Anybody have any ideas on how to make a stick from Lowes look like a neck/fretboard that's a hundred years old?

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Bury in the backyard, then go dig it up in a hundred years?
lol

-First, get the shine off. Coarse sandpaper is good for this, fine will just add more shiney.
-Second, get a good sized rock. Actually, a fist sized chunk of broken concrete is best. Roll it around the edges, tap, beat, bang on the neck. Scrape it around a bit.
-Thirdly ( neat word) Stain it. And do a terrible job of it. Uneven, light and dark patches, mostly were it would be touched or held or fondled .... mmmm, make that handled.

-Fourth, and most important, Don't blame me if this ruins your wood!

Matt
I rubbed the wood with a very light coat of black gesso or flat black acrylic paint. When it is good and dry, sand it off as much as you want. You can sand worn looking areas on the fingerboard between the frets where dirty old gunk would get rubbed off with playing.

I've also done this with colored acrylic paints.

Then I stained them with oil based stain (have not tried the poly stuff -- too shiny for me.) As many coats as you need, and rub down firmly with a paper bag between coats. Manila drawing paper works well, too -- same stuff for the most part. The stain darkens the exposed wood and mellows the acrylic and just kind of brings the whole thing together.
Excellent, guys. Thanks a ton.
A typical antiquing technique is to beat the wood with a chain and then stain. How heavy you go at it and what type of chain you use will change the overall look. Honestly, I don't know how successful this would be with a hardwood neck, but given the lowish cost of an oak board, I'd give it a try, at least on a spare/scrap piece of wood.

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