How to Make Orange Toned Wood Look Weathered

DIY, Orange wood turned weathered, weathered wood DIY, chalk paint, antique wax

Did you know that you can change the look of orange toned wood without having to strip or sand it in just 3 simple steps?!

To watch the entire video click here.

Hey sweet friends!! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 This post about making orange toned wood look weathered is a little outside my comfort zone, and let me explain why.

If you follow me on Instagram and you watch my stories, you know that I recently gave a giant chalkboard I picked up thrifting a little makeover. I took you all along as painted the black portion green and refinished the once orange toned wood frame. (It’s all saved in my story highlights if you’d like to go check it out!)

The project was honestly SO spur of the moment that I never stopped to think, “Wow, this would make a great blog post.” I wish I had taken the time to get my nice camera out and set up my tripod for a video tutorial, but it just never happened, and I apologize. I hope to try this again soon though and record the whole process for you!

Instead, I’m sharing a few iPhone shots I took along the way which is why this is so out of my comfort zone. As much as it makes me cringe to share these photos on my blog (perfectionist over here), I have had so many followers message me about this on Instagram that I knew I had to post them and share the process.

This orange wood toned project was seriously so easy! No stripping, no sanding. Just 3 simple steps! Let’s get started.

How to Make Orange Toned Wood look Weathered – Step 1

First, I dry brushed the orange toned wood frame with white paint. Chalk paint would probably be ideal, but I just used white ceiling paint. If you aren’t familiar with dry brushing, you simply dip the very tip of your brush in paint and dab off any excess, then apply over your surface.

For this project, I just used a small artist brush, pictured below. Any smaller brush will work for this step, but make sure you aren’t using too much paint, it is just a dry brushing over the surface. I liked the smaller brush for this step to avoid getting any paint on the chalkboard surface. The smaller brush was easier to work with.

first step to transforming orange wood

In the photo above near the left hand side, you can see where I began dry brushing. Be sure your wood grain is still visible. If you can no longer see the wood, you’ve used too much paint. You really want just a thin layer of paint.

How to Make Orange Toned Wood look Weathered – Step 2

Next, I used a chalk paint by Waverly in the color “Mineral” and dry brushed the frame once more. This time I specifically looked for areas with heavy orange tones bleeding through, and focused on brushing those spots especially. I let the paint dry completely before moving on to the last step.

second step to updating orange wood using chalk paint
dry brushing over orange, outdated wood

Here are the two colors side by side. For such a large chalkboard, you can see that I really didn’t use a lot of paint which is why this process is seriously so easy! A little paint and a brush can change a cheap thrift store find or a gorgeous antique find with the wrong shade of wood into something so so beautiful and perfect for your home!

the amount of paint needed to weather orange wood

How to Make Orange Toned Wood look Weathered – Step 3

Finally, I painted the entire orange toned wood frame with Annie Sloan Dark Wax. You’ll have to check out her site to find suppliers near you, but this stuff is seriously amazing. It’s like working with butter! I used a larger paint brush for this process and dipped the tip of my brush in the wax and worked it into the frame. You can go heavy or light with the wax depending on the shade you want to achieve.

wax needed for the final step to updating orange wood
applying the dark wax to give orange wood a weathered finish
working the wax into the wood to add a weathered finish

And that’s it! Can you believe how easy that was?! You can immediately see the difference once you apply the wax and it is so easy to decide how many layers you want to use. You really can’t mess this up either, because you can wipe it clean if you decide you used too much before anything dries! Look at the difference in the wood in the picture below…

before and after orange wood turned weathered
transforming orange wood into beautiful weathered wood

In the following shot, I had just finished the left side of the frame. Compare that to the top and bottom! Such an enormous difference that really transforms this piece!

how to change orange wood and give it a weathered finish

I wanted to share just one more before just to remind you how this orange toned wood looked…

before using my method the frame was very orange

And after! A beautifully weathered wood frame look! I am so happy with how simple and fast this process is!

after using my method the finish appears beautifully weathered

Crazy, right?! I am so in love with the way this chalkboard turned out. I can’t wait to share the final look with you guys, all styled and hung on the wall!

