I am new to woodworking and I am about to undertake my first project. I have purchased some aged recycled wood which I plan on turning into a bed head. Basically i want to enhance the grey aged look of the wood, but I have no idea what the best way to go about it is. The other issue I face is splinters, I have bought some 240 grit sand paper just to clean it up slightly, but any suggestion on ways to keep the aged look while protect from spliters would be much appreciated.
Apologies for my ignorance, I am extremely green when it comes to anything woodworking related.
You may have to determine just how weathered that you want the wood to look. Anything you do to smooth the wood is going to remove material therefore removing some of that patina. Another option is simply to try and seal the wood with numerous coats of some sort of finish. This would possibly preserve the color (depending on the finish chosen) and possibly reduce the opportunity for splinters, but, to apply enough coats to build up to that point, you would end up with something much more shiny that what it sounds like you want. Personally, I would plane the wood removing the rough texture, but possibly trying to only do enough to smooth it without removing all of the patina in the wood. It would change the color to more of a natural wood color, but not quite down to the point of looking like new, fresh cut wood. Which brings up another point, anywhere you have to cut the wood, it is going to expose fresh wood that is not going to have that gray coloring. Another reason to consider planing the wood smooth.
I work with reclaimed wood on occaision, and one way to reduce the splinters without losing the "old look" is with a wire brush, either hand-held or as a wire wheel in an angle grinder. You will "brush away" the softer wood and most of the splinters, leaving behind the harder "late wood".
Try it on a bit of scrap and see if you like the results--- the brushing will give the wood a "weathered texture" which you may or may not like.
And, as doc stated, adding a finish will also help "lock in" the loose fibers. The finish will also darken the overall tone, which may "enhance" the weathered look. The only way to tell the result for sure is to try a couple different techniques on some scrap pieces. Keep track of the process so you can duplicate whatever you deem as a successful sample.
Thanks for the quick reply! I will test out the wire brush trick to begin with and see how we go. I think I may get a matte finish seal to seal the rest. I will test it out on the back, hopefully it will add a darkness to the wood and help enhance the grey color. I will report back and let you know how I go after this weekend.
Again thanks for the responses, it is much appreciated.
Lovely job! It looks like the project came together really nicely! What have you been storing in the pullouts and are the drawers which are further in difficult to access? If you're wanting to start...