I decided that there must be a cheap and easy way to distress new wood in such a way as to look like it came from an old barn. Where did I turn? Pinterest of course.
I was directed to this great blog post on how to weather wood using vinegar and steel wool.
The coffee table above shows the wood before treating it with the aging solution. I followed the directions the first time and the in subsequent attempts increased the time the steel wool soaked in the vinegar.
The results were fantastic. The longer you leave the steel wool in the vinegar the darker and more aged your wood will look. I've used it on several large pieces and numerous small boxes and crates.
Below is the finished product. The photo really doesn't do the finish much justice. In person the wood grain really pops and the effect is so convincing I've had people ask where I sourced my wood. When I tell them that the wood was reclaimed from newer pallets and shipping crates they are amazed.