How to “Age” Wood for Rustic Wood Signs

How to Age Wood with Vinegar

We’ve all seen those beautiful wood signs on Pinterest made of re-purposed pallets. Often, the pallets that you get your hands on will be beautifully aged, with that grey, weathered look. However, more often, you’ll find pallets that look pretty shiny and new. And if you’re going to use wood that looks new, you might as well use NEW wood. 

But. If you’re looking for that grey, weathered look for your projects, like this, 

Pallet Christmas Tree….but your pallet wood looks a little more like this:

How to Age Pallet Woodthen I have the solution for you. It involves a mason jar and vinegar and steel wool and a spray bottle and a few days up to a week of time. 

Take your steel wool pad and pull it apart into smaller pieces (this will help it break down more quickly) and put them into the mason jar. Pour vinegar over it, about 2 cups, and rest the lid on top, leaving a little space for it to breathe. 

Leave on your counter for several days, and then start doing tests on a piece of scrap wood with a paintbrush. While I’m sure there’s a precise science to it, it seems to me, from experience and reading online, that it really depends on the steel wool that you have and the brand of vinegar and how many days since the last full moon, as to how long it’s going to take to make the weathering stain. 

How to Age Wood with Vinegar

Allow the tested wood to dry in order to get the full effect of the stain. When you’re happy with the result, pour the vinegar stain out of the mason jar and into a spray bottle. 

How to Age Wood with VinegarSpray the mix onto the wood until it’s completely wet. Allow to dry, and repeat again until you achieve the level of darkness you’re happy with. 

How to Age Pallet Wood with Vinegar

Happy aging! 


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Jenn vanOosten

I live in Hamilton, Ontario, and love my city. I'm a Netflixer, choral music geek, bookworm, inventor of recipes (I take Artistic Licence on EVERYTHING that I make), wife of one, mother of two, and owner of a neurotic Schnauzer. I respect people who respect others. I love good food that's well done, but my favourite lunch is KD & hotdogs. With ketchup. I'm addicted to Clearance Shopping. I will ALWAYS get the product that I want at the price that I want, eventually.


  1. LOVE THIS! I want that for my step. STAT!

  2. I love this! I have a project in mind that I need aged wood for. Yay! You saved me from shopping, Jenn. :)

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