With the high cost of quality antique furniture, homeowners and artisans can use a finishing technique called antiquing to achieve the look of timeworn furniture on new pieces, old furniture in need of a makeover, kitchen cabinets and doors. Using antiquing glaze is one way to create the appearance of aging. A glaze is made by thinning paint, stain or tinted varnish to create a transparent or translucent finish in a darker color than the base coat.
Wood Stain Antiquing Glaze
An oil-based wood stain can be added to an oil-based, clear antiquing glaze and applied to natural finish or lightly stained furniture. Use a light oak to black walnut or mahogany stain, depending on the look you desire. Add the stain a little bit at a time until you like the result when applied to a piece of scrap wood or the inside of a cabinet.
Tinted Varnish Glaze
An antiquing glaze can be made using a yellowish-tone, matte tinted varnish. Mix three parts of the desired color of oil-based paint to one part varnish and add a little bit of oil-based glaze. Earth tones will give the aged look to light woods. Brown or gray-tinted glaze antiques black finishes.
Latex Paint Glaze
Choose an “aged” brown latex paint, such as burnt umber, raw umber, burnt sienna or raw sienna. You can try a paint mixture of one-fifth burnt sienna, two-fifths Van Dyke brown and two-fifths raw umber for a classic antique glaze. Combine three parts water-based, eggshell finish glaze to one part latex paint. Mix in a latex paint conditioner/extender according to manufacturer’s directions to lengthen the drying time required for faux finish techniques such as antiquing. Use water as a solvent for latex-based glazes to lighten the glaze.
Oil-based Paint Glaze
Add three parts of oil-based glaze to one part oil-based, “aged” brown paint to make an oil-based antiquing glaze. You can try a paint mixture of one-fifth burnt sienna, two-fifths Van Dyke brown and two-fifths raw umber for a classic antique glaze. Mineral spirits, white spirits, turpenoid and turpentine are solvents/thinners that can be used to vary the lightness or darkness of the glaze.
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