Transforming Stained Wooden Surfaces Without Stripping Them!

Whether we start with raw wood, a stained surface, or painted pieces, I am amazed at how wood surfaces can be glazed, finished and altered to reveal stunning outcomes and transformations!!

All About the Wood! Segreto Secrets Blog!

In this home designed by Eleanor Cummings and featured in Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors, the sheetrock surfaces were plastered, but the beams here are reclaimed and stunning!

Transforming stained wood without stripping - Segreto Secrets Blog

Many people like that aged, reclaimed look but either can’t find beams they are in love with or need to be more cost effective in their construction or remodeling process. For this home, new rough cedar beams were installed, and we were hired to impart an aged look using finishes.

It's All About the Wood-Segreto Secrets Blog!

You can see the back beam has the first step done, which was to kill the red undertones so we can achieve a grayish look. And the front one is almost complete…. We even added distressing marks in the beams!!

Transforming stained wood without stripping - Segreto Secrets Blog

This home had beams stained by someone else that were so dark they almost looked painted! We’ve been working to lighten them up and incorporate more of the wood grain. The wonderful thing about this process is that it wasn’t necessary to strip the beams first, which would have been not only costly but very smelly!!

Transforming stained wood without stripping - Segreto Secrets Blog

After painting the beams white in this newly renovated master bedroom, the designer and homeowner felt that a stained effect would better suit the decor slated for the room. Because they were constructed with paint-grade wood and primed and painted white, actual stained beams would have been an expensive option. Instead, we were brought in to transform them with a special paint finish!

Transforming stained wood without stripping - Segreto Secrets Blog

Applying a series of glazes over the white base achieved the stained feel the homeowner desired at a reasonable cost.

Transforming stained wood without stripping - Segreto Secrets Blog

What a change!!!

Transforming painted wood without stripping - Segreto Secrets Blog

Since sturdy reclaimed doors in the correct size to fit the space couldn’t be found, new doors were built, and we were planning a reclaimed finish. The doors were specified to be in raw wood, but the painters inadvertently primed them white!! It was a happy mistake as we changed our finish to an old painted look that’s beautiful in the room!

It's All About the Wood-Segreto Secrets Blog!

Now that certainly looks old!!!

Transforming stained wood without stripping - Segreto Secrets Blog

In this new construction, the dining room doors were a red mahogany! For a grayed, distressed look, we masked the red undertones and turned them into the desired focal element in the room.

It's All About the Wood-Segreto Secrets Blog!

It was time for an update in this previously orange-toned study! We applied a series of glazes to the paneling, transforming it from the 1980s to 2016!! I always recommend trying to work with your existing surfaces first before you decide to opt for more expensive options like stripping the wood or replacing it!

Transforming stained wood without stripping - Segreto Secrets Blog

We tested this finish on site to see if we could save this fireplace mantel and make it work with the room’s new decor. After seeing the sample, designer Julie Dodson said yes to the new finish!!

It's All About the Wood-Segreto Secrets Blog!

The same applies to furniture pieces! Any time you have a piece with the right shape and size but the wrong color, consider transforming the look with stains!! I did this with some of my grandmother’s pieces and loved the results! You can read about that experience over here. Or browse through our gallery of furniture finishes here.

Hope you all have a wonderful week and a very happy Mother’s Day this Sunday! If you missed my mom’s day gift guide last week, be sure to check that out here – there’s still time for last-minute shopping! Till next week!!

xo, Leslie

A Transitional Home with Timeless Interiors
A Guide to the Spring DASH for Design, Art, Style and Home

Comments

  1. Barbara Bussey says:

    I would wash your paintbrushes and carry your buckets, to learn how you do what you do. I’ll bet there are a few thousand people, like me!

    Keep up the great work!, Barbara

  2. Fabulous! If I could only buy one thing to decorate with, it would be paint!! I love the amazing transformation of the beams and the door!!!

  3. i love that share these up close glimpses of the aged finishes, leslie! incredible detail and looks absolutely like authentic aging. peace to you and happy mother’s day. 🙂

    • Leslie Sinclair says:

      I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day as well! I love making the new look old!!!