Giving Your Furniture an Antique Look

By on May 10, 2017

A quick search on the internet will find many professional furniture painters who specialise in restoring and creating antique effect on furniture.

A skilled craftsman can completely overhaul the whole appearance of just about any piece of furniture you dare to give them, with little more than some careful preparations and a good quality paint brush. They can transform an old worn out looking chair, a tired looking chest of draws or even a battered old cupboard and make them the centre of attraction in any room of your house.

However, artisans with many years of experience behind them usually come at a premium price, but with some inside tips, and a little bit of practice you could probably make a very impressive job of giving your furniture an antique look.

The first thing to bear in mind is: you are highly unlikely to achieve an antique look on a piece of modern looking furniture such as a: G-Plan table. Irrespective of how much preparation and what you paint it with it will probably never look antique.

So before you start to transform something back into time it will be wise to find the right sort of furniture that won’t look “out of place”, find something that has a period look and feel to it.

Spindly legged tables and chairs, a chunky looking draw set or even an old cupboard are great items to send on an aesthetic journey back into the past.

Furniture an Antique Look

When you are looking to choose the right furniture to transform, stretch your imagination and picture what it may look like once you have completed the project.

There are a few different and varied techniques you can you use to add a synthetic antique look to wood furniture, but by far the simplest, quickest and most common methods used by the DIY and the novice is with a special paint called “Crackle glaze”.

Crackle glaze gives an instant effect and does as the name may suggest, it gives a “crackle paint effect” to the surface of the wood and makes it look as if it was painted many years ago.

Using Crackle glaze to turn new contemporary manufactured furniture look old and antique is a very simple process and only requires a tin of Crackle glaze, a suitable paint brush and abrasive paper to prepare the item for painting, and of course read and following the instructions supplied with the tin.

The instructions to applying Crackle glaze are not complex, but my own recommendations are: to make sure that whatever you are going to paint is completely clean and free from grease, furniture polish and wax.

The most efficient way to de-grease wooden furniture is to wipe it down with a cloth and methylated spirits. If the furniture is thick with polish then I suggest you use wire wool with the methylated spirits – If you suffer from sensitive skin then wear protective rubber gloves to protect your hands from the methylated spirits.

Once the piece of furniture has been cleaned and all the old polish has been removed it should have a very flat look with zero shine.

Now it is time to gently sand down the furniture with a mild grade abrasive, and then dust it down with a soft dusting brush. Once all the surface dust has been removed wipe down the furniture with a damp cloth and warm water to remove any of the last remnants of dust.

Starting from the top of the furniture you are transforming, and moving your brush in an up and down motion, gradually work your way towards the base of the furniture apply an even coat of glazing, making sure that you do not get any runs, until all of the surfaces are evenly coated.

Crackle glaze dries quite fast – about 60 minutes – so it won’t take long before your selected item is transformed back into history. However, I suggest you wait for about 24 hours before you use your furniture again.

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