So next time you go antiquing or thrifting don’t let the shade of wood scare you! Whether it’s orange toned wood, or any other shade you aren’t a fan of, remember you can refinish it and create the perfect piece for your home! You can follow this other tutorial for a raw wood look too! But if you simply want to make the orange toned wood look weathered follow these three simple steps:

  1. Dry brush orange toned wood with white paint
  2. Dry brush once more with chalk paint
  3. Paint wood with wax

Thanks so much for stopping by today and visiting my little blog! Do you have any questions about this tutorial on making orange toned wood look weathered? If so leave them in the comments below! I would also love to hear if you try this project yourself! 🙂


updating orange, outdated wood into a beautiful weathered finish


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  1. Thank you for sharing this! I have been searching for a way to do my kitchen island and I think I’ll do it this way. I’m not a usual DIYer but I’m desperate. Wish me luck. Also…..your home is absolutely beautiful. I love the way you put things together. Is there a spot on here where you share your sources? There are a handful of things I would like to buy for my house. We have similar tastes. 🙂
    Your sister in the Lord,

    1. Oh Suzanne thank you for your comment!! You are so very sweet, your kind words just made my day!! 🙂 You know, I really should have a page on my blog where I share sources. You have encouraged me to finally get that set up. I’m going to work on that next week!! So much of my home is thrifted, but I will share as much as I can!! Thanks again Suzanne! 🙂

      1. I just found this and I’m excited to try this on my doors! I hope it will work on such a large surface and that I can get it consistent from door to door.

        I wonder how Suzanne’s island turned out!

        1. Hey Victoria! It should work good, you just have to make sure your brush strokes are consistent and keep them all going in the same direction. That way they will really mimic the look of wood grain. 🙂 Good luck!!

  2. Wonderful! I didn’t know about this trick and I would always strip or sand the orange wood. I love how simple, yet amazing it was to alternate the look of your chalkboard. I’m definitely trying this on all wooden pieces in my home that need some makeover. Very useful, thanks for sharing!

    1. Katarina I’m so happy you enjoyed the tutorial! I hope this works well for you 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving such a sweet comment! 🙂

        1. I am not sure about that, I would think it would depend on the exact material. You could always try a small un noticeable section first, or sand it down a little bit first as well!

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  5. Oh my goodness!! This is the perfect solution for orange wood. My coffee table is driving me crazy because it is orange looking. I am for sure going to try this technique on it. Thanks so much for sharing your process!!!!

    1. Hi Amy! I would suggest following the same tutorial but then wiping the wax with a rag right away so that it doesn’t dry as dark. Does that make sense? Let me know if that does the trick! 🙂

  6. I love this technique, and it looks beautiful. One question, after applying wax with brush, do you let the wax dry or do you go back and wipe off? Thank you!

  7. I have my moms “ranch oak” furniture, which is very orange. It has a satin to semi shiny surface. Would you recommend sanding first? Also, do you think the wax is durable enough for the arms of a couch? Or would u think there could be a 4th step application after wax? Totally new to this.

    1. I would try sanding a small area first just to see how easily the finish comes off. If it’s stubborn you may have to strip but the wax should be very durable. I hope this helps!

  8. I have orangey maple cabinets. What color would chalk paint need to he and what type of paint to use for the white paint? Thanks

    1. You may want to do a bit more prep for cabinets since they are used a lot and not just decorative, I wouldn’t want you to go through all of this work and them to scratch easily 🙂 But any color you prefer would work!

      1. I was thinking about doing this to my kitchen cabinets too. What do I need to do to make sure it doesn’t scratch off?

    1. I haven’t tried it on paneling to be honest, but I would just test a small section and see if you like how it looks! I don’t see why it wouldn’t work!

  9. 1) The Annie Sloan website you link to does not carry the same “Soft Wax”. They have a “Chalk Paint Wax” instead. Is that the same? And would something like Minwax Finishing Wax work as well since that would be much easier for me to get.
    2) Would you then go over everything with a clear wax (or something else special) if this is going to be the bathroom vanity (just the cabinet, not the top surface)?
    Loved your results!

    1. I used a darker wax, so yes a darker toned finishing wax should work! I did not seal mine, so I am not sure on that, but you could try a sample piece of wood first to see how it holds up! I hope this helps!

  10. How do you think it would hold up on my 90’s orange stairs snd bannister? Is the wax a sealer as well? Can you use the wax and put a sealer over that? Love the new color!

    1. Hello! I personally wouldn’t use it there since it is such a high traffic area, finish wax after time wears down quite a bit. So sorry, but I hope you are able to find the perfect solution!

  11. Hi!

    How well do you think this method would hold up on kitchen cabinet? We have golden oak cabinets and are updating our kitchen. I’m looking to change the color.

    1. Unfortunately with the wear and tear on kitchen cabinets, I am not sure how this would hold up. I am sorry!

  12. Hello! I have a bedroom set from the 90’s that has turned orangey. Do you think it would hold up on bedroom furniture? They’re certainly not used as much as kitchen cabinets as I know you said you wouldn’t recommend it for the kitchen.

    1. I would try a smaller piece to see how it holds up! I know dresser drawers would probably be used often though, so I may not recommend it for that.

  13. I cannot thank you enough for this post! We purchased a bar for my daughter’s wedding and when we stained it the wood turned a late 90s orange! I searched the web and found your post and followed along. You saved the day!! It turned out amazing.. looks very pottery barn. After step one I was a little worried but I trusted your process and was not disappointed! Thank you again!!

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