used, the surface can dry too quickly causing an uneven appearance. Let dry 2 to 4 hours before applying another coat.

We recommend two to three coats of paint. If paint is not covering after 2 coats, you are not applyingheavily enough. Dry time is normally 2-4 hours under ideal conditions (70° and 70% humidity). It is your responsibility to insure that the color is what you want. Stirring distributes pigments that have settled to the bottom of the can. Wipe off excess with absorbent wiping cloths or paper towels to achieve desired look. If necessary, mask off smaller sections around raised areas such as bead board and moldings. Glazes dry fairly quickly, so plan your sections before beginning. Apply with a foam brush, latex paint pad applicator, or by spraying. Use enoughmaterial to provide a wet film. On projects receiving extra wear such as table and desk tops, additional coats will add more protection. Cooler temperatures orhigher humidity will prolong dry time to 8-10 hours. Good ventilation, air movement and higher temperatures will accelerate dry time. The trick is to really slather it on (and we mean slather), keeping the surface wet as you apply the glaze. If you don't like the results simply paint over and start again. Veins should look like lightning bolts or tree branches, eachvein roughly parallel to the one next to it. Dip the sponge in this mixture andthen blot the excess on a paper towel. Sponge over the surface in a random pattern. The sponge will soften the veinsand begin to cover some of the veins. Next, fold a cloth into apad making sure there are no wrinkles on the bottom side. Wrinkles willleave an undesirable pattern on the surface. Apply 2 coats of the red base color, then sand the surface with #320 or finer grade sandpaper.

Techniques for finishing wood can range from a high-gloss painted finish to a finish that is more rustic or natural. First, remove the existing finish with an orbital sander and 120- and then 180-grit sandpaper. Next, apply single coats of different paint colours in random areas, one at a time, allowing drying time for each colour. Lastly, rough up and partially remove the paint with the orbital sander. Finish off with antique wax, or apply a clear or stain varnish to the surface. This effect can be used on both stained and painted pieces. Once the proper coats of paint or stain are applied and dry, use muttoncloth to apply lime wax or shoe polish into grain and millwork details. Remove excess wax with steel wool, then seal the limed detail with furniture wax and finishing oil. Strip paint with an orbital sander and 120- and then 180-grit sandpaper. Make sure the piece is free from dust before taking outdoors and placing on a dropcloth. A second light coat can be applied once the first coat is completely dry. The organic look of this table is protected from the elements with a sealer in a matt finish.

Rustic Rehab

Matt or suede finish is best for pieces with rough texture, since it minimises flaws and imperfections; gloss finishes are best for smooth, sleek pieces.

You can use this product on new and previously painted wood. Start by sanding down pieces with 180-grit sandpaper. Wipe clean to remove all traces of dust and then take the piece outdoors and place on a dropcloth. Allow the adhesive to dry to touch before placing the wallpaper onto the door front. This technique is best used on new lumber or smooth surfaces and creates an even and controlled modern look. Dip rag in mixture and apply it liberally to the wood as you would a stain, wiping over it with a rag to evenly distribute it. Dry and repeat coats until desired opacity. For large projects, it’s helpful to lay boards across a flat surface such as sawhorses while painting. Use these tips on buying or building your own sawhorses. This works on all types of wood, and creates a chippy, vintage look. Paint the entire surface with white paint and let it dry until tacky, about 15 to 20 minutes. Use a rag to scrub the surface, applying pressure over the wax areas to remove paint. If desired, moisten the rag with water to remove even more paint. If you’re working on a large project, it may take more than one day to complete. Try these tricks for storing your paint brush overnight. Use scrapper to drag the paint across the board and fill in the wood grain grooves. Repeat in needed areas, and let it dry overnight. For all techniques, consider finishing with a coat of polyurethane to seal in your hard work. The terms “distressing” and “antiquing” are often used interchangeably in the wood finishing world.

These techniques can be used separately or together along with glazing to obtain the degree of “aging” that you desire. Distressing is a technique of marking the wood to give the character of generations of use. If it’s been a long week and you need a lift, start a little character therapy project for yourself. Get rid of all that stress and finish a piece of furniture at the same time!

Walk into any furniture store and the trend toward using stains and finishes to create an antique look becomes abundantly clear. Corners and other recesses show the remains of an "old" finish while more exposed surfaces seem to have been "worn away" by time and use. This look of aging did not come from time but from a simple finishing technique that, with a little practice, you can master.

Besides applying stains and topcoats, this process involves selective sanding of the "base stain" and wiping in of a "top stain," so it's best to use scrap wood get a hands-on feel for how the stains will look on the particular wood you're using. Glazing is the process of applying a translucent color to the surface, and then rubbing off the excess glaze to create many effects. The look you are trying to obtain is a slightly distressed piece, so don't hold the sander in one spot too long. After you have finished a section, wipe it down with a slightly damp cloth to remove dust and reveal either the bare wood or under coat of finish beneath, creating the look of slightly worn areas. After you have sanded all surfaces inside and out with power sander (using either a #220 gray foam sanding pad or #400 grit sandpaper), you are ready to hand sand the edges, corners, and door.

You will want to be thinking about where extra wear would be from using the doorknobs, etc.

How To Get The Rustic Furniture Look For Cheap

You will notice as you go along that different pressures will bring out more of the undercoat. The doors of furniture get the most wear, so open and close the door and take notice of where your hands are. Imagine over time how much the areas are used and touched. This should help you decide what areas need to be more distressed. Be careful not to sand too hard after you have wiped a section with the damp cloth. When the furniture is sanded while damp, too much paint will come off. It's important to gradually sand all areas. Using coarse #100-#120 grit paper, sand all edges of raised panels, doors, drawers and corners of cabinet all the way through to bare wood. Sand heavily if you want a very rustic looking piece. Wipe off excess with a lint free cloth to achieve desired look. The glaze will color your sanded areas and give the painted sections an aged look. If you don’t like the results simply paint over and start again. Use a slow, twisting motion with the feather as you drag the color across the surface. Veins should look like lightning bolts or tree branches, each vein roughly parallel to the one next to it.


The veins should continue from edge to edge. Next, fold a cloth into a pad making sure there are no wrinkles on the bottom side. Wrinkles will leave an undesirable pattern on the surface. Blot the entire surface by lifting the pad straight up and down. This will blend the black veins into the white creating a soft, subtle look. Apply 2 coats of the base color, then sand the surface with #320 or finer grade sandpaper. Create a graining comb by beveling the end of a piece of corrugated cardboard with a razor knife. This will expose the ripples in the cardboard. Drag the comb across the stain to remove most of the top layer of color, allowing the base color to show through.

You can purchase commercial graining combs from craft supply stores to create a different look. Repeatedly brush the stain until it is almost dry to achieve soft grain lines. The wood stain softens the base color to a warm antiqued look.