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How to Make Wood Furniture Look Antique

Sometimes a DIY project is just what your new home needs! If you have furniture you are moving with that you want to refresh, antiquing wood furniture is a great way to update the piece. Our Kansas City residential movers share some tips on how to make wood furniture look antique so that you can re-purpose some of the pieces you were thinking of giving away!


Antiquing Wood Using Paint

The antique look is one that 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 re-purposing it 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.
Antiquing wood requires 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 are planning 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 original color of the furniture. If you do not want the piece in the original color, then you can sand a little harder. 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 needs to be thinned out with water first 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 and 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 you chose for your furniture (matte paint, chalk paint, or milk paint). Our Kansas City movers recommend painting in thin layers; the thinner the layers, the easier it’ll be sand and tweak the finished piece later. Avoid using thick coats of paint when applying your main color because it’ll be more difficult to sand down to the look you’re going for when antiquing wood furniture.

Wait 24 hours between each coat. The second coat will completely cover the excess darker stain underneath it and make the furniture look 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, stopping 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 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 your DIY antiquing project, 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.