The Basics on Painting Antique Furniture The Basics on Painting Antique Furniture

Before painting antique furniture it is very strongly advised that you have it dated and valued. There is a very great difference between ‘antique’ and ‘old’. You could be ruining a highly valuable piece of furniture if you paint it. Always make sure you are not defacing a piece of Chippendale or Queen Anne before you decide to slap a lick of paint onto it.


Shabby-Chic has become a very famous term in the restoration of older furniture. Shabby-chic has been adopted as a term which refers to classic design made to look shabby and old. If you are going to paint an old piece of furniture you can use various techniques with which to improve its appearance. Instead of painting the paint on with a brush you can wipe it on with a cloth and rub it in to the wood. This will give the wood a coating of thin paint but still make it look ‘shabby’.


Some techniques employ the use of a candle prior to painting. If you want a cracked look or a worn appearance you can scribble on the furniture with a wax candle in random areas. Then, when you paint over the whole piece, the areas of wax will not allow the paint to invade the wood surface and you are left with an aged appearance of peeling paint.

Thorough Coats

To make a piece of furniture look shiny and clean you can simply paint it correctly with a soft bristle brush. One coat of undercoat or primer will suffice, followed by two coats of oil based high gloss paint to give it a varnished look. Sand the piece gently in between coats.

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