Furniture with an antique or rustic look is all the rage right now and is a great way to add character and depth to your furnishings. You can find tons of furniture with that antique look for sale on the internet similar to the piece found at https://www.houzz.com/product/81449834-3-drawer-chest-turquoise-farmhouse-dressers. The great news is that you don’t have to pay a fortune to get that look at designer furniture stores! The antique furniture look can be achieved with chalk paint, a little bit of glaze, and a piece of old or second-hand furniture. It can be a fun, creative, and inexpensive way to dress up any piece of home decor!
Sounds easy, right? Well, let me just tell you that the first time I attempted to antique a piece of furniture, it ended up being a complete disaster! I had found the perfect nightstand to try the antique process out on and, thinking I knew what I was doing, just went for it. How hard could it be to slap some glaze on the piece and swoosh it around with a cloth, right?? Well, after swooshing that glaze around my piece of furniture, it ended up looking more like my 7-year old had decided to take her leftover brownie and use it as a dusting cloth on my beloved nightstand rather than looking like a tasteful, elegant piece of furniture!! My beautiful nightstand looked absolutely horrible and I was ready to completely give up my future of refinishing furniture and become a nun!
As it turns out, there is a bit of a technique to creating an antique finish with chalk paint, and if you follow a couple of simple tips and steps, you can create that masterpiece you see in your mind! So I’m here to tell you exactly what you need to know when you attack your next project!
First and foremost, as long as you follow a few simple tips, there truly is no such thing as a mistake in antiquing furniture……you have to look at it as art and know that imperfections are what create the character in these pieces. Antique pieces are not meant to look like they were uniformly painted, they are meant to look natural which means some areas will have more detail than others.
TOOLS FOR AN ANTIQUE FINISH
So here is a list of tools that help make creating an antique finish easier:
- A small paintbrush with a bad haircut. Where do you get a paintbrush with a bad haircut, you ask? You make one by taking one of our 2-inch bristle paint brushes and cutting the bristles to several different lengths that look like a toddler who just woke up with bed head! The varying lengths of the bristles allow you to create varying levels of coverage with your glaze that create a more natural look.
- Baby wipes. I use baby wipes to smudge the glaze back and forth once it’s been applied. Be sure to switch to a clean area of the cloth every couple of swipes so that you aren’t adding extra glaze to the area that you are working on.
- A shishkabob stick. A shishkawhat?? Shishkabob sticks that can be found at your local grocery store are great for getting into the tight groves that a lot of furniture pieces have. These groves are my favorite area to work on because so are the touches that add so much character to really finish off that antique look that you are trying to achieve. Simply wrap a baby wipe around the blunt end of the shishkabob stick and you instantly have a way of spreading the glaze into the groves of the furniture!
TIPS TO ACHIEVE AN ANTIQUE FINISH
So now that you know what tools you need to help create your antique look, you need to know a couple of tips to help avoid having your piece of furniture look like a 7-year-old decided to decorate it with brownie batter!
- Use your modified paintbrush to apply very small amounts of glaze to your furniture. The look you are trying to achieve is very subtle, so less is definitely better when applying glaze. You can always go back and add more if needed.
- Start glazing in very small sections. Because you are using small amounts of glaze, it dries very quickly. So it is important to work in small areas so that you can smudge the glaze around before it dries. Working in small sections also allows you to adjust your process as you go, resulting in a more natural look!
- Start with the crevices and creases first. These areas are the best place to add that antique finish because they are what help create a more natural look when refinishing the furniture. Simply apply a bit of glaze and use your shishkabob stick wrapped in a baby wipe to spread the glaze and create a subtle look within the grooves. It’s okay if some areas have more coverage than others…..the whole point is for it to look natural! If you find that you are removing the paint with your shishkabob tool, simply apply less pressure or wrap your shishkabob stick more thickly with the baby wipe.
- Flat surfaces can be glazed next. The flat surfaces are the more challenging area to create that natural look but are very manageable if you work in small sections. Swipe your paintbrush lightly in one direction and then do the same in the opposite direction to create a light covering of glaze. Next, take a clean section of your baby wipe and smooth the glaze in the same direction that you applied it. Keep wiping until you’ve achieved the look that you like, and apply more glaze if needed. Keep working in sections, paying special attention to edges where it’s hard to reach with your paintbrush.
- Don’t sweat the small imperfections. As we said earlier, there really is no such thing as making a mistake when using chalk paint and glaze. But, if you should find yourself unsatisfied with the look of a certain area or accidentally scraped off some chalk paint with your tools, just relax! Chalk paint is so flexible and easy to work with that you can make touch-ups really easily to perfect your look!
So the bottom line is that with the proper tools and basic tips, creating an antique finish with chalk paint and glaze is very easy to achieve!! As you can see with the nightstand below that I completed, there is hope in achieving the look you desire and it can be done with Grammie’s Furniture Paint.
Grammie’s Furniture Paint has a great selection of chalk paint and glazes that make this process fun, easy, and stress-free! You can shop our chalk paint colors and glazes at https://www.grammiesfp.com/shop/. Grammie’s Furniture Paint also conducts classes to help teach the basics of using chalk paint and especially the art of using glaze to create that antique furniture look! Visit https://www.grammiesfp.com/calendar/ to see our upcoming classes and events!! Happy painting!!