By Jim Wildman

A wire brush is a tool for removing paint or finish from wood. Applied aggressively, a wire brush can also be used to distress wood, because it will wear off the softer, lighter-colored portions of the wood grain while leaving the denser wood behind. The result is a time-worn appearance characteristic of outdoor weathering. A wire brush is not recommended for refinishing fine furniture.

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Wire brush.

Step 1

Put on safety glasses before using a wire brush to protect your eyes from flying debris.

Step 2

Secure the wood to keep it from shifting. Use a wood clamp to hold small pieces of wood that may move around as you apply the wire brush.

Step 3

Tape off any areas that you want to protect from the wire brush, using a few layers of painter's tape. Painter's tape will not leave any residue on the wood.

Step 4

Work your soft brass wire brush in the same direction as the wood grain, using repeated strokes until the wood displays the desired level of wear or distress.

Step 5

Sand the wood with a fine grain sandpaper to remove any burs or splinters left behind by the wire brush. The wood is now ready to be stained and finished to your taste.