Armoire With a Weathered Wood Finish

4 Materials
3 Days

Editor's Note: It is extremely dangerous to mix anything with bleach. Do not move onto the bleach step of this project until there is absolutely no acetone left on your piece.

My armoire needed a makeover. The pine was so orange it was looking dated. So with a lot of trial and error, I found a great way to make it more of an updated weathered gray.

This is what it looked like before.

Strip Off The Old Finish

The armoire had a wax finish on it so we needed to get that off. It comes off pretty easily with regular acetone and a little scraping. Be sure to wear gloves and use acetone in a very well ventilated area, keep away from any heat and flame and follow all label directions.

You can also use paint stripper for this step.

Sand The Wood

Once we had all the wax removed, we sanded the wood really well.

But it still looked really red so...

Bleach The Wood

I bleached it with regular household chlorine bleach.

Make sure there's no acetone left on the wood because you don't ever want to mix anything with bleach.

I wiped the bleach on full strength, very evenly with a sponge in the direction of the grain. Then I set it in the sun to dry for about 3 hours to accelerate the bleaching. I did 3 applications.

Be sure to use caution when using bleach! Read and follow all label directions!

The bleach will raise the grain of the pine so we sanded it down again really well.

Apply Accelerating Stain

Once we got all the sanding dust off, it was time for the weathered wood accelerator.

It doesn't really go on like regular stain. It’s really thin — like water. And it starts to work as soon as it hits the wood. You need to brush it on evenly with the grain. Don’t let it pool or run. We had to work really fast to get it on evenly. Read and follow the label directions.

After you put it on, it starts to make the wood look gray

Like it’s been out in the weather for years

And it continues to darken a little more over time unless you put a finish over it

We let ours sit for about 5 days and this is the color we ended up with.

Then we just put a coat of clear wax over it and we were done.

I just love the way it turned out!

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 11 questions
  • Sheri McCullah
    on Sep 4, 2020

    It looks really nice, thanks for sharing your process!

  • Rockie
    on Sep 4, 2020

    Love it.

    But if one day next generation

    Wants it back to wood colors

    Could that be done?

  • Patricia Salvador
    on Sep 5, 2020

    I have always used this process when wanting to get all of the finish off of a peice I was doing. Great job!

Join the conversation

3 of 87 comments
  • Jan
    on Sep 4, 2020

    I hope this was a relatively new piece. If so, great job!

  • Lisa
    on Sep 5, 2020

    I'm absolutely in love with that piece and the way it turned out! I have several olde pieces I refuse to paint, but this would be a great project with a beautiful wood, thank you so much for sharing❤️

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