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How to Create the Weathered Barn Wood look with New Wood

Learn how to make new wood look old with this weathered wood technique. You won’t believe how a little joint compound can make any new wood look aged.

If you had the choice would you rather use weathered barn wood boards or new boards for a home project? How about new boards with the weathered look! That’s the best of both worlds right? The weathered wood look is in, and I can’t wait to show you how to make new wood look like old barn wood.

It’s interesting to me to see how trends change. Growing up the home trends seemed to be all about new homes and new decor. Lately (as in the last 10 years) the home trends are moving more towards “antique, aged and restored.”

I do love a new home (especially that new home smell!) but you don’t get that authentic character that you see in an older home.

That’s why this weathered wood technique is so great; you get the best of both worlds. As a matter of fact, recently I shared a weathered wood look on a smooth piece of faux wood (it was actually laminate). All that to say, it’s so easy to find a way to create that aged look to new wood or even faux wood!

A little disclaimer; this technique works best with wood that has a prominent wood grain. It doesn’t matter what type of wood (I’m using a scrap piece of deck wood for this project), just as long as it has a nice wood grain. The heavier the wood grain, the better the “weathered look” will show up. Oak wood is particularly good for this.

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Another disclaimer; I’m using joint compound for this project, but you can also use plaster of paris.

The picture below is the new wood (scrap piece of deck wood) before this awesome aged treatment has been applied. This was a scrap piece of wood we had in the garage. Sometimes scraps make the best project pieces!

scrap wood before the weathered barn wood technique

Since this post was written I’ve received a lot of questions about applying this weathered wood technique to a treated piece of lumber. Does it work? Can this technique hold up outside? I’ll answer this questions at the end of the post.

I’m no stranger to making new things look old with joint compound. A while ago I transformed a new terra cotta pot and gave it an aged patina look with joint compound. Then I used the same technique again to transform an outside flower planter with a faux stone look.

How to add texture to a pot with joint compound
DIY faux stone planters

I love the texture it adds to a simple plastic or clay pot.

Fast forward a few years and here I am with a joint compound project idea; this time it involves a scrap piece of wood!

thrifting freebie

Materials needed to make this DIY weathered barn wood

  1. Wood
  2. Wood stain
  3. Staining rag or brush
  4. Putty knives
  5. Joint compound
  6. Paper towels

How to make new wood look like old and white washed with joint compound

  • Stain the wood and let it dry completely
  • Apply a large amount of joint compound in the direction of the wood grain with a putty knife or a regular knife
  • Use the putty knife to “rake” most of the excess joint compound off of the wood. Rake in the direction of the wood grain.
  • Once the majority of the excess joint compound has been removed, use a paper towel or lint free cloth to wipe the wood down.
  • You can use a wet cloth to remove as much as you want until you get the desired look
  • Wait at least an hour to let the wood dry
  • Repeat the steps to get the desired finish if the first finish wasn’t “aged” enough

To stain this piece of scrap wood I used a Minwax weathered Oak stain.

I won’t go into details about how to stain or dye wood. You can refer to my post I created about using wood stain vs. wood dye. Or you might be interested in a post on staining wood with household items.

Below is what the wood looked like while scraping a few layers of joint compound off of it.

DIY Weathered Barn Wood to new wood

You can see how the joint compound is starting to make the wood look weathered. I’m loving it so far!

making new wood look old with joint compound
making new wood look old

Pictured above is what the wood looked like after about ten minutes of removing the excess joint compound.

making new wood look old

Below is the wood after about an hour that I removed the joint compound.

Weathered Barn Wood look with new wood after it's dry

I love my “new weathered wood” now.

Does this weathered wood technique work for treated wood or outdoor wood furniture?

Being that I used a piece of deck wood (treated wood) for this project, I would say yes! If I were going to apply this weathered wood technique to something that would stay outside permanently, I would apply a sealer to it.

My biggest piece of advice when applying any paint, stain or treatment to treated wood…MAKE SURE IT’S COMPLETELY DRY before applying any finish to it. Trust me, you don’t want to make this mistake.

The Home Depot says “To determine if pressure treated wood is dry enough to stain, try the “sprinkle” test. Sprinkle water on the wood: if the wood absorbs it within 10 minutes, plan to stain as soon as possible. If the water beads or pools on the wood surface, the wood needs more time to dry.”

This wood project was so much fun because it didn’t cost me a dime or take much time at all!

Now I’ve got to find a piece of furniture or accent wall that I can apply this aged wood technique to. Wish me luck!

how to make new wood look like old barn wood

How to create the Weathered Barn wood look on new wood

DIY Weathered Barn Wood look

Learn how to create that weathered barn wood look with new wood. This is such a simple tutorial to make new wood look aged with just a few materials.

Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost 10 dollars


  • Wood
  • Wood stain
  • Staining rag or brush
  • Putty knives
  • Joint compound
  • Paper towels


  1. Stain the wood and let it dry completely
  2. Apply the joint compound heavily on the wood with a putty knife or a regular knife
  3. Use the putty knife to "rake" most of the excess joint compound off of the wood. Rake in the direction of the wood grain.
  4. Once the majority of the excess joint compound has been removed, use a paper towel or lint free cloth to wipe the wood down.
  5. You can use a wet cloth to remove as much as you want until you get the desired look
  6. Wait at least an hour to let the wood dry
  7. Repeat the steps to get the desired finish if the first finish wasn't "aged" enough

Related Whitewash furniture posts:

How to Whitewash Bare Wood with a Latex Paint and Water Mixture

how to whitewash wood

How to use Lime wax with a Lime Washed Coffee Table Makeover

Lime Washed Coffee Table Makeover with Liming Wax

How to Create an Antique Fireplace Mantel with a Whitewash Technique

antique fireplace mantel with white wash

White washed furniture makeovers that will wow you!

white washed furniture makeovers

Best White Wash Wood Stains with Products

white washing the kitchen cabinet

Do you need to seal Whitewash furniture and wood?

sealing whitewash furniture and wood

Paint Wash for Furniture; How to mute outdated Furniture Tones

applying tan wash or paint wash to pine wood

I hope I’ve created a simple and easy to follow tutorial. As always, let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks for stopping by!


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  1. jenny says:

    Can you add paint to the joint compound so that you can do that in other colors?

  2. Didy says:

    You have nice ideas. Just a bit of advice…you have way too many ads. Its hard to enjoy your diy’s with all those ads, I just want to leave your site.

  3. Dee says:

    No offense but, I’ve worked in two weathered old barns (over 50 to 100 years old) and your wood looks nothing like it. I appreciate your hard work and your ideas so keep them coming.

  4. Evelyn says:

    Great idea. I will try it for the floor at the camp.and will apply 2-3 coats of sealer afterwards.

    Thanks for the idea

  5. Michelle P Laverne says:

    Love this! Do you have a picture of it stained?

  6. Andrew says:

    Just wondering if I used this technique on boards for an inside accent wall around a stair case. Would I need to put a sealer on them? My concern is that the spackiling compound might come off or start crumbling.

  7. Patty J. says:

    Love this idea for giving wood that much loved weathered look. May I ask what engine you used to develope your web site/blog?

    Patty J.

  8. Wer Ruft An (HTTPS:// says:

    Great DIY! The door will be amazing!

  9. Mike Snyder says:

    Great idea! FYI adding a deeper ‘vein’ in the wood, before staining or applying the joint compound, use a small cup wire wheel in your drill and go over the wood.

    Softer wood will be eaten away, while the harder sap wood will remain, creating Defined veins and a deeper texture. I use a dark stain like Espresso, then sand, high-lighting the harder wood, then stain with Special Oak. I’ll bet applying the compound after that would really pop the texture!

  10. Ron says:

    There’s an easier way and allows for way more options. And in my opinion neater. Be happy to share.

  11. Sue says:

    What if you want to make different coloured boards? Like some turquoise etc…? Can I mix paint with the drywall buddy to make colours?

    • I’ve actually thought about doing this! Honestly, I have no clue if it would work or not. I don’t see why not? I had thought about painting the board a color and putting the white putty on top. Mixing color into the drywall might work though! Let me know if you try it and how it turns out.

  12. Erin says:

    Do you think this could be used on a wood floor? If sealed appropriately to ensure durability?

  13. Lainie says:

    I’m getting ready for our Christmas Show, and I was wondering if you can mix some color in the compound you use on the wood? Loved the video ❤️❤️❤️

  14. Debbie Perkins says:

    Well, I did it. I used old fence boards, and it was awesome. Didn’t even clean them. Well this was for an outside cooler. It turned out better than I could have imagined. My sister loved her Christmas present. I loved how it turned out.

  15. Debbie Perkins says:

    Well, I was thinking of painting some actual old fence boards to use for a cooler project. I will give one a shot and see how THAT turns out. Thanks for the idea. Sounds better than staining, painting, sanding…. getting lazier in my new 60’s. I’ll certainly tackle some wood work!!!

  16. Wanda says:

    Do you think I can do my kitchen cabinets with this process?

  17. Kandy says:

    I wonder what would happen if a second coat of stain was applied and wiped off after the joint compound was applied, scraped off and dried.

  18. Charlotte says:

    My only worry is that using deck boards might not be safe for indoors, as this wood is usually treated.

  19. Jill says:

    This is a very interesting treatment for raw, rough grain boards. Love the final barn wood effect. Have you tried any other color stains or further distressing before staining, like wire brushing, scraping in the softer grain areas, dinging up in general etc.? Since joint compound is not waterproof, what did you seal it with? I’ve saved a tutorial for making a blanket ladder from the rough, utility grade 2×2’s and I think this would be the perfect finish treatment to use. I also saved the how-to for some heavily distressed plank style interior/decorative shutters. They were only stained but I think this idea would work on them as well. Now I need to get some scrap wood and start experimenting! Thank you for sharing

  20. Rita Henson says:

    Hi I absolutely loved the tutorial I’m thinking of making a coffee table and the weathered barn look is just I was looking for so thank you so much for sharing it. Also I’m interested in the color of your wall in your video behind you it’s so pretty. I was hoping you would share the brand and color. I’m wanting to paint the interior of my home. Thanks again I love to see all your project’s. Rita

  21. I love this Lindsey! Using the joint compound really gives the new wood an authentic looking aged finish! Pinning!

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