Antiquing Plywood

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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

Give plywood a distressed, antique look with a few hardware-store finds.

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.


Step 1

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.

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Step 2

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.


Step 3

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

Step 4

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.


Step 5

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


Gel stains come in a variety of rich colors and are available at most local hardware stores.


Use wood stain and polyurethane in a well-ventilated area to avoid overexposure to chemical fumes.


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