Make New Boards Look Rustic and Aged

There are sooooo many different methods and techniques out there for distressing or aging wood to look like rugged old barn boards. But I’ve tried them all… and I’m going to show you the absolute EASIEST and most customizable way for you to make your NEW boards look like legitimate old wood.

SUPER SIMPLE technique for making brand new wood look like old barn boards! {Reality Daydream} #rustic #farmhouse #barnwood #distressed

We used cheap pine 1×4’s. SO CHEAP!

I took my little intern with me, and we had a lesson on how to spot cupping issues when choosing lumber. (she’s a quick learner)

Grab yourself some brand new boards, and make them look like old distressed barn wood in 3 simple steps! {Reality Daydream}

Make new boards look like old barn boards with a SIMPLE technique! {Reality Daydream}

You could use any type of wood for this, but I love pine because it has awesome wood grain and I love how it accepts the stain.

Not to mention CHEAP.

Did I add that pine is inexpensive?

Oh yeah… and it doesn’t cost very much either!

Next, I ran them through the router with a 1/4” Roundover Bit  to knock off those crisp edges. You could also just hit ‘em with a sander too for the same (ish) effect.

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I whipped out some random quarts of paint I had lying around from previous projects. Mint, turquoise, white, and charcoal gray. I know there will be a handful of you that want EXACT colors, but it just doesn’t matter. Just grab a handful of colors that are along the lines of the color scheme you’re going for, and roll with it! I specifically like adding in white to any color combo though because it really adds contrast in the end. You’ll see!

Make new boards look like old distressed barn wood! {Reality Daydream}

(NOTE: use semi-gloss for the white, because if you use flat or even satin, it will soak up the stain tooooo much! The sheen doesn’t matter for the other colors)

Next, I just haphazardly dry-brushed on the paint, using 2 or 3 colors on each board. Just be random, my friends. And don’t slop on too much. It’s ok if the board is showing here and there.

Make brand new wood look like legit old distressed barn boards with these 3 simple steps! {Reality Daydream}

After letting the paint dry overnight, I went at it with 80 grit sandpaper on my Cordless Orbital Sander. You’ll see that the wood grain pops through FAST! It doesn’t take much sanding!

Simple technique for making new boards look like old painted barn wood {Reality Daydream}
Some boards I sanded more than others. The key is to be random. And just truly not care.

3 steps to make brand new wood look like legit old barn boards {Reality Daydream}
You could almost stop there, because they look pretty weathered and all… but the last step is what really gives it something special! I promise!

After sanding and dusting all the sawdust off, I stained with a medium brown stain (Minwax Provincial to be exact). You can go with a lighter stain too… if you don’t want it to be such a dark rich color.

SUPER simple technique for making new wood look like old painted barn boards {Reality Daydream}

Rather than applying the stain with a brush, I just wiped it on with a cloth and wiped it off immediately with one swift motion! You don’t want that stain to soak in too long.

SUPER SIMPLE technique for making brand new wood look like old barn boards! {Reality Daydream} #rustic #distressed #farmhouse #barnwood

That’s it: {PAINT} {SAND} {STAIN}

Are you crying tears of joy? I KNEW it!

The possibilities are endless! And it’s such a SIMPLE technique! As always, if you give it a try, be sure to send pics or tag me on social media! (@realitydaydream) I love seeing what you guys come up with in your various DIY projects. So fun! Now go forth and be creative!