After refinishing the base of my 25 year old green cedar chest, I decided I wanted to finish the top of it just slightly different. I chose to use a method called “antiquing” and just loved the way it turned out.
Check out the process I used to finish the base using Country Chic Chalk Paint here:
This is the piece before and then after:
Check out my 60 second tutorial and then follow along below for all the details!
- Base Paint
- Top Coat
- Paint Brush
- Antiquing Wax (I order mine from Miss Mustard Seed’s website found here)
- Antiquing Brush (I bought mine from Amazon here)
- Paper Towels or Old Rags
Step 1 – Prep Your Piece
Your preparation will depend upon what type of paint you are using. If you do not want to sand down your wood, you will want to use a chalk paint or milk paint. These only require a clean surface for adhesiveness. Check out the following posts that I wrote to help you determine which one you may want to use.
If you want to use a latex paint you will add a layer of primer and then paint. Or you may sand and then paint. If you want to use stain you will have to sand before application.
For my piece I decided to sand off the cherry top finish because there was so many nicks and scratches. I used my hand sander for this project. I had to remove all the hardware before I started.
You will want to fully wipe off all the residue and saw dust. I use a microfiber rag from Norwex for this – it works great.
Step 2 – Paint Your Base Coat
There are so many colors to choose from when antiquing. Any color will do. The wax will darken a light color, deepen a dark color, and add depth to cracks and corners.
I chose to use Weather Wash Rusted Stain for my base stain. It weathers the wood color and goes on like water – its super easy and you can read all about why I love this product here.
Then I added a white wash once the weather wash was dry. I used Country Chic Simplicity and Sunday Tea paint and added 1/4 part water – mixing well.
To white wash, first get your rag damp and set aside. You brush the paint with the grain (movement of brush matches the lines of the grain in the wood) in small sections, then grab your rag and rub off the paint.
Finish your entire piece and then let dry fully according to directions.
Step 3 – Antiquing
This is the fun part! Use your judgement and style to add this wax, more or less is up to you. Dab your round, flat antiquing brush into the wax. Blot the brush onto a paper towel to make sure the wax is even and not too heavy. Then you will lightly brush or dab the wax onto a small section of the wood. You start small so you can make sure you like the amount you are applying. You can add more if you want too. You will rub off the wax with a rag or paper towel as you go. You can cover the entire area or just do different sections for a more antiqued look.
Step 4 – Apply Top Coat
The wax seals your project once it cures. But I always like to have a top coat on my wood, especially if it’s going to have items on top of it.
You can use any polyurethane. But I would recommend a water based top coat when you are using light colors (especially white) because the oil based has a tendency to turn your project yellow. I usually use Rust-oleum Matte Clear or Minwax Polycrylic. Both have worked great for me. Miss Mustard Seed’s Tough Coat Sealer is also very good. That is what I used for this project.
Step 5 – Clean Your Brushes
You will want to wash your brushes to keep them long lasting. I love the Brush Soap by Country Chic Paint – super good stuff.
I replaced the hardware and the project is done! It was so much fun to add this antiqued top to the distressed wood bottom.
Good luck antiquing your favorite pieces!
Comment below if you have any questions.