How to Wire Brush Wood

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Things You'll Need

  • Wire brush (brass)

  • Safety glasses

  • Wood clamp

  • Painter's tape

Wire brush.
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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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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.


Do not work against the wood grain. The wire brush will leave deep grooves and scratches in the wood when used across the grain.