How To Age Stone

To age stone for a weathered masonry look, you can replicate the effects of long period of exposure to all kinds of elements while shortening the time frame. 

Stone masonry

Stone masonry is a centuries old craft that used stones to create long-standing, solid structures. Pyramids and cathedrals are made from stone. Stone is also used for banks, houses, monuments, foundations, walls, walkways and driveways.

To create and Old World look for new stone, try these techniques.

What you need to age stone

  • Lemon juice or vinegar
  • Manure
  • Compost
  • Topsoil
  • Water

The quantity of the above items depends on how much stone you have to age.  

Step 1-Age Stone with Acid

Stone will take on a weathered look after years of not being protected from acid rain. You can get the same effect by applying lemon juice, vinegar, sour milk or anything acidic to your new stone. The acid creates gaps and pits in the stone where microbes take hold, aging the stone. Apply acid when the stone is dry. 

Step 2-Creating the Tarnished Color of Old Stone

The patina that old stone eventually acquires comes from chemical reactions along with bacteria found on the stone. Any organic matter that works its way into pits and cracks on the stone's surface will give new stone a tarnished look. Manure and compost are two good organic materials to use to age stone. 

Step 3-Using Nutrients to Age Stone

Moss and lichen usually grow on old stone. Your new stone can appear old by promoting plant growth on it. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous are needed for plants to grow. Using garden fertilizer or manure will help establish the plants. 

Step 4-Mixture to Age Stone

Mix together a combination of topsoil, manure, compost, plant fertilizer and water. Coat the new stone with the mixture and leave it. 

Step 5-Wetting and Drying to Age Stone

Stone ages as it is constantly bombarded with wet and dry conditions. Speed up this process by watering the stone when the weather is dry, allow it to dry thoroughly before repeating the process. 

Step 6-Using Sun and Shade to Age Stone

Shaded stone allows algae to grow, which decomposes to create acids facilitating the aging of the stone. Stone in the sun can heat up causing thermal expansion which makes the stone flake on the surface.