This is the best way to distress and antique white painted furniture.
You're here because you love the look of white furniture with distressed paint and an antiqued or aged look, right? I take you step by step through the process and there is also a video tutorial. You can follow this easy tutorial on how to paint your old outdated furniture and save a bunch of money. I worked out a process to get this look and just went for it. My technique worked!
The antiqued paint finish is very popular and you can see it in furniture stores and online. The white paint looks old or aged around the raised details and the edges of the furniture. Do you know how expensive that furniture is? Sometimes the furniture isn't even made of real wood or maybe just part of the piece is real wood.
I bought this piece at my favorite junk shop several months ago. The price was $60 or $65. Awesome deal. It's hard to find sideboards or buffets like this one. And when I do the price is usually over my budget.
The vintage sideboard had some issues like a scarred up top with a few deep gouges. You guys know I am not into sanding and refinishing furniture. Too much work. So paint it is. On the video I actually talk you through the process. The technique isn’t hard at all but it does take a little time. It's furniture fixer upper day too and you're in for a treat.
One of the sides had a hole that went all the way through to the inside. Another reason to paint instead of refinishing. Repairs like this usually aren't hard to do but they are time consuming.
You can see where the wood is splintered on the inside in the photo above. The JTS and I worked on it, well mostly the JTS. We put together a plan and it worked out pretty well.
We filled the hole completely with wood filler.
Then we had to figure out a way to keep the inside split as flat as possible to hold the wood filler in place and to make the panel all nice and flat without a big bump inside or out. We ended up using a two by four wedged flat against the side. The piece set like this for months while I worked on other projects. No, it didn't take that long for the wood filler to set it just took me that long to get around to it again. I usually have a shop full of furniture waiting to be painted.
I finally looked at the sideboard and decided it was time to see what it looked like with a coat of paint. The first thing I needed to do was sand the wood filler smooth so it was flush with the surrounding wood. I used my Ryobi battery powered sander. No cords to pull around.
Next I pulled out the silverware drawer and that felt lining was so ugly. I left it in place for now but what I did later has to be seen.
The bottom of this drawer was rippled where it had been damp or wet at one time. Even though it was rippled the bottom was still firm and I decided to nail the drawer bottom to the runner in several places. This firmed up the bottom and straightened out some of the ripples.
There was a build up of dust top and bottom, on the dust boards, and in the cabinets. The furniture repairs and cleaning to get furniture ready for painting is the most time consuming part of a furniture makeover. Very seldom do I work on a piece that is in perfect condition.
Before doing clean up on the sideboard I removed the drawer pulls and put them in a plastic bag. Learned the hard way to keep it all together. This is one of the few pieces I’ve worked on that had all of the original hardware. Next I vacuumed up as much of the dust as possible then cleaned all over with Simple Green.
Last thing before painting is to place painter’s tape in areas that might get painted and you don’t want them to get painted. I always tape over the screw holes on the inside of the drawer to keep paint from leaking inside. Then I tape the sides of the drawer next to the drawer front so the paint line is nice and neat. Next, if there are cabinets I will tape the interior about an inch or so in or wherever the lip is so the paint doesn’t look messy inside. You have to paint some of that inside area if you are painting the outside because you can see a small area of the inside cabinet under the door and around the sides.
I applied a light coat of Glidden Gripper white primer just to give the sideboard a uniform color before painting. Remember how the top was discolored in places?
The paint for the project is Beyond Paint which is a primer, paint, and sealer all in one. Yes, it’s not necessary to prime before using this paint but I like to start with a primer when the furniture finish is uneven. I applied two coats of the Beyond Paint in off-white then I waited overnight for the paint to cure before moving on to the next step.
Now we come to the special antiqued paint process. You can see in the photo above where the drawer on top has been distressed with a power sander and “antiqued” with dark paint.
This is how the drawer finish looks compared to the rest of the piece that hasn’t been “antiqued” yet. All of the raised areas on the drawer, the edges of the drawer, and the area in between the two are now aged or antiqued. I will try to walk you through the process but please watch the video because seeing the process is so much better than reading about it.
To get the antiqued look I first distressed all of the edges and the raised details on the drawers and the body of the sideboard using my Ryobi power sander with 100 grit sandpaper. Next I mixed equal amounts of water and Miss Lillian’s No Wax Chock Paint in French Roast (dark, dark brown) for the antiquing process…..the dark color around the details and edges. You can use any dark brown color for this except for maybe those little bottles of acrylic paint. Some of these paints wash off easily.
I used a small brush to brush the thinned paint around the raised drawer details and all of the distressed raw wood areas. (I clipped two photos from the video and they are blurry because of the movement)
Then I wiped the paint off with a really damp rag until I got the look I wanted. It's best to work on small areas at a time so the thinned paint doesn't dry on you in the process.
Time to paint the furniture pulls. I laid out all the hardware and went to look for two knobs for the cabinet doors. The two small knobs on the doors were two different sizes. I mentioned earlier that this piece had all it’s original hardware but I forgot about the knobs. That’s me.
I dry brushed the drawer pulls and knobs with the same paint as the sideboard. The pulls looked a bit rough and flat after painting so I sealed them with General Finishes Sealer in Satin. That added a little shine and also made the pulls feel smooth instead of rough.
The drawer pulls look great with a bit of the original finish shining through. They blend well with the dark paint around the details.
Remember that sad looking felt lining in the silverware drawer? I couldn't stand it. I pulled it all out. There was a piece of really thick cardboard between the felt and the wood drawer bottom. That didn't look good. I couldn't cut out the cardboard so moving on to another idea.
I found some pretty fabric in my stash, cut it to size, and used double sided tape to stick it to the drawer.
It's not real straight and even but it looks so much better than the felt. The fabric is upholstery fabric so it's nice and thick and I also used it on the door front of a vintage wardrobe you can see here.
As I mention in the video, don't try to make the distressing and the antiquing look all perfect and matchy matchy. For one thing you will drive yourself crazy. For another having everything uniform is not going to make the piece look better. It might make it look too manufactured. Read my tips and tricks for distressing furniture here... What You Should Know About Distressing Painted Furniture And Home Decor
Distressed Antique White Furniture
The middle of the sideboard is slightly curved and it's so pretty in person. It's hard to see the curved front in the photos.
And that's the story of the painted white furniture with distressing and a little antiquing. Do you guys like this antiqued paint finish? Time to watch the video. This one is longer than most of mine because I wanted to cover the whole process so you guys can do the same technique....
How To Create A Distressed Antique White Furniture Finish
Do you like the architectural piece hanging over the sideboard? I painted it to go over the bed in the master bedroom after