If the furniture in question has decent "bones," or is structurally sound, it's easy to convert this so-so piece into something that emits a sense of classic style.
What you'll need:
- Heavy grit sandpaper
- A thick semi-gloss latex paint in a bold hue. Try Colonial Red or Canyon Black offered by Rust-Oleum's American Accent line, or off-white like Behr's Swiss Coffee.
- A small can of oil-based stain. We like Minwax's Golden Oak for this application.
- Clean rags
- Classic hardware for pieces where applicable
If the piece in question happens to have a heavy layer of polyurethane, you may want to apply wood stripper, or prepare yourself for extensive sanding. Painting over it without stripping this layer will keep your paint from sticking.
After preparing the piece, go ahead and paint it. When the paint has dried completely, you can begin the "antiquing" process.
The idea is to present your project as genuinely worn—like any antique furniture exposed to wear and abuse over long periods of time. To do so, you'll want to scrape, nick, and drag with your sandpaper.
Emphasize high areas of wear around hardware (handles and knobs), the feet or base of the furniture, and exposed edges that would likely face accidental dents. Don't get too carried away—your piece won't look antique if you sand too much.
After sanding, apply a small amount of stain to a rag and rub it into the places you've sanded. This hides their age, making them appear older and more accidental. Wipe off any excess stain and let dry.
Installing some cool old hardware will really round out the antique-feel of your project.
If you like the way it turned out, you could even create a matching set from previously unmatched furniture! Step into The Home Know-It-All archives for more on arranging your "new" antique furniture.
Until next time,
The Home Know-It-All