How to antique furniture with easy methods

How to antique furniture DIY way. But why..? Because antique furniture, the genuine one, can cost an outstanding amount of price. this is reasonable because those products are very rare, perhaps its only left a few pieces in the world. the original design and amazing craftsmanship are also points why those piece of antique cost very high. but…reproductions of an antique furniture style can solve this problem for limited budget buyers.

How to Antique Furniture

some of furniture manufacturer make an exact copy from the original, some only take the idea and design then develop their own products. whatever it is, they must have the antique looks and feels from the original. antique furniture must have a defects, they must have dents, chips and perhaps hair cracks. they have been use for many many years so this is natural. antique restoration wont cover this defect because this also a selling point, they tell their stories through their “dents”, so…we must also imitate those defects, this is several way of how to antique furniture in our workshop.

Making Dents And Cracks

This is not an ordinary dents and cracks, they had to be in the right place and a right size. we must think that on normal daily use, furniture will get bumps or scratches only on particular area. corners are the most common area to get defects, so there we will work on our tools.

We use various tools to make a defects, flat hammers to make a wall bumps dent, philips head screwdriver and slab of bicycle chains to imitate rocks dents, steel wire brush to make aged wood grain and many more. sound pretty rough right ? but not really, it was done by experienced workers who know very well about how to antique furniture using this unusual tools.

We rarely make a cracks on antique furniture, but when we need those cracks, we use small nail and thin chisel to make one. this “cracking” process only done by expert carpenter, otherwise, heavy damage or bad cracking is what we get.

How To Distressed Paint

Distressed paint can be done by several ways, but most that we use is by sand paper. this is step of how to antique furniture by distressing using sandpaper :

1. We have to apply a base color to become a primary color of our distressed painted furniture. We try to imitate an original furniture that’s been repaint once or twice of their life and have defected by normal daily use.

2. After the first layer of paint is done, carefully sand the painted furniture on the most exposed part during normal daily use, Lets imagine the corner of a table tops, or the seat edge on the dining chair maybe, Those are the part that the paint will peel faster than other part of the furniture. Use your imagination on how much you want to sand away the paint from the furniture,

3. After you satisfied enough, apply the second layer of paint, Lets be creative by adding a different color from the base or primary colors. after the second layer is dried, repeat sanding on the particular parts of the furniture just like the first step. You can reach out to different area to add more rustic feels over the furniture.

4. Repeat the process with different colors and same technique as first and second process. To make your life easier use a hand sander machine with smooth sandpaper ( no 240 or more ) to get a smooth and natural looks. Use the front edge of the hand sanding machine to imitate natural paint defects

5. Seal them off with polyurethane wax or clear satin top coat and you are done.

we wrote this distressed paint article on our other site, here is the link on how to distressed paint with sandpaper

Take Advantage of Glaze

Glazed paint material can make a huge different between successful furniture reproduction and the fail one. we apply glaze on carving, corners and some detail that we think its best to have them. we pretty satisfied with our work this time, but we keep developing much better technique and skills to improve the quality of our products.

Thank you for being here and have your thoughts and idea on the comment sections below. best regards from indonesian furniture makers.


  1. Andrew

    Great tips on how to antique pieces of furniture, making the cracks and dents can be a bit dicey if you are not a skilled craftsman .

  2. Efendi

    hi andrew, thanks for stoppin by here mate, ow by the way, did you mention this antique furniture stuff on your books ? if you do. i’m definitely want to buy one mate

    • Andrew

      Not at the moment I am too busy in the workshop, but thank you for the interest, much appreciated.

      • Efendi

        Owh…good for you than andrew, i hope much more success on your projects and books too…


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