Old pieces of furniture have a classic antique look that is charming and ideal when furnishing a cottage-style home or even a room with Old World Tuscan decor. Genuine antique furnishings are not necessary to provide just the right look when in need of a dated piece. Sturdy furniture that is outdated yet in otherwise good condition can be transformed from unsightly to antique and charming in just a matter of hours with a faux antique finish. With a little work and a few supplies it is easy to create a faux antique finish that is sure to impress. No one will realize an old wooden chair that was once unattractive has been transformed into a faux antique piece with a stylish heirloom appearance.
Precautionary Statement - When preparing to apply a faux antique finish it is important to provide adequate ventilation when working indoors. Also, use gloves to protect the hands and safety glasses to protect the eyes. When in doubt, apply products in inconspicuous areas or on scrap pieces of furniture or wood. This is the best way to determine if a recommended method or product results in the faux antique look you want to achieve before covering an entire piece.
Necessary Supplies - A faux finish kit can be purchased to create an amazing faux antique finish, but it is not necessary to buy a kit to create an impressive piece. It is often cheaper to purchase the necessary supplies separately, especially when striving to create a faux finish on a large item or a number of furnishings. The cost of a faux antique kit can outweigh the benefits.
To create a faux antique finish on a wood chair, table or any other wooden home furnishing you will require a semi-gloss oil-based enamel that will effectively cover the current color, satin varnish, low-odor turpentine, an oil-based tint if a colored glaze is desired, and clear polyurethane satin varnish. Many people select antique white for the base semi-gloss oil-based enamel. You will also need medium-grit sandpaper, detergent and water for washing the piece before beginning, mineral spirits, a course paintbrush, a varnish brush, cheesecloth, fine-grit sandpaper, and tack cloth. If you want to add texture while striving to create a faux antique finish, eliminate the cheesecloth and opt for a sponge, heavy-duty crumpled paper toweling, clean burlap, or another textured material. In addition, it is a good idea to have a number of clean rags on hand along with newspapers to protect the work surface.
Procedure - If a faux finish is going to be applied to a dresser, a cabinet, or a chest of drawers, begin by removing any and all hardware. Next, set the hardware aside and scrub the piece with a mixture of detergent and warm water, and rinse away the soapy water with a clean damp rag. Dry it with a clean rag, and wipe it down with mineral spirits to remove any old wax or furniture polish. Next, lightly sand the piece with medium-grit sandpaper, and wipe away any loose dust with a clean dry rag.
Create a faux antique finish by applying a base semi-gloss finish using a coarse bristle brush. The faux antique piece must be allowed to dry for at least 24 hours before continuing. After the faux antique basecoat has dried, mix one part low-odor turpentine with three parts satin varnish. If another layer of faux antique color is desired, stir in an oil-based tint to the mixture. Brush the glaze on using a coarse brush, and when it begins to dull, wipe it off with a piece of cheesecloth or something that will give the surface a unique antique texture. Give the glaze at least six hours to dry. After it dries, sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper, and dust it with a clean tack cloth. Finish by coating the faux antique piece with clear satin varnish. The faux antique finish should turn out looking outstanding.
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