Tips for Distressing and Antiquing Furniture

Want to get antique furniture without spending too much? There is a great DIY solution available for that – you can distress and antique your own furniture and you get to save as well. Just follow the instructions below:

  • Ensure the furniture is clean before you begin. Apply some liquid sander/deglosser on it with a dry rag (no need to do so if you are staining the top).
  • After covering the surfaces, use the spray primer on the furniture. To avoid over-spraying on the drawers, use a piece of cardboard under the edges of the drawer fronts.
  • Use the spray paint on the surfaces. Ensure that you read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly, especially regarding recoating and dry times. This is important so that the paint finish doesn’t crackle, peel, or wrinkle.
  • An electric sander can be used to strip the top as it is going to be stained. For removing the factory finish and getting down to bare wood, use 80-grit sandpaper and then 150-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. Any areas that can’t be reached with the electric sander can be worked on using a standard one.
  • The objective of distressing the paint is to get a natural look. With the sandpaper, remove paint in areas where natural wear would occur like raised areas, corners, areas around handles and/or knobs.
  • Apply the stain evenly on the top with a rag. A second coat can be applied if necessary. Using a paint brush and stain, apply stain to the entire drawer face.
  • Wipe off the stain of the drawer front with a rag, while taking care not to remove too much. The key is to leave it settled in cracks and crevices, while raised areas and flat areas will be left with only a very slight tint of stain.
  • Repeat the process of staining and wiping till the entire piece of furniture is antiqued.
  • To give the drawer pulls a fresh look, start with a coat of primer, followed by a coat of spray paint, and ending with one or two coats of clear sealer.
  • Lastly, apply a minimum of two coats of polyurethane on the top using a foam brush. Be careful with the recoating and dry times as mentioned in the manufacturer’s instructions.