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Give antique look to furniture in 5 easy steps

I like to give an antique look to furniture when it makes sense. I recently was asked to make a small bench for a client. Here’s how we did it. Because we wanted the resulting end look to be very rustic, distressed and aged, I followed specific procedures.   So, when I picked out the lumber I chose pieces that had lots of dents, scratches, nicks and saw marks.    

The Bench Project – Giving antique look to furniture

(Also, I picked Oak because the finishing steps described below work best on open grain woods like oak, pine, etc..)   The rest of the antique look to furniture appearance I achieved during the finishing process.
Making wood look old

Here is how I did it 5 easy steps for giving an antique look to furniture….

Step 1.)  Sand the wood to the desired surface texture.  I recommend starting with 150 grit.  Keep in mind that the object is NOT to remove all the imperfections, but rather to make a smoother surface, while still feeling all the imperfections, undulations, etc.  Notice in the the above picture I left lots of saw marks, scrapes etc..    For  frame of reference – I may have removed about a third of  the marks that were originally on there.

Step 2.) Rub on lots of Black Grain Filler!   Don’t hold back here.  Lay it on heavy and make sure you work it down into the grain, holes & imperfections as much as possible.  As a result your entire piece will become black.  Let dry for the recommended time.

Step 3.) Sand the black off the surface.  Using 220 grit sand the entire surface.  This removes the black grain filler from the surface but leaves it in the pores, indention’s and grooves.   Keep in mind that each time you sand, you are removing imperfections, so keep an eye out so that you don’t remove to much.  You’re just trying to get most of the black off the surface.

Step 4.)  Stain the piece your favorite color. Pick your favorite color stain and let it rip!   Wipe on the stain and after sitting a few minutes wipe off the excess.  You’ll notice that any of the black residue left on the surface blends with the stain adding beautiful shades and patina.  Let dry for the recommended time.

Step 5.) Apply the clear Top Coat.  Pick the clear top coat you like (lacquer, polyurethane, etc) and apply it to the project.  Let dry the recommended time and apply additional coats as necessary.  I always sand lightly with 220 grit between layers of the topcoat.  This gives a much smoother, silky, professional finish.

The end result is an antique look to furniture! 

Giving an antique look to furniture

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