How to Antique Furniture in a Cream Color


Painted furniture adds a romantic air to any room. That's especially true with white or cream pieces, which work as well with a formal Victorian decor as they do with cottage, shabby-chic or country. Latex paint and some basic supplies available from any hardware store are all you need to transform tired, old, stained furniture into painted masterpieces. Use furniture you already own or pick up inexpensive yard sale and flea market finds.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • 3 to 4 paint brushes
  • Rags, damp and dry
  • Spackle knife
  • Wire brush
  • Medium weight chain
  • Sandpaper in grits ranging from coarse to fine
  • Water
  • Sealing primer
  • Latex paint in a cream color
  • Acrylic paint in a sienna or umber color
  • Spread newspaper to protect your work surface.

  • Strip the furniture’s existing paint or stain using a commercial paint stripper according to the manufacturer's instructions. Apply the stripper as directed with a paint brush. Scrape the dissolved finish with the spackle knife. Use a wire brush to reach into crevices. Wipe the furniture clean with wet rags.

  • Distress the furniture, if desired, by hitting it with chain to produce dents and other imperfections.

  • Sand the furniture. Begin with coarser paper if the furniture has rough scratches or gouges. Sand the piece with increasingly fine paper until the surface is smooth. Clean off all dust and residue from the stripper. Allow the piece to dry thoroughly.

  • Apply a sealing primer with a paint brush, according to manufacturer's directions, if any stain remains on the wood.

  • Paint the furniture with at least two coats of cream-color latex paint using a paint brush. Paint with the grain in even strokes. Allow the paint to cure for at least 48 hours.

  • Accent the furniture. Thin the sienna or umber paint to make a milky wash. Brush the wash liberally onto the furniture, let it sit a moment and then wipe the wash away with a dry rag, leaving the wash that remains in crevices.

  • Apply speckles, if you wish, with slightly diluted sienna or umber paint. Dip the bristle tips of a clean, dry paint brush into the diluted paint. Blot most of the paint off on newspaper. "Flick" the bristles over the furniture to lightly splatter paint on the surface. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

  • Lightly sand the edges of the furniture as well as raised areas, such as over appliques or carved sections, with fine paper to give the appearance of wear. Clean off the sawdust with a damp cloth.

  • Rub natural-toned paste wax on with a soft cloth, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Buff the wax to bring out the sheen. Repeat as recommended by the manufacturer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves and goggles.
  • If you're heavy-handed with the accent and speckle painting, wipe the paint off with a damp cloth before it dries.
  • Practice your speckling technique on newspaper or cardboard before you try it on the furniture.

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