An antique finish can give any item or room a beautiful look that all country craft magazines crave. With these techniques, you’ll be able to distress any item from a knick knack to a whole house. Best of all, it’s easier than you think and takes even less time. Many of the materials you may already own or are easy and cheap to come by.
Distressing Wood Basics Before you begin antiquing a wooden object, you must first apply paint or stain. A primer followed by two coats of a color works well enough. An alternating layer of two contrasting colors provides a unique antique look when distressing items. An oil-based finish coat is recommended for severe distressing, since its durability and wood penetration make it ideal to withstand the abuse of distressing.
A stain should be applied in successive coats until the desired color is achieved. Allow the wooden item to dry for 24 hours before distress. Applying a clear coat is not necessary and may inhibit the look of an antique distressed finish.
Using dog chains, steel wool and sandpaper, scuff the surface of each edge and flat areas of the freshly painted or stained object. Use a random circular motion on large or flat areas to prevent lines from forming
Distressing with Paint Paint, as well as stain, can be used to antique distress any object or room instead of a physical distressing. Since many items can’t be physically distress like wood can, paint or staining is the alternative.
A base coat of oil-based color followed by an immediate swipe with steel wool soaked in paint thinner can provide an immediate response in any freshly painted item. Spread the steel wool around some areas, while leaving other sections completely untouched.
Distressing with Stain Another trick I like to use an old rag, soak it in a dark wood stain and streak sections of the painted colors. Immediately wipe away the stain with a clean rag. Continue this process in random areas on the item or wall until the desired antique look has been achieved. My article, Tips for distressing paint can help to point you in the right direction.
Using other items such as tissue paper, plaster or joint compound and glaze can create a spectacular antique distressed finish to any project. Simply affix the tissues or plaster/joint compound with glue and glaze, then paint. Next, stain the dried tissue or plaster, filling in the cracks, then immediately wiping away the excess with a clean rag. Now glaze the crevices and cracks to cover and protect the finished antique distressed project. Try How to Distress with Copper Leaf for unique and different take on antique distressing methods.