Introduction: Antiquing

Wow, did I get sick of carrying over four loads of firewood into the house per day. So, after a year of contemplation, my fiance and I finally agreed on a design, but of course there was a kicker. I needed to turn in into an antique....yay! Yes, there is plenty of sarcasm in that.

However, it turned out I ended up having quite a bit of fun with this. I will admit, I had quite a lot of timely mistakes; well, more like precautions, and this instructable has a few goals for me to convey. First, I'll try to eliminate some mistakes and/or precautions you may do to hopefully save some of your valuable time. Secondly, I'll provide you with a wonderful option to add an antiquing/crackle effect to your piece and paint.


Step 1: Before

Again, I built this to turn into an "antique", however, this instructable is to only show you how the "antiquing" process was achieved. I will provide an instructable of how I built this box at another time.

Anyways, this is how the project looked like before the "antiquing" process was started.

Step 2: Materials

-Wood conditioner (only if your working with something just built or any porous woods, and/or, if there is any unpainted wood showing)

-Stain (I used dark walnut for this project)

-Titebond liquid Hide Glue ( what gives you the crackle effect)

-100% acrylic paint (color of your choosing)

-A dark colored gloss

-Danish oil, lacquer or shellac to finish/seal all bare wood

-Cheap paint brushes

-Cotten rags (lots!)

Step 3: Beat Your Project Up!

The title says it all, beat it up! I used approximately 8 different items to do so. Let your imagination drive you. You want to have different indentations throughout your piece. Notice the differences of such in picture #2.

The goal here is to mimic what would have taken places after years of use, maybe a move or two and really, the wear on the piece over time.

Step 4: Pre Condition and Stain

This step is optional, but I wanted to have a multicolored piece and I thought the orange and white paint would compliment a dark stain.

So if you decide to stain, pre-treat with a wood conditioner and then continue to apply your stain of choice.

Step 5: Liquid Hide Glue

There are a few ways to achieve a crackling effect in your finish but I strongly suggest Liquid Hide glue. It's easy and very effective. However, depending where you live it could be difficult to find, so plan ahead before hand. I went to six different stores within 45 minutes of my house and only one shop had three bottles in stock. Yes, I live in the boonies.

Decide which areas of your piece where you want to have a crackle finished paint look. Once decided, grab your glue and a throw away paint brush and apply to entire area. It's important not to have an even application here. You want some areas thick and some thin with the glue. The reason being, your crackle effect will be uneven in the long run indicating years of wear and tare.

Step 6: Paint

Paint over your glue within 24 hours of initial application. *Supposedly, if you wait after 24 hours, the paint won't give you the crackle effect.*

For a further aging look, such as in picture #1 and #2 (areas I thought would be more aged), you can take a dry paint brush and or a cloth and dab or scrape across an area where you want to have more bare wood than crackle paint showing. Ideally, these are outside corners or any area of the piece where more wear and tear would have occurred over the years.

As I mentioned in the introduction, I took a lot of precautions in this project. You can see that in picture #1. Initially, I applied minimul glue, then paint and ultimately decided to repeat time and time again. I strongly suggest you don't do that. It takes forever! However, it might be beneficial for you to leave areas of greater distress unglued and not painted until ready to work to take your time further distressing those areas. You will realize the paint dries very quickly and it is easier to work on smaller areas while doing such.

Step 7: Glazing

I loved this part! As you can tell from the before and after pictures from above, the glaze gives you an aged effect. It dulls/dirties the paint and increases the contrast in the cracked areas. It's simply glorious!

Now that my rant is over, here are a few things to keep in mind about glaze.

-You can buy clear and colored glazes, however, if you have a clear glaze, you can add paint to it to achieve the desired effect.

-Glaze dries very quickly. Work over small areas until you get the hang of it.

- As for the application itself, paint on and wipe off almost immediately. I could leave it on almost twice as long on the orange than I could the white. So experiment on a test piece or an area that won't be as easily seen once showcased.

Step 8: Sealing the Unpainted Wood

As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of options you could use to seal your project. With that being said, I wanted my piece to have an aged look, I.e. lack of shine, beat up areas, your general wear and tare from years of use and moving. I think I achieved such in the painted areas but what for the top, bottom and back? I liked the idea of a brown wax, but wouldn't offer the protection I needed and still would have a greater sheen to it than what I wanted. Obviously, lacquer and shellac were out of the question. So, I decided to finish with walnut colored Danish oil. It seals the wood and doesn't emit an exquisite sheen. Not exactly what I wanted, but I'm very happy with the end result.

Picture #1 is without finish whereas #2 is with the Danish oil.

Step 9: Congratulations!

There you have it; your project is now complete and you have successfully transformed something into an antique! Grab your drink of choice and admire, you deserve it.

I hope this instructable helped you and added another tool to your arsenal for recreating an antique look.


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