How To Antique Furniture

3 min read

How To Antique Furniture
How To Antique Furniture

Welcome to this article on how to antique furniture. As a professional furniture restorer, I have seen a lot of interest in antique furniture in recent years. Antiquing furniture is a great way to give your pieces character and personality, and it can also add value to your collection. In this article, I will go over some of the basics of the antique furniture process, as well as some tips and tricks to help you get started.

Main Content

What is Antiquing?

Antiquing is the process of artificially aging furniture to give it a vintage or antique look. This can be done using a variety of techniques, including painting, distressing, and staining. The goal is to make the furniture look like it has been around for a long time, even if it is a new piece.

How to Antique Furniture

The first step in antiquing furniture is to clean it thoroughly. This will remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated over the years. Once the piece is clean, you can begin the antiquing process by applying a base coat. This can be a paint, stain, or glaze, depending on the look you are going for. Once the base coat is dry, you can begin distressing the furniture. This can be done using sandpaper, a hammer, or other tools to create dents and scratches. Finally, you can add a top coat to protect the finish and give it a polished look.

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Choosing the Right Piece

When antiquing furniture, it is important to choose the right piece. Look for furniture that has a lot of character, such as pieces with intricate details or unique shapes. Avoid furniture that is too plain or modern, as it will be more difficult to give it an antique look. You should also consider the condition of the piece. While some wear and tear is desirable, furniture that is in poor condition may be difficult to restore.

Antiquing Painted Furniture

If you are antiquing painted furniture, the process is slightly different. You will need to apply a base coat of paint, and then distress the piece using sandpaper or other tools. Once the piece has been distressed, you can add a glaze to give it an aged look. This can be done using a mixture of paint and water, or you can purchase a pre-made glaze.

Finishing Touches

Once you have finished antiquing your furniture, you can add some finishing touches to complete the look. This can include adding new hardware, such as vintage drawer pulls or knobs. You can also add decorative elements, such as stenciling or decoupage.

Antique furniture before and after

Antique furniture before and after

Show a side-by-side comparison of a piece of furniture before and after it has been antiqued.

Distressing tools

Distressing tools

Show the tools that can be used to distress furniture, such as sandpaper and hammers.

Antique finishes

Antique finishes

Show examples of different finishes that can be used to antique furniture, such as paint, stain, and glaze.

Decorative elements

Decorative elements

Show examples of decorative elements that can be added to antique furniture, such as stenciling and decoupage.

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Before and after hardware

Before and after hardware

Show the difference that new hardware can make on a piece of antique furniture.

Unique pieces

Unique pieces

Show examples of unique pieces that are good candidates for antiquing, such as pieces with intricate details or unusual shapes.


  • Q: Is antiquing furniture difficult?
    A: Antiquing furniture can be a bit challenging, but with some practice and patience, anyone can do it.
  • Q: What tools do I need to antique furniture?
    A: Some of the tools that you may need include sandpaper, paint, stain, glaze, and various distressing tools.
  • Q: Can I antique any type of furniture?
    A: Most types of furniture can be antiqued, but it is important to choose pieces that have character and are in good condition.
  • Q: How long does it take to antique furniture?
    A: The time it takes to antique furniture depends on the size of the piece and the techniques used. It can take anywhere from a few hours to several days.
  • Q: Can I antique furniture without painting it?
    A: Yes, you can antique furniture without painting it. Staining and distressing are other popular techniques.
  • Q: Will antiquing furniture decrease its value?
    A: Antiquing furniture can actually increase its value, especially if the piece is already an antique.
  • Q: How can I learn more about antiquing furniture?
    A: There are many resources available online, including tutorials, videos, and forums. You can also take classes or workshops to learn more.
  • Q: What should I do if I make a mistake while antiquing furniture?
    A: Mistakes are common when antiquing furniture, but they can usually be fixed. You can sand down the area and start over, or you can try to incorporate the mistake into the design.
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Pros and Cons


  • Antiquing furniture can add character and personality to your pieces.
  • It can increase the value of your collection.
  • It is a fun and creative way to express yourself.


  • Antiquing furniture can be time-consuming and labor-intensive.
  • It can be difficult to achieve the desired look.
  • Mistakes can be costly and difficult to fix.


Here are some tips to help you get started with antiquing furniture:

  • Practice on a small piece before attempting a larger project.
  • Choose the right type of furniture for antiquing.
  • Invest in quality materials and tools.
  • Take your time and don’t rush the process.
  • Experiment with different techniques to find the look you want.
Closing Thoughts

Antiquing furniture can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it does require some skill and patience. With the right tools and techniques, you can create beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces that will be cherished for years to come. Remember to take your time, practice, and have fun!