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How to Make Plywood Look Like Barnwood

The look of barnwood has become a popular choice, even for kitchens, and it's easy to make plywood look like barnwood.


Using barnwood has become a huge trend over the past couple of years but, unfortunately, we don't have access to this type of material locally. For this reason, it's nice to know that you can make ordinary pine plywood resemble the look of barnwood with this quick and easy method. Follow the instructions below for a simple way to transform plywood into a weathered barnwood effect for your furniture and projects.








Pine or veneered plywood

180-grit sandpaper

Acrylic paint, white

Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain - in a medium brown for best results

Rust-Oleum Ultimate Polyurethane, matte


Drill / Driver plus wire brush attachment



1. To make plywood look like barnwood, you first need to go over the surface with your drill / driver and a wire brush attachment. The wire brush abrades the surface of the wood to raise the wood grain. When using the wire brush, follow the direction of the wood grain veneer on the plywood board.







2. After using the wire brush to raise the grain across the entire workpiece, lightly sand the surface with 180-grit sandpaper to remove the loose bits of wood. Wipe clean once you're done. 





3. Apply the wood stain using a paintbrush and following the direction of the grain. Don't overload the brush with too much stain as you want an even finish across the entire workpiece. Use a lint-free rag to remove any excess stain as quickly as possible. Leaving the stain on for too long will result in a darker stain colour than you want.

4. Allow the wood stain to dry overnight before very lightly sanding with 180-grit sandpaper. You want an even stain across the surface of the board and you will have noticed that some areas, particularly on the grain lines, will be darker. wipe clean once you're done.

5. For this step, you will mix a whitewash for application. To do this, combine a 1:1 ratio of paint and clean water. Stir well to combine. Use a clean paintbrush to apply the whitewash over the stained surface.

6. After applying the whitewash, immediately wipe off with a lint-free rag - rubbing in the direction of the wood grain.







7. Let the whitewash dry before you apply the polyurethane matte sealer according to the instructions.

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