Once you have painted your piece to your liking, sand down the edges of the wood in some areas. Use a cloth with wood stain and gently brush over the newly sanded and exposed areas.

Remember to wipe away any additional stain and leave behind what is meant to soak into the wood. If you like you can even paint a clear coat of varnish to protect your piece. Then rigorously rub dark tinted wax all over the piece. Try to focus on the details of the piece as well as any beveled edges.

Wipe away the dark wax so that it is mostly left in any cracks and crevices that are on the piece. A clear coat of varnish is not necessary for this type of antiquing. Then apply a dark glaze mixture that is either half dark or black paint blended with the half dark glaze mixture. Add a few drops of water to adjust the consistency to be easy enough to paint with but not runny enough to drip over the piece. Keep in mind that glaze dries very quickly so you must remove any unnecessary glaze quickly once you have painted the piece. If you have not wiped the glaze away in time it is possible to sand it away but at a risk of damaging your piece or giving it a different look.

There are lots of tutorials out there that claim you don’t need to sand. Sand all surfaces with 150-grit sandpaper. Use 80-grit if you are sanding a furnishing with an existing varnish. Wipe down the surface with a tack cloth to remove any residue. Don’t speculate on whether it might be better to use a lint-free cloth. Use a foam brush to get into any hard-to-reach areas. Use a mini foam roller to apply three thin coats of semi-gloss latex paint. It is important that you sand in between coats if you have any drips or residue on the piece.

You want to make sure you go over this coat very lightly with the foam roller to smooth any bubbles that can occur with the foam roller. Allow 72 hours for it to dry before using; otherwise, it can get sticky. Pin the image below to remember these furniture painting hacks for later. This topcoat will be the chair’s dominant color. This will take some of the paint off, so your undercoat will show through, giving the chair a distressed look. The more pressure you apply, the more paint will be removed. To distress the chair even more and to give it a smooth finish, go over the surface with a piece of fine 220-grit sandpaper. Make sure you work the wax into the grooves. After about 15 minutes, wipe away any excess wax. Choose a frame with raised details, and use a cotton rag to rub the surface with brown polish (reach into crevices with cotton swabs). You’ll need nothing more than basic skills and a handful of materials. All you need is a little paint and small sponges with which to apply it. But now you’re wondering what distressing technique is right for you?

For the chippy effect, let the milk paint do its thing. For a crackle effect, just add heat while the paint is drying. It can be used on an entire piece or simply to highlight your paint’s texture, grooves and decorative moldings.

DIY Glazing and Antiquing Furniture Tutorial

Wax and glaze work amazingly on ornate detailed pieces!

Trying to get this effect by sanding is difficult. It’s too easy to sand through both colors of paint right down to the original surface.

You control the soft or hard edge by using a soft rag or sand paper. The resist method can also be used on bare wood or stained surfaces. Dry brushing creates interesting lines and a transparent effect. This looks like a complicated technique, but it’s actually really easy!

Use it on small areas of furniture like decorative moldings and details or an entire piece. Dry brushing uses very little paint, is quick to apply and just as quick to dry. It’s also easy to soften and change the look by sanding.

You can control how transparent you want your wash to be by the water/paint ratio and how many coats you apply. A wash adds depth and tone while giving an outdoor beach faded look. Like the dry brushing, it uses very little product and is simple to apply.

I have to admit this is probably my least go-to method. All distressing works well on imperfect furniture. The above styles can hide irregularities and flaws while giving your furniture a ton of character. Happy painting…have a wonderful day. My sister recently picked up some black kitchen chairs. You’ll be able to see where the topcoat was sanded down and it will look messy – even if you try to topcoat those areas again.

How to Paint your furniture an antique finish

Is that possible without painting the whole thing?

I get so confused about the different painting techniques. It’s a great reference for future projects!

It’s nice to have all of them in one area for reference.

I realize that some of my readers are furniture painting veterans, but many of you are not.

You can’t just slap on a coat of paint and call it a day. Remove all drawers before painting and work on those separately. If you are painting as opposed to staining, there is no need to strip the finish or sand it down to the bare wood. Simply removing the glossy finish will suffice. If the surface is already dull, you can skip this step. This helps your paint adhere to the piece better and it also covers any stains or discolorations in the wood.

This helps you attain a much more professional and even finish.

I recommend anything that’s not a flat finish. The glossier the finish, the easier to clean. This step is very important if you want to achieve an even finish. Now, there are a few different ways to go about painting.

