How to Give Your Furniture that ‘Antique’ Look

Are you tired of the super smooth, polished look of new furniture? Do you have an older piece that you would like to look antiqued rather than just old? More and more people are discovering the joy of distressing their furniture, and you will discover that creating the right effect can give you a conversation piece that draws every eye. Remember that you should not go overboard, but try one or two of these techniques on a piece that you want to transform!

Two-Tone Paint

When you want to make sure that your piece looks lovely and lived in, take a moment to think about two-tone paint. This treatment is fantastic when you are looking at wooden pieces like desks, cabinets, shelves and wooden chairs.

Remember to use good painting procedures. Strip the existing paint before you start and lay down a coat of primer. This ensures that anything that you do will stick and that you will not have to worry about eye-sore flaking.

Paint the piece of furniture with one coat of paint, and allow it to dry entirely. Then paint it with another coat of paint, and allow that to dry as well. After that, hit the surface of the furniture with some coarse sandpaper, putting in wear spots where the undercoat is allowed to shine through.


Sometimes, the surface of a piece of furniture just looks a little too smooth. When you are bothered by the uninteresting finish, get a small rubber-headed mallet and use it to tap the wear spots on the piece of furniture. Soften the corners and introduce some soft dents.

Sandpapering the Corners

When a piece of furniture looks too sharp for your home, use sandpaper on the edges and the corners. Use fine sandpaper rather than a coarse one, and make sure that you pause in between strokes to see what you are doing. Work slowly and don’t be afraid to put in wear marks that go straight down to the wood.

Look At the Hardware

Sometimes, the thing that gives a piece of furniture its new look is the hardware. Hardware that is in bright chrome resists distressing and antiquing, and you will find that there are other things that you can do about it. Replace the hardware with antique hardware or hardware with an antique look. This is something that can make a huge difference to your furniture. Instead of chrome, opt for bronze or even for slightly tarnished silver. Copper can also give your furniture a fantastically worn look if you pick the piece correctly.

Chain Dents

When you want to give your piece of furniture the heavy random denting that comes after decades of wear, you need a thick chain. Choose a short length of chain with thick heavy links and throw it at your furniture from a number of different angles. Drop the chain on your furniture from above. This gives your furniture dents that are deep but round, making them look aged.


To get a lovely discolored look to your furniture, brush a very light coat of glaze directly onto the furniture’s surface, and then use a soft cloth to wipe it away. This leaves darker glaze in the cracks and the corners, simulating the look of aging. Allow the glaze to dry naturally.

There are a number different ways to antique and distress your furniture, so take a moment to learn more about what might work for you. If you are tired of the ultra-glossy look your furniture, a beautifully distressed piece is something that might really suit you and your style.