Painting Techniques on Wood That Make It Look Antique

If you've bought a plain piece of wood furniture that needs a little character, antiquing it can turn it into an eye-catching accent piece.

Color Wash

Color wash creates the appearance of wear and weathering.Color wash creates the appearance of wear and weathering.
Combine color washing with distressing and sanding techniques for a complete antiqued look that lets the wood's finish show. For a more stylized look, crackle painting works especially well on tabletops and wooden drawer faces. Sanding and distressing may be used alone or after painting to allow the wood's natural finish, or a base coat of paint, to show through to add texture, depth and the illusion of age.

Step 1

Mix your chosen paint with one part paint, two parts glaze and enough water to give a cream consistency,

Step 2

Brush or sponge the mixture onto the wood quickly and lightly. Allow it to dry completely.

Step 3

Mix a second paint color using the same recipe as before. Stipple the paint on with the end of a brush or a sponge quickly and lightly, in random patterns.

Step 4

Use a dry sponge or rag to blend blotchy, very heavy areas. Let the finish dry.

Crackle Technique

Step 1

Apply a base and topcoat of special crackle paint. Let dry. The paint crackles on its own.

Step 2

Rub an antique glaze onto the dried crackle finish to highlight the cracks.

Step 3

Rub off the excess antique glaze with a clean, dry cloth.

Step 4

Apply an oil-based varnish to seal the paint job.

Sanding and Distressing

Step 1

Sand the corners, feet, around hardware and on raised carving on the furniture after painting your topcoat.

Step 2

Hit the sanded areas or areas near them with a small bag of nails, chains or other improvised objects that can slightly dent or nick the wood.

Step 3

Dust the piece off with a dry brush or rag.

Step 4

Apply a clear sealant to protect the finish.

Things You Will Need

  • Paint
  • Glaze
  • Paint brushes or sponges
  • Paint tray
  • Drop cloths
  • Water
  • Clean rags
  • Crackle paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Nails
  • Small bag
  • Chain
  • Distressing objects
  • Clear sealant