weathered wood bars

things have gotten really busy in my garage as my buddy and i’ve been building and painting up a storm.painted wood to look weathered

ok, fine. he’s been building.

rolling wood bar

and i’ve been painting…and painting…and painting….wood bar

what you’re looking at here are a few rolling bars. perfect for any type of party.wood bar

but as y’all know, while i love wood. i really love distressed and rustic-looking wood painted to look weathered

a lot of folks build with pallets, but we find that they’re really hard to pull apart. also, when i don’t know what chemicals have been used to treat a pallet, i don’t want to use it in homes or where food may be served. new wood painted to look weathered

so, we take new wood and make it look old. you can see the rough hewn on the picture below. we take the wood and put it through backward on one of the machines to give this really rough surface. i love how the grooves catch all the different stains and paint layers and creates a really old wood look.rough cut wood weathered wood faux finish

for these bars, i used Modern Masters Dead Flat on the tops. this product allows for an absolute matte finish that sometimes you don’t even know if there’s a varnish on your wood. i recommend a 2-3 coats if you’re planning on using it on a dining table or furniture that has high traffic with liquids.  Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish


i’m really pleased with how this entire collection turned out. we built 2 bars, 6 coffee tables, and 6 family style dining tables.weathered wood rolling bar

dreamy. though the neighbors wondered why i was painting pianos in the driveway.  😉barn wood bar

here’s the process…i started with Minwax Dark Walnut that i diluted with mineral spirits. i like to make it very watery so that it goes on quickly on raw wood. otherwise, you’re there for days as the untreated wood soaks in every last drop of the to paint wood to look weathered and rustic

then, with a mix of very watery Annie Sloan Pure White + Paris Gray + water else i’ve got laying about, i use a large Annie Sloan brush, i dry brush the paint over the stain. because chalk paint adheres to just about everything without the need to sand or strip, this works very nicely to give a very very light coat of grayish white over the dark. and in places where the stain’s oil separates form the paint, even better to produce an awesome layered look. how to paint wood to look weathered and rusticthen i varnished the horizontal surfaces and called it a day.

i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again…i’m sort of bummed i got married before Pinterest hit the scene.  my wedding would’ve been totally different…and probably a lot like this awesome Napa wedding.

but no one ever said you can’t have a fun anniversary party in a barn, right?! 🙂


About meesh

Meesh has a passion for people, creative projects, and technology. She enjoys painting furniture back to life, gardening, playing with her kids, and connecting people.


  1. What varnish did you use? You did not use Annie Sloan wax either? Your pieces turned out beautiful!


    • No, I used Modern Masters Dead Flat, which goes on quickly, dries quickly and is a complete matte finish. I used two coats as these are getting a ton of traffic. Good luck!

  2. g hayes says

    RE. MM Dead Flat Varnish –
    Hi – thank you for all the amazing photos and tips! I finally found a Restoration hardware dumont table on sale, pulled the trigger and bought it. Now I’m afraid to use it – after going online and reading countless nightmares about actual families USING their dining room table. We have kids, we will actually be eating on this table and using (gasp) glasses. With water in them. Possibly milk… and so, my search began for a clear matte finish to protect this dream table. Can I use this Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish on this table: link

    I know there are no guarantees but what are your thoughts? Or has anyone out there tried it with success (or failure…:( Please let me know – it’s coming soon and I want to be ready so we can use and enjoy without resorting to plastic tablecloth on million dollar table. thank you in advance – g hayes

  3. Scott Wheeler says

    What is the “machine” that you are referring to when putting the wood through backwards?

  4. D Zorn says

    Did you use the Varnish before staining and painting or after as a top coat?

  5. Christine says

    Hi! Found you via Pinterest.

    I thought you might enjoy a matte finish that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Sometimes these beautiful rustic pieces you’re creating just need a raw finish!

    You know when you go to the paint store and they go get a can of paint base off the shelf? Buy that. Just that. Get a can of the darkest, like for navy or black. BM’s is a #4 or 5, for example. I get Exterior (for the water proofing and UV protection) latex (for obvious clean-up reason) dark paint base. ie., pre-pigment!

    It goes on horrifyingly white, but dries so invisible you cannot tell where you put it on. I’ve gone so far as to put water one something, just to figure out where it’ll pool vs sink into the wood!
    I’ve also used it on “chippy” pieces. It will glue down the chips without any gummy look other finishes leave. You cannot pick them off with your fingers and a chisel has a hard time. Excellent for pieces where chips all over would be a bother. It’s also great for those pre-1970s pieces that are 99.9999% probably lead. Seal that in and you’re fine. (Just don’t let your children chew on the furniture.)

    Anyway, the MM suff is great, but you can get a quart of BM paint base on sale for $3.00. Cannot beat that!
    Beautiful finishes. (Pianos!? LOL!)


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