I usually use a small foam roller on the main parts of the furniture and a brush in the hard to reach crevices, painting the crevices first.


This is the easiest DIY makeover ever!

It’s fun and simple to do!

The roller helps prevent visible brush strokes. It would be a shame to cause damage to all of that hard work by handling it too soon!

The dresser in the photo was just slightly distressed using fine grit sandpaper.

I distressed it after my last coat of paint and before applying my wax. Paint has an amazing power to transform any piece. What is this called and where did you get it done?

Now, with the glitter issue – if you can’t get it sanded smooth (try a power sander if necessary), you might want to consider stripping that part. The most important thing is to get the existing paint job sanded so it’s all even, otherwise your new paint job is not going to look even.

I love the transformation…looks really pretty with the black and white!

It also achieves a really nice, even finish. Or just use a cloth dipped in gold metallic paint and rub on the distressed areas. Facebook wall when you’re done so we can all see it!

I have been to home depot and a neighborhood hardware store investigating new products.

They show a palette of about 20 color choices including silver and gold. Anybody have any experience to share about this type of product. There are several brands that offer chalk paint (not to be confused with chalkboard paint) and you just seal it with a wax. There are a few ways you can tell if it’s real wood. The first good indicator that it is real wood is the weight. If it’s super heavy, it’s probably solid wood as opposed to particle board or laminate, etc. Also, if it’s laminate, it’s not going to have any visible wood grain. Another good indicator of real wood is dovetail construction. Slide open a drawer and look at the side of it. Are there tongue and grooves where the drawer meets the drawer-front?

Are there varying patterns of grain visible all over the piece?

Veneer can sometimes have grain but it’s usually the same pattern repeated over and over. Also, if you look at the side of the piece, you will be able to see where a sheet of veneer is attached to the wood. Also, look under the piece and see if it is unfinished wood or veneer. Veneers are often covered from top to bottom. Now, all of that said, you can paint anything. Just be careful sanding veneer as you do not want to damage it.

We just bought a piece off of craigslist for our dining room and were excited to simply install. As we moved it, light bumping caused the pretty cream colored paint to scrape off and reveal black paint underneath.

Antique Finishes

Then, just putting dishes on it did the same. So, can we just sand the top coat, or do we need to get to the original veneer and then sand?

I recommend not using polyurethane on white furniture because it will cause it to yellow.

I only use polyurethane on colored paint or stain. Just apply the wax with cheesecloth, let dry 10-15 minutes and buff with a clean white cloth. Then leave it alone for at least 24 hours before moving it!

I plan on painting a wood dresser white this weekend. If there are no brush strokes, is sanding between coats still necessary?

I don’t believe it’s necessary to sand between coats aside from just touching up any drips that may have dried.

I want to use about six different colors but all the paint store has are quarts or gallons. They do have some small samples but they are not a semi-gloss and the paint man said they might fade as they’re used to put on your wall and paint over when you decide which one your want. Any ideas where to get small amounts of semi-gloss paint?

You could always check there to see what colors are available, and keep in mind you can always mix your own!

I would just have to be sure to seal it well with a non-yellowing sealer as some of the colors will be light. If i sand it do you think that will be ok or will i need a paint stripper?

Yes, that is a large thin piece of wood that is glued onto a piece of compressed wood chips.

I would just lightly hand sand it with a finer grit sandpaper, taking special care around the edges.

You just want to rough up the surface enough for the paint to be able to grab on.

I have sanded laminate several times with no problem.

I haven’t tried it yet but know lots of people who recommend it, and it will stick to any surface and does not require any sanding or prep. Just bookmark your blog for more explore!

I have been wanting to repaint my daughters dresser white, that is currently painted black. Be sure to lightly sand between coats too.

I acquired the dresser extremely cheap at a rummage sale. It was in a child’s room and the dresser top is a veneer laminate. There are about a dozen dime to quarter size areas of damage where the laminate is completely gone and some of the areas are slightly raised.

Also, where do you usually do your painting?

I bother painting it or will it be so time consuming that it won’t be worth it?

You can use regular sandpaper or a sanding block (a few bucks at the hardware store).

You want to lightly sand between coats and allow to dry completely between coats. If you work for several hours each day you could probably knock it out in a weekend.

