How to Fake Reclaimed Wood Shelves With New Wood

7 Materials
2 Hours

Learn how to make beautiful weathered wood shelves from basic unfinished wood shelves. It's an easy way to get the look of reclaimed wood, for less!

We used these gorgeous shelves in our Modern Farmhouse bathroom renovation. The reclaimed-look shelves added rustic warmth (and a ton of extra storage!) in our main bathroom.

Step 1: Lay the unfinished shelves on a surface that won't get damaged by wood stain.

Step 2: Fill a bowl with water. Gather your favorite wood stain and several rags.

Step 3: Dip the rag in the stain. Then, before applying the stain, dip the rag in water to dilute the stain.

Step 4: Rub the rag across the wood following the direction of the grain. Don't worry about even coverage. The purpose of the diluted stain and uneven coverage is to create that reclaimed look. (In other words, you want the stain to look like it has weathered over time.)

Step 5: Finally, apply additional coats if you would like the color to be darker, but still keep it uneven in coverage.

We hung the shelves in our bathroom, in order to increase storage in a small bath. Check out the full bathroom makeover to see more.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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4 of 10 comments
  • Sharon
    on Feb 4, 2019

    water based stain?

  • Renee
    on Feb 4, 2019

    As a home grown Texas farm girl our wood as gray old color and not smooth but yours is nice

    • Jim Cox
      on Mar 19, 2019

      A wire 'cup brush' on an angle grinder does wonders, but go easy... wood dissapears fast! I use minwax Espresso on treated pine, it typically matches the outdoor look fairly well. In this pic the sides are new, but the bottom plate is 30 yr old fencing

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