Antiquing Plywood

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Give plywood a distressed, antique look with a few hardware-store finds.
Give plywood a distressed, antique look with a few hardware-store finds. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Antique wood tells a story with its worn corners and scratched surfaces, but you often must pay a pretty penny for that story. Distressing new plywood to look antique will save you money and give you something that fits your personal style. Antiquing plywood to use in a decorative piece or as part of a piece of furniture, such as a table top or headboard, can give you a very convincing antique look that will have your friends asking where you bought such a fine antique.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium to large gravel
  • Rubber mallet
  • Nail
  • Can of compressed air
  • Drop cloth
  • Latex or nyplex gloves
  • Gel wood stain
  • Paint brush or lamb’s wool
  • Rag
  • Satin polyurethane

Spread medium-size to large gravel pieces on a flat surface. Lay a piece of plywood on top of the gravel, and walk on the plywood to press it into the gravel. Pick up the plywood and brush off the gravel.

Lay the plywood on a flat surface, marked side up. Poke small holes into the wood by hitting a nail with a rubber mallet to resemble wormholes.

Clean out the gouges and holes with a can of compressed air. Dust off the wood to remove any debris.

Place the plywood on a drop cloth. Put on a pair of latex or nyplex gloves. Brush the entire surface with a medium- to dark-colored gel wood stain using a paint brush or piece of lamb’s wool. Remove excess stain with a clean, dry rag. Allow the stain to dry according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Use a paintbrush to cover the surface of the plywood with satin polyurethane. Allow the stain to dry according to the manufacturer’s directions.

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