Time-worn furniture pieces give added character and personality to our homes. Their aged, distressed look offer an elegant glimpse into history and commonly blend well with the rustic, old-world, nature, or country aesthetic.
If you don’t possess authentic pieces aged by time, you can opt to “age” them manually. Through faux finishing methods, you can give your furniture an antique look that realistically imitates weathered pieces. Giving your furniture an aged look can be achieved by following these steps.
Wearing your furniture down with sandpaper can give the most authentic antique look. Using a coarse grit paper, sand the surfaces that would most likely be worn out through time. Pay special attention to the chair seats, armrests, edges, and surfaces near drawer pulls. Be sure to follow the grain.
Sanding also helps paint adhere to the surface. After sanding make sure to wipe the piece down completely. Only apply primer after sanding and wiping. This helps paint stick to the surface and also provides a better finish.
Simulate Wormholes, Scrapes, and Dents
Authentic antiques often have woodworm holes, scrapes, and dents. This effect can be achieved using regular household items. Holes can be reproduced using a drill with a small drill bit, an ice pick, a nail, or even a fork. For the distressed look, use a chisel to knock chips into the wood or slam an assortment of heavy objects onto it. Anything that makes an indentation will effectively age wooden pieces.
Paint and wax
Paint furniture using brush or spray. Black and brown are usually the preferred colors for antique furniture but you can also experiment on white, red, blue or just about any color that will complement the space the piece is going to live in. These colors will give a fresh and new look to your furniture and can really make it stand out.
Spread a thin coat of wax over the paint and allow it to set for an hour. Paint a faux finish glaze over the wax and repeat the process as necessary, until your desired effect. Let it dry for a day.
Sand the furniture again to make the wood shine through. Emphasize on the edges and the details to give your furniture a distressed look. Finish with a crackle-medium, which creates the look of sun-crackled paint.