The secret to antiquing furniture is dark wax. I can't believe I gave away the secret in the first sentence! This wax has been around for years. I first discovered it about 2006. I was painting furniture to sell at my booth at Alyssa’s in Pace, Florida. A friend painted a red cedar chest and I absolutely fell in love with it.
I asked her how she made the paint look old or aged or antiqued. She shared her secret to the awesome finish…….Howard's Wax. The antiquing process is one step using one product....Howard's Wax in Golden Oak or Walnut, any of the dark colors.
I used the dark wax to make my red cedar chest look like it had been painted for years. Believe me when I say this cedar chest needed to be painted. I also copied the iron star look from my friend who shared the waxing technique. I buy the stars on eBay.
As you can see it looks kind of like a coffin. The cedar chest had nice straight lines, not too frufru. I'm going to get in trouble for painting it because the wood is cedar. But paint is what I do.
My special custom color mix...latex paint....Petticoat Junktion Red. I mixed up the color myself and liked it so much I took the paint stick to Home Depot and had them mix a can of paint for me. ( you can't find it in stores) Update: You can now find the custom mix color code on my blog post here....Petticoat Junktion Red Custom Paint.
I applied one coat of my custom color red paint and let some of the natural wood with flaws and all show through the paint.
In this photo you can see where I applied the wax. It’s shiny when wet but will retain a nice patina when buffed. I used Howard’s wax in golden oak. To get a deeper color I sometimes use the darker walnut color wax.
The wax takes about 20 minutes to dry, depending on the humidity level. Once dry I buffed it with a soft cloth then applied one more coat of wax. Always use a lint free cloth when waxing. I buy old sheets at thrift stores (or use my old sheets) and tear them up for rags. Budget minded as always.
The wax gets into the little grooves and details and adds to the antique or aged look. The wax will be more obvious on lighter paint colors. I also use the wax on some of my distressed pieces. Just around the distressed areas where the wood is raw from the sanding. The wax darkens the wood.
This process works best on latex paints with flat, matte, or satin finishes. The wax really grabs onto chalk paint and doesn't work well. The glossier finishes will not soak up the wax. Did you think the finish would be that easy? This look can be completed in just a few hours! I love it.
Some people beat the furniture up with a hammer or chain to add to the look. I haven’t tried that technique. I’ve worked on a few pieces of furniture I wanted to beat up!
I used the wax to antique a bed with a coral paint color and I have to say it's one of my best projects!
I made a video showing how I painted the coral bed and antiqued it using dark wax.......
How To Paint And Antique Furniture
Another antiqued furniture project ......
I painted this antique wardrobe black because the veneer was a mess. Then I antiqued the black paint. You can see it here....Painting Antique Wood Furniture.
Howard’s wax is easy to find. Most hardware stores, thrift shops, or antique shops carry it. You can always order it on Amazon here (sorry, just checked and it is currently unavailable, so many shortages these days).
Have you heard about this technique before? Maybe tried the wax? Thanks for being here and have a great day, Kathy