Antique or antique look furniture is a valuable addition to any home, creating a sense of history and casually elegant style. You don’t have to spend a fortune on reproductions or the real deal though! If you’ve got a piece of furniture that you love and a spare weekend, you can easily recreate that desired antique look yourself. Here’s what you need to know. For more information or tips, have a chat with your local furniture specialist.
Select and Clean Your Furniture
The very first thing that you need to do is to select the piece of furniture that you want to look antique. This could be a hall table, a chair, a coffee table, a dresser or anything else you like. Once you have selected your piece or pieces of furniture, the next step is to clean them thoroughly to remove all dust and dirt. After cleaning apply a good primer and allow it to dry for at least an hour but preferably overnight.
Painting Your Furniture
Now that the primer is dried, it’s time to apply the first coat of paint. As with the primer, you’ll need to allow it to dry for a while – at least four hours but preferably overnight. Once the first coat of paint is completely dry, you can apply the top coat of paint. This coat needs to dry thoroughly so once you’ve finished painting, let the piece of furniture dry for at least two full days.
Sanding to Get That Antique Look
The painting is all done and now it’s time to antique your furniture up! The key to making your furniture look antique is to create areas of wear on it, and the best places to do this is where it would naturally show wear such as on the armrests or on the corners. Start by taking some 60 grit sandpaper and lightly sanding in the areas that would show wear over time. Only sand enough to expose the paint that is underneath the top coat. When you’ve sanded all the areas that you’ve wanted to, take some 120 grit sandpaper and go over the same spots. The reason for doing this is to make the surface very smooth.
Additional Antiquing Techniques
Using paint and sandpaper is often not enough to give your furniture that true antique look though. In many cases, it’s more helpful to do some additional antiquing once you’ve finished the painting. There are a few ways that you can make your furniture look more authentically antique. Use a short section of heavy chain to hit the furniture with and make irregular indentations. A two by two piece of board can be used to help scar the surface of the furniture. An old pair of pliers is perfect for making irregular scars and holes in the wood.
Go Slow and Have Fun
When antiquing any piece of furniture the key is to take it easy and to take it slow. After all, you can always do more work to get your furniture look as antique as you want but it’s much harder to go back when you’ve gone too far! Also remember to have fun while doing it as you’ll get the best results if you take your time and don’t rush what you are doing.
Tip: If you’re not sure where the natural “wear areas” are on the piece of furniture that you are trying to antique, try using or sitting in it as normal. Where your body or items connect, that’s where natural wear areas are likely to be.