How to age wood? Furniture renovation step by step

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How to age wood? Furniture renovation step by step

Old and noble furniture with a soul, on which a layer of patina has already settled, pulled out of grandma’s attic or found in the old folks’ cellar are often elements of our interior design, with which a lot of history is associated. Unfortunately, not everyone has the chance or opportunity to own such items, and prices of antiques can be intimidating. Therefore, it happens to us during the renovation of specially aged furniture. How to do it, so that it still looks great, but has gained some character? 

It may seem that it will be difficult to make a new bookcase, chest of drawers or a chair look like a worn-out antique with a rich past. Well, nothing more misleading. There are several proven ways to make them look really worn out and bitten by the tooth of time. Aged furniture will perfectly emphasize the interior design in a vintage style, rustic, Provence, but also eclectic, and even modern classic. What’s more, the following methods will not require complex skills and expensive technical facilities.

What kind of furniture is suitable for aging? 

Of course, the easiest way to achieve a satisfactory effect, when we work on wooden furniture with visible grain. It is not said, however, that the furniture from boards covered with veneer is completely unsuitable for this, but we must reckon with the fact that in order to look convincing aged furniture, we will have to put in a little more work. 


Having a new piece of furniture in front of us, even though we want to get it aged, we are often afraid to disturb its top layer. It turns out that to get the desired effect, all you need is a sheet or two of sandpaper, a little bit of idea and time. Start with coarse-grained sandpaper, which will be the easiest way to break the top layer of paint, which we want to get rid of. Using simple movements, apply more force in some places and press the abrasive down. If you want the aged look to be natural, the hot spots will be the corners, the joints, the places near the handles, the edges and all kinds of corners. Now, all you have to do is to level the whole thing with fine-grained paper and you are done.

Distressing with vinegar 

Old furniture is not treated kindly by time and on their surface damages, scratches, discolorations and tarnishes appear. Another simple way to age furniture is to wipe it with vinegar. To do this, prepare a vessel into which you pour apple cider vinegar, add to it some old nails or steel wool, which will give it the right color. After a few days, use a paintbrush to apply the mixture on the piece of furniture and you are done. Remember to work on raw wood. 

White patina 

Rustic interiors just love this way of aging furniture. How to go about it? Thoroughly clean the surface of the furniture. Then you need to mat the wood with a coarse-grained sandpaper, in the next step finer. Thoroughly clean and dust off the surface. A vacuum cleaner will work great here. Now we can move on to painting. What is important, you will not need special paints, a simple white or cream acrylic or chalk paint will suffice. Paint, and when the first layer is dry, wax some places, you can use an ordinary wax candle. Then we paint again. And so on until the desired effect is achieved. At the end you can cover the whole with a clear varnish.

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