How to Antique Wood using Beer

Antique wood has been allowed to age naturally so trying to recreate the appearance of antique wood using beer as a stain could seem an odd proposition. Take a close look at the surface of antique wood and examine the patina. The patina is the natural surface that has come about with age, the wood has been polished and touched. Antique wood has absorbed oils and air and the patina has built up over the years. Beer has never come into the equation.

Odd pieces of wood can be successfully aged with the help of beer. The effect may not be as striking as the finish on traditional antique wood but regular helpings of beer can help to induce age.

The beer used to create the `antique wood look` is all important. Traditional dark beers will create an antique wood effect far quicker. A chestnut dark mild beer has the strength to stain the wood whereas a premium lager would do nothing. A beautiful chestnut colored beer applied coat by coat over a long period of time will stain the wood effectively.

You may want to re-stain an existing piece of antique wood or you may want to try to apply the beer technique to a far newer piece. The process is the same. If you are re-staining a piece of antique wood then you will need to sand the surface before you begin. The beer will not be able to penetrate the layers of polish or varnish. If the wood is fresh and has never been stained, polished or varnished then the surface will be absorbent. The importance of using clean cloth to apply the beer cannot be stressed enough. A clean cloth will be dipped into a dish of dark beer and the beer will then be rubbed onto the surface of the wood.

This is a painstaking process. Antique wood has had years to gain a patina yet we are trying to force an aged surface. Take it a step at a time or you will tire of the project before it is finished. The beer can be resealed and used as and when you require it. Antique wood has an uneven finish, some areas of wood are darker than others and using the beer you can create this effect. Let a corner of the clean cloth soak into the dark beer and sit the beer soaked cloth on top of the wood. Once this process has been repeated the `antique wood` begins to shine through.

It may take a numerous beer rubbing sessions to come up with what resembles a piece of antique wood. The depth of the color is in your hands. The more coats of beer you apply the deeper and richer the `antique wood `will look. When you think that you have achieved what you set out to accomplish then you can consider adding a light coat of varnish to seal the color in.