Weathering wood

Old stuff shows its age. Since what we deal with here is mostly old stuff, techniques that makes stuff look old will often be covered. Todays topic is wood.

Weathered wood2

I prefer real wood for extremely aged wooden buildings. Not just any kind of wood, but high quality basswood from supppliers like Kappler or Mt. Albert. The fine grain of this wood is a must in my opinion.

I start by distressing the wood with a new piece of really coarse sandpaper. (grade 40 or 60). I apply as much pressure as I can, and drag the strips of wood along the sandpaper. Naturally, I do this before cutting the pieces or doing any assembly.

I remove the fuss from the sanding with a fine wire-brush. Further distressing of the wood is done with scalpel, dental probe or any sharp, pointed object that I have available.

For painting I use two different approches. If the wood is supposed to look rotten and and full of mildew and what not, I go for stains.

I start with a quite light grayish brown. The stain I use is Indian Ink well dilluted with rubbing alcohol. When this is dry I use a thin, black wash of Indian Ink /RA. I add some pastel chalks to suggest that the wood have been painted a long time ago. Here are some more pictures:

Weathered wood2

Weathered wood3

But if you want that silvery grey, bone dry look stains are not the way to go. You need a base coat that is lighter than what you can achive with stains. You do not want the natural yellow of the wood.

I treat the wood as above. But as a base coat I use a thin mix of flat white with some drops of gun-metal. Thin the paint well, you dont want the woood to lok painted. You might have to add several coats. When this is dry I use the same black Indian Ink/RA wash.

The well-worn red paint is just scribbled on with a red crayon:

Weathered wood

The latter technique should work well on styrene as well, me thinks.


4 thoughts on “Weathering wood

    • I used Conté crayons that were ground to powder with very coarse sandpaper. The powder was then applied with a soft paintbrush. It was a long time since I wrote this tutorial, today I would have used pigment powders.

      Regards, Hauk

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s