How To Antique A Newer Piece of Furniture

25 Feb

Want to make a newer piece of furniture look like an antique? You’ll need:

ImageStep One: Remove all the hardware. Wipe furniture with turpentine or paint thinner to clean away dirt.  Lightly sand surface to ensure best paint adhesion. Apply one coat of your chosen paint color. Be careful not to leave puddles or “runs” of paint.  Brush in the same direction as the grain of the furniture and don’t try to completely level out all your brush marks. (These techniques help create the antique look.) Let the color dry (oil for 24 hours, latex for 12, buttermilk for 6.)

Step Two: After the color coat is dry, brush on a light coat of the graining liquid. Make sure to reach all the cracks and crevices. Wait 10 to 12 minutes for the liquid to become sticky. Using a lint free cheese cloth, wipe in even strokes with the grain. Wipe lightly at first, and then more heavily in places where you want highlights.

TIP: Highlights look most authentic in the center of panels, high points of carving, and areas where a piece would normally receive wear–like the arms and seats of a chair, or the tops of tables and chests.  Use a dry brush to clean out puddles from deep places. Pause-step back and look at your work. If you don’t like it, wipe it off with paint thinner and try again. We’ve found that we create more authentic finishes by not being too particular during this step.

Step Three: Allow the graining liquid to dry overnight. Then brush on a coat of clear satin liquid if you want extra protection, like on a tabletop, or the seats and arms of a chair. After 24 hours you can rub this final coat with 000 steel wool if you find any rough spots.

Watch a short video to see this process– it’s the top video on this page.


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