I think it’s beautiful and adds a lot of character to my room and it will be a dark brown color. Don’t stress if you can’t get into every tiny crevice, and if it’s not perfect, that’s ok. The main thing is to just rough up enough of the surface to give your paint something to “grab” onto. Anyway, it was recommended to use the “old” oil base paint that is “self-leveling”. One can only have so many painted pieces!

Anyway, use the wax and it should turn out fine. Now it looks a little dirty/yellow in some spots.

Distressed Furniture

To apply the wax, put a small amount on the cheesecloth, then double it over and apply it through the second layer of cheesecloth. It will look like nothing is going on there but if you look in certain lights/from certain angles, you’ll be able to tell it’s going on. It’s a very light lavender and the paint is flat. This will be my first time ever doing a project like this. My daughter has a beautiful, old fashioned bedroom set with a headboard/footboard, nightstand, and dresser. The paint on it is flat with gold leaf trim.

I wouldn’t repaint it except that it is a dingy grayish green (used to be white).

I am completely redecorating her bedroom.

I have no idea what kind of paint is on this furniture.

I hope that some of my projects turn out half as wonderful as yours!

If it does in fact contain lead, you can either have an expert do the removal for you or you can very carefully do it yourself. Just be very careful as you can release the lead dust into the air. What about adding some funky hardware/drawer pulls?

And yes, fabric on the headboard would be a good (and temporary) fix too.

I really like the way it looks now, so do i have to finish it with something?

You can let it cure, but it takes about a month for paint to cure completely. This means leave it alone – don’t put things on top of it, etc, for about a month. Another option is to use furniture wax to protect the finish.

You can buff it to your liking – the more you buff, the juniper it gets.

I would hand sand at the end to distress it though if you plan on doing that.

Makes life so much easier and the look far exceeds any other painting techniques. However, if you find that you will not be using the dresser often, you may opt to use wood options that are more affordable albeit a little less durable. Would you recommend just letting the paint cure if the painted furniture is going in a baby’s nursery?

I usually love to wax but want to be on the safe side!

Just give it a good 30 days without touching it or putting anything on top of it. But once it’s completely dry and aired out, it should be fine in the baby’s room. It’s supposed to stay true to color and not yellow like polyurethane, and it is low-odor and water-based.

I ran into trouble with the drawers not fitting because of the paint layers. Inexpensive furniture and painted after sounds amazing!

My faves to paint are the mass-produced mahogany pieces from the post-war era. Polyurethane needs to dry in very thin coats.

I was talking to my husband after reading your tutorial and he suggested instead of sanding using a round wire type brush that attaches to his drill.

I would be careful of anything that will leave deep scratches on the surface as those will show up after you paint.

How To Paint Furniture

You could skip the topcoat as long as you let it cure for a month without setting anything on top of it. Also, if you are on an extreme budget, check the “oops paint” section at the home improvement store. There is a section where they deeply discount paint that is returned or that they mix but don’t end up selling.

I plan on hand sanding so should this eliminate some of the “kick up”?

My main advice is to use large drop cloths to cover the surrounding area, definitely wear a mask, and a shop vac will come in handy too if you have one.

You are right about the staining though – this part needs to happen outside or in a very well-ventilated area. This paint is awesome for the shabby chic look, although with sanding it afterwards you can achieve a more modern look as well.

You do need to apply wax on top, but it’s a great paint. A little bit goes a long way, so although it is pricey it does last a long time. Let me know how you like it if you end up trying it!

You can pull it off with your fingers in the spots that are peeling. It can take up to a month for paint to fully cure on its own but it should at least feel dry to the touch by now.

I would give it several more days and see what happens. If not, you could try a polycrylic or polyurethane topcoat, but normally its best to add those after paint is no longer tacky to the touch.

How to antique furniture. Distress. Stain

Also, thin coats of paint produce best results!

Keep in mind you’ll also have to let the topcoat cure for a few days just to be on the safe side. As long as you can sand it smooth enough to where you can run your fingers across it and it feels smooth, you should be fine. Customised furniture is very popular, as it gives your home a wonderful unique look.

I am painting the dresser beige and want to highlight the indentions with a light brown.

I like what you did with your dresser, look very nice.

I tinted it with stain and kept it well-mixed, but you can also tint it with dark paint.

You just wipe it on and then wipe it off, just like stain. It settles into the crevices and brings out the detail. If you are letting it cure on its own, then don’t touch it for about a month. Or you could add a topcoat like wax or polycrylic or polyurethane. Don’t sand the final coat of paint, but sand lightly between coats.