If you want your new wood to look as though it has been ravaged by time, try re-creating the appearance of old, weathered barn boards. These old boards go through years of use and abuse. Cracks and gray color are just part of the old barn board's appearance. Additionally, these boards have saw marks and impact marks from tractors, animals and farmers. You can reproduce the look of an old barn board in two hours or less, depending on the size and scope of the project.
Scuff the surface of the lumber with a clay or concrete brick. Rub the brick over the surface of the lumber vigorously to scuff the wood and loosen the grain fibers. This process will create the aged, worn look that most barn boards have.
Lay a chainsaw bar flat onto the surface of the board and cut circular marks into the surface to simulate rough, saw-mill marks prevalent in barn boards. Use the chainsaw with caution, though. Wear eye goggles and protective pants for safety.
Saturate the wood with a soaked sponge to raise the wood grain. Place the board in direct sunlight covered with plastic to prevent rapid drying. Repeat the process to achieve deeper wood grains.
Apply wood conditioner to the wood to prevent stain blotching. Paint on the conditioner with a brush. Apply three coats of conditioner, allowing 30 minutes drying time between coats. Saturate the wood to allow full penetration of the conditioner into the wood pores.
Apply gray stain to the wood. Take an old barn board to your local paint store and match the wood color with the correct stain. Apply three coats of water-based stain using a stain brush. Allow two hours drying time between coats. However, be careful not to apply large amounts of stain, which will color the wood darker.
Seal the wood with low-gloss exterior sealer. Spray on the sealer with an electric sprayer or spray can. Apply two coats of sealer, allowing 20 minutes drying time between coats.