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How to Make Wood Furniture Look Antique

Sometimes a DIY project is just what your new home needs! If you are moving your furniture but you want a refresh, antiquing wood furniture is a great way to update the piece. Our Kansas City residential movers share some tips on making wood furniture look antique so that you can repurpose some of the pieces you were thinking of giving away! Learning how to make wood look old is the new trend that is taking many homes by storm.

Antiquing Wood Using Paint

The antique look has been making a comeback in the last decade, particularly in the mid-century modern style, and it doesn’t seem like it will ever really go out of fashion. Part of moving is sorting through old pieces of furniture and deciding what works and does not work in your new home. There is no need to get rid of a piece of furniture just because it does not match the aesthetic you’re envisioning. Our Louisville local movers suggest repurposing pieces with the DIY technique of antiquing wood furniture. When you are ready to start antiquing, follow these steps:

1. Make sure you have the proper supplies.

When learning how to make wood look old, you’ll need a few supplies that can usually be found at your local craft or hardware store and should not cost too much. To make your wood furniture look antique, you will need:

- 150 and 250 grit sanding blocks

- Walnut oil, a gel stain, or brown paint

- Matte paint, chalk paint, or milk paint

- Paintbrush

- A clean rag 

2. Remove the hardware.

The first thing you will want to do when antiquing wood is to remove the hardware from the furniture that you plan to antique. Once you have removed the hardware, wipe the furniture clean and tape off the areas you do not want to antique.

3. Sand down your furniture.

Next, sand down the existing finish on your furniture using the 150-grit sanding block. Be careful not to sand down too much or too hard on the surface if you wish to preserve the furniture's original color. If you do not want the piece in the original color, you can sand using more pressure. The paint and finish in areas that are more likely to experience heavier wear, such as the edges of the furniture, should be sanded down to the raw wood so the stain will adhere better.

4. Apply darker stain to crevices.

Fill in the crevices and edges of the furniture with the darker stain using a cloth. If you chose to use paint as the darker finish, it would need to be thinned out with water before applying it. 

To apply your darker finish, soak the clean rag in the liquid and then press it against the sanded pieces of wood. You may need to apply the stain in some areas more than once. Make sure to wipe off any excess.

5. Apply the main color.

Once you have applied the dark finish and it has dried, you will want to apply the main color. Matte paints, chalk paints, and milk paints work best. Our Kansas City movers recommend painting in thin layers, as thinner layers make it easier to sand and tweak the finished piece later. 

Wait 24 hours between each coat. The second coat will completely cover the excess darker stain underneath and make the furniture appear more natural and authentically antique. 

6. Finishing the look.

Finally, lightly sand your furniture one more time with the 150-grit sanding block for a bit of a more distressed appearance. You’ll want to stop now and again to make sure you’re getting the look you want. Buff the edges where the dark finished was applied to let it show through the main paint and to add to the whole antique aesthetic.

Use the 220-grit sanding block to remove the first layer of paint. Finally, pull the whole look of antique wood furniture together by reapplying more of the dark finish on the edges of your piece and immediately wiping it away.

Before you begin learning how to make wood look old, contact All My Sons Moving & Storage and let us help you get settled in your new home. We will not only move your belongings for you, but our movers also share ways to make your new house feel like home.