Weathered Pine Stain

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 06/27/2012 - 15:23
Additional Photos

Do you love the look of weathered wood, but don’t quite trust a reclaimed wood board for your dining table? Or don’t have an endless supply of pallet boards, not treated with harsh chemicals?

You can still get the look of weathered wood on new boards. And you don’t have to leave your project out in the weather for years to get this look.

I’m really excited today to team up once again with the awesome folks over at Minwax to bring you a quick and easy INDOOR stain tutorial that will age your pine boards in hours, not years!

Can you believe this is the exact same board, one bare pine, and one with a stain applied?  You don't have to dumpster dive and you can stop eyeing your neighbor's old shed to get the beauty of weathered wood in your home!

For this tutorial, I built a Jewelry Wall Cabinet from new pine boards. 

And this is how it turned out!


Yes, those were brand spanking new boards just hours earlier!  


Follow along in this tutorial, and I'll show you exactly how you can also apply that oh so difficult to get weathered gray stain to your new pine boards!

Shopping List

Pine Indoor project

120 Grit Sand Paper

220 Grit Sand Paper

Staining Rags

Minwax Wood Finish in Classic Gray

Stain Brush

Small Oil Based Stain Brush

Finishing Sanding Block

Spray-On Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Satin

Paint Thinner for cleaning brushes

Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

Step 1 Diagram
Step 1

Preparing Wood

This project is built on pine.  Always take a minute to test the stain on scrap boards to ensure the stain works well with your boards.  Remember that the more rustic your boards are before the stain - the more rustic they'll look after the stain - so go ahead, use up those knotty boards that are straight but have lots of imperfections!

After you build your project, take your time and sand it
well.  Sanding will not only smooth out
any splinters or rough patches, but sanding also prepares your wood for
accepting stain.

I used 120 grit sandpaper for the initial sanding, with an orbital power sander.

Make sure you sand all areas inside and out.

Once your project has been sanded, remove all sanding residue with a brush.  

You can also use a soft bristled brush on a vacuum.  Then follow up with a damp rag, making sure all sanding residue is removed.

Step 2 Instructions

Preparing Supplies

Minwax just came out with this great new stain called Classic Gray.  It is the only stain that I used on this project.

Like all stains, you will want to mix until the stain is a uniform color.  Scrape the bottom with your stir stick, loosening up stubborn stain on the bottom of the can.

Ready for application!

I use over and over again a good oil based stain brush that is properly taken care of.  For this project, I’m using a 1 ½” brush.  Use a brush sized for your project.

You can also apply with a sponge applicator or rags.

Step 3 Instructions

Applying Stain

It’s always a good idea to test out the stain on a scrap piece.  If your stain looks blotchy, then apply Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner before staining – it’s cheap insurance and easy to do.  

When you begin staining, apply in the direction of the wood grain, starting on the inside working your way outward.

Carefully apply stain to all areas, getting the stain into all crevices and joints.

When wood weathers in nature, the knots weather differently than the wood itself.  If you simply apply stain over the knots, the finished product may look unnaturally weathered.  I took a small paint brush and applied stain around the knots.

For areas too small to reach with the main stain brush, use the small paint brush.  Once stain soaks into those knots, it will be difficult to remove.

It’s okay to admire your work as you go!  The color is quite beautiful with a shimmery

Once your first coat has been fully applied, allow the stain
to soak in for up to 15 minutes. If the stain isn't as dark as you'd like, you can add a second coat after 4 to 6 hours.

Don't worry, I got that spot I missed!


Step 4 Instructions

Wiping Off Excess Stain

After the stain soaks in, test a small area where you first started applying the stain by wiping off
with a rag.  TIP: Use old baby clothes as

If you are happy with the amount of stain soaking in, wipe
off all excess stain on the project.

Blend stain around knots to make knots appear more natural in the stain.

Work excess stain into areas that are lighter or less uniform in color.

Step 5 Instructions

<h2>Additional Coats</h2><p></p><p><img src="…; style="height: 314px; " alt="" /></p><p>The wood used on the doors for my project took the stain much lighter than the rest of the project. Naturally weathered wood will weather inconsistently too – on a board by board basis – but I wanted this project to be more consistent. &nbsp;So I added a second coat to the doors. &nbsp;</p><p><img src="…; alt="" style="height: 571px; " /></p><p></p><p>Around the knots, I carefully added more stain.</p><p></p><p><img src="…; style="height: 415px; " alt="" /></p><p></p><p>And then I just brushed on more stain over the doors. &nbsp;I let this second coat soak in for about 15 minutes, and then wiped off, blending knots again.</p>

Step 6 Instructions

<h2>Cleaning Brushes</h2><p></p><p><img src="…; style="height: 594px; " alt="" /></p><p></p><p>To clean the brush, fill a jar half way up with paint thinner.</p><p></p><p><img src="…; style="height: 314px; " alt="" /></p><p>Swirl the brush in the paint thinner to loosen up stain. &nbsp;If you need to, use a fork to comb through the brush bristles.</p><p><img src="…; style="height: 314px; " alt="" /></p><p></p><p>Then wash your brush with soapy water, swirling the brush in the palm of your hand.</p><p></p><p><img src="…; style="height: 314px; " alt="" /></p><p></p><p>Rinse the brush clean and store in original packaging. &nbsp;Your brush will be like brand new again!</p>

Step 7 Instructions

<h2>Final Top Coat</h2><p></p><p></p><p class="MsoNormal">Once the stain is completely dry on the project and you are happy with your masterpiece, it's time to <em>seal the deal!</em><o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><img src="…; style="height: 642px; " alt="" /></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal">To protect your hard-earned finish, I choose my favorite top coat, <a href="…; target="_blank">Minwax Polycrylic in satin.</a> &nbsp;The satin sheen is barely noticeable, but will seal your project and make it easy to wipe clean. &nbsp;And the polycrylic won't amber over time!</p><p class="MsoNormal">First remove all sanding residue with a brush or vacuum with a soft bristled brush. &nbsp;Then wipe clean with a damp rag and allow the project to dry <span style="font-weight: bold;">completely</span>. &nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal">Protect the area around your project from possible overspray or work outdoors. &nbsp;A word of caution - I once sprayed top coat on outside and the wind picked up and covered the project in dirt and leaves .... Thankfully, the Minwax Spray On Polycrylic dries to touch fast.</p><p class="MsoNormal">I sprayed on three coats of polycrylic, opting for light even coats, and waiting about half an hour between coats, lightly sanding the project with 220 grit sandpaper in between coats, and removing all sanding residue before spraying. &nbsp;This results in a super smooth finish!</p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><img src="; style="height: 629px; " alt="" /></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal">Enjoy the look of weathered wood without waiting on the weather or
worrying about what's in that wood!<o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal">Special thanks to <a href="; target="_blank">Minwax </a>for bringing you this staining tutorial!</p><p></p><p></p>



Wed, 01/28/2015 - 11:26

Hey Ana.

I've run across your site a number of times and I like your work.

Have a question... I'm working on a speaker cabinet for a customer using clear pine, finger joint construction. He wants a stained finish and I haven't done a ton with stains (I like natural wood finishes typically).

I've read horror stories about the tendency for pine to get blotchy with stains unless the wood is sealed and then knocked back with something like 220 grit sandpaper.

Do you have a recipe or suggestions for sealing pine prior to stain? I've made my own sanding sealer in the past using a 50/50 mixture of water-based poly (Polycrylic) and water and that's worked well for controlling grain but I'm not sure I want to go that route with this project.

Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks!


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