How to Create an Antique Patina on Wood

Many homeowners and collectors love the patina on wood furniture.
A natural patina develops over time, but it is possible to create a faux patina finish in approximately seven days. Examining several older pieces of furniture will help to give you a good idea of the wear patterns that occur on furniture. Recreating these patterns can be done with a variety of woodworking tools and household objects.

Step 1

Create distress marks in the wood. Use a hammer and a small finishing nail to create random holes. Chisel off the corners of the piece with a chisel and sand down the edges so they are rounded. Create other distress marks with chains or other heavy metal items.

Step 2

Lightly sand the surface of the wood with 100-grit sandpaper. This step does not remove the imperfections that you just created. Instead, you are simply sanding the piece to prevent splinters.

Step 3

Clean the surface with a damp cloth. Allow the surface to dry completely. Alternatively, wipe the surface with a tack cloth to remove tiny dust particles.

Step 4

Apply wood stain to the surface of the wood with a staining pad or cloth. Remove some of the stain with a second cloth. This process should highlight the distressed areas.

Step 5

Apply polyurethane to the piece with a paintbrush or foam roller. Allow the polyurethane to dry for approximately six hours and then apply a second coat of polyurethane. Let the second coat of polyurethane cure for a week before regular use.

Things You Will Need

  • Gloves
  • Protective eye gear
  • Hammer
  • Finishing nails
  • Wood chisel
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Chains and other heavy metal items
  • Damp cloth
  • Tack cloth (optional)
  • Wood stain
  • Staining pad or cloth
  • Polyurethane wood finish
  • Paintbrush
  • Foam roller

About the Author

Cadence Johansen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, marriage, family relationships, caregiver support, home improvement and money. Johansen has been writing professionally since 2008. She holds a master's degree in family studies from Utah State University.