When I went to our local hardware store for lumber and saw a pile of chunky delicious weathered and worn old boards at the very back of the outdoor yard- I was a tad giddy. I knew that they would be perfect for the job we were working on and would add instant patina and charm. I asked the lumber folks if they could grab the chunkiest, most weathered ones off the top rack for me and they stood there and looked at me like I was crazy.
I nodded and agreed. Yes, I might be a bit crazy. I am okay with it. And I want those old worn boards and will pay the new board price even so.
Unfortunately, they didn’t sell me the boards. Apparently, concerns about them being too damaged or worn and liabilities. And so, I had to find another way to get the look I was after with using new boards.
The Potting Shed Deck
While working on the potting shed deck- it was much the same. Lack of recycled and reclaimed lumber at my local favorite spots and so, new it was. But I didn’t want the potting shed to look like it was newly built. I was designing the garden and space to look like it had been there. So, I took that newly built deck and added something to give it an instant age and patina.
This stain – I will admit that I was skeptical. I didn’t want ‘gray’ as in ‘GRAY’- I wanted gray as in weathered. And when my husband first started staining the boards- they looked blue gray. I was not impressed. But we had limited options here at our local shop and we were on a major time crunch before some weather moved in and I had photos to get done before that happened too. So, we used what we could find. There are a ton of options out there-and even though we would have chosen something different if it was available easily- we were both pleasantly surprised at how easy this was to use and how it turned out.
And in that note- since it is oil based- I remembered a little something my dad taught me about staining boards with an oil stain back.in.the.day. You have to almost as quickly wipe the stain off as you wipe the stain on- and then repeat for more color if desired. Any excess of that oil based stain builds up and looks like just that.
So, as I watched my husband turning the steps blue gray- I grabbed a cloth and wiped the stain off and as it dried it was the most lovely shade of old weathered gray with the warm of the wood coming through just enough.
You can see a bit of the darker area where the stain took more because of the raised grain of the wood. But I don’t mind that.
I half thought about staining the cedar to give it a bit of age as well- but decided to let it do it’s thing as I don’t mind the natural color either.
Tips when staining
A few important tips when using a stain. And when I say important- I remember one time when I was growing up when a friends mom was staining something at their house. She cleaned up the mess of her work and tossed all the cloths together when she was finished and they created enough heat that they started a fire and burned the house quite badly. So please, please always follow safety precautions listed on the product you are using- always.
Wear Protective Gear– gloves, eye protection, a mask and long sleeves and pants. Be careful to make sure you have adequate ventilation especially indoors. This particular stain was one that I didn’t find much of an odor to but some are quite strong.
Use, Clean up & Dispose Properly– Don’t forget to follow the safety guidelines for using the stain- as well as for cleaning up and disposing. Follow the instructions on the product you are using. Oil based stains especially are flammable and they can create heat when piled together- and of course don’t use them near any open flames or cigarettes.
The best place to ask questions before beginning is at your local hardware and home improvement stores. They are often contractors and specialists who are working after retiring or as a second job and we have found some of them to be invaluable sources of info that we might not otherwise have gotten.
Shop the Look- You can find this Weathered Gray stain HERE (affiliate)
And read more about this potting shed build HERE
Happy Wednesday all.
Mari Silva says
Have you tried
Lifetime wood preservative? It’s natural and non toxic. You quickly dip each board in the powder mixed in water and the wood turns a lovely silveri tone. You can immediately build with it & no paint or finish will ever be needed. We have used it extensively even on our raised veggie beds and it looks great:)
Sounds great! We had such limited choices at the time (in March) with a lot of stores closed or things unavailable yet- we were glad to find something that worked but I will look for that product to try next time!
Aussie Jo says
franki Parde says
A lot of work…we know, too! franki
Thank you for the tip!
Love your pottinG shed.
Will definitely be Trying
This stain at some point!
Roseann D'Elia says
In love with your potting shed. I think it came out perfect.
I to have used this stain to get the weathered barn look. I add a tiny bit of minwaxstain grey to it so I don’t get the bluehue. just a little trick.
Happy Haute Home says
I am so glad the stain worked out for you COurtney! We tried to stain Pine Boards for an outdoor mantle in our pool house and the weathered gray looked awful. Actually most stains looked awful, Pine is a difficult wood to stain and make it look good, because of the yellow UNDERTONES. We are moving to white oak next, and see how that does. I love the natural cedar look of your shed! So beautiful!
We have struggled with the stains before too-I was really hesitant on if it would work. But our local sources for reclaimed wood have had nothing with the lumber shortage so had to make do and I am surprised at how it turned out. White oak would be Amazing- we found a huge stack of old antique 2×8’s at the Re-Store a couple of years ago and have used them all over the place- so pretty!
I love it! NoBody MAKES stairs look more quaint or lovely than you. Your chickens make my heart smile every time I see tHem. Hugs to you.
It really works Courtney and the little chickens are so Cute, I can’t stand it.
Your tips are amazing and helpful, thank you. Your shed is gorgeous. I love how your stePs turned out. Beautiful diy. Thanks for sharing
Just a suggestion? If staining a New soft wood (pine) treAt first with Minwax Wood conDitioner. This will keep Stain from “GRABBING” into the Wood & final color will be truer. Pressure TREATED outdoor wood cannot be stained Without weathering For a time. Buy wood, sEt it out For awhile prior to CONSTRUCTION. So much to build – so little time!