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Category: How do I do different types of faux finishes?

Question: How do I antique wood or furniture?

Answer: How do I antique wood? Antiquing is a great finishing technique! It can completely change the look of a surface and enhance it by making it look old.

To antique wood, you will need to mix clear glazing medium, paint (acrylic, latex, etc.) and water in a ratio of 1:1:1/4. So, a sample mixture would be 1 cup clear glazing medium plus 1 cup paint plus ¼ cup water. This is only a starting point. You might decide that you want to INCREASE the amount of glaze – to give a more subtle look – or DECREASE the amount of glaze – to give a more pronounced look.

You can antique an existing finished/sealed piece of furniture or wood/furniture that is raw.

TIP: It is always advisable to make a sample and test the technique and color on a piece of scrap wood.

TIP: Apply a coat of varnish on raw wood BEFORE antiquing! This gives you more time (‘open time’) without having to be concerned that the glaze will penetrate the raw wood. The varnish helps the glaze ‘move’ so you can wipe it off easily. 1.

For raw wood, you need to seal the wood and apply as many coats of your base color to give you opaque coverage. Let this dry for 24 hours to be sure it is set. Apply a coat of varnish BEFORE antiquing.
2. Working one section at a time, apply the glazing mixture liberally. Make sure you get into the nooks and crannies. The glaze can be applied with a bristled brush, a foam brush or whatever you are most comfortable with.
3. Gently begin to remove some of the glazing mixture by wiping or pouncing with a cloth or cheesecloth. The longer you allow the glaze to ‘sit’, the darker the antiquing. You can remove most of the glaze or just a little bit. If you find that you have removed too much, just repeat steps 2 and 3 again.
4. You can also vary the effect by speckling the glaze onto the surface with a stiff brush.

Although, in this example, you have made your own glazing mixture, you CAN purchase already made glazes. Of course, the advantage of the method we used here is that you can get any color glaze that you want and that coordinates best with your color scheme.

TIP:Antiquing glazes can be ANY color – brown, black, blue, white – the skies the limit!


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