Authentic & Applied Patina: Why It Matters

Stikwood uses naturally weathered wood materials, showcasing the beauty of the original patina. We’re all about authenticity and we thought it would be fun to talk a little bit about one of our favorite features of Stikwood’s reclaimed materials.

What is patina?

The term patina holds meaning for a number of materials, including metal and leather. When we refer to patina, we refer to the look of the face that’s been aged by exposure to natural elements or treated with man made products that alter the surface’s appearance. While the man-made method can be effective in creating a weathered look, we prefer to let nature do their work to create a look that is only given by time.

What is the process of applying patina?

Applied patina, or distressing is a very popular finish on wood furniture. Many DIY projects seek out to achieve a faux weathered look by using a variety of tools such as steel wool, vinegar and a even chisel tip and a hammer. This method can be cost effective but will require time and effort to achieve the look.

How can you tell that it’s real patina?

So, what are the telltale signs of a natural wood patina? A natural wood patina will have a muted grayish hue to the surface, with the original color of the wood lying just under the surface. Often, wood with a natural patina will have a more prominent grain, along with many of the original characteristics from when it was first milled or it can also have marks from when the structure was built.

All of the species that represent our reclaimed wood planks are sourced from various locations in the U.S., from old structures to wine barrels. Our unique sourcing method means you will only find natural patina on our reclaimed products.

How do you tell the difference?

When comparing natural patina, look for some of these characteristics:

  • Signs of wear and tear like nail holes or ax/hatchet marks
  • Enhanced grain
  • Gray tones
  • Depth in discoloration

While man made distressing may have some the characteristics listed below:

  • Brown tones
  • Little to no imperfections in the wood
  • Layers of gray or light blue paint

Get inspired for your next project with some of our favorite reclaimed materials by checking out our inspiration gallery.