Antique furniture can be described in many ways – beautiful, nostalgic and EXPENSIVE. But fear not, you can give your non-antique piece an antique look with a few simple steps. Just set aside a can of elbow grease and a free afternoon and get ready to get distressed!
First off, take all the hardware and glass off the furniture. I’m talking about handles, mirrors, glass table tops etc. Think of it this way, if you don’t want to get stain on it, take it off!
After you’ve removed the pieces and parts, start taking off any finish. Stripping the varnish or paint or what have you is crucial – so spend the time and energy and do a thorough job. Ask your local hardware store which stripping agent to use depending on what you are stripping.
Once the furniture has been stripped, take a rubber mallet and give the piece a few whacks. Don’t break it, obviously, we just want to give the piece a look that says “I’m a hundred years old and I’ve seen my share of wear and tear!” A few well-placed scratches with a screwdriver might suit your furniture piece also.
Once you’ve taken all your aggression out, sand down any rough spots, then just lightly sand the rest of the piece to give your stain the perfect surface to sink into.
Staining furniture is fun, and you don’t need to be a talented artist to get a great result. With one old cloth, apply the stain in small sections and then gently wipe off with a dry cloth. When you lightly wipe off stain just after you apply it, more stain will build up in the distressed areas which creates a great antique look. Keep up the Mr Miyagi style wipe on wipe off until the entire piece is covered. Let that dry, then repeat – until your furniture is the color you want. I’ve stained pieces 6 times before!
When your piece looks like you want it, get some polyurethane and apply a light coat over the whole thing. Give it at least 36 hours to dry completely before you start using it, I like to let my stained wooded furniture pieces dry in the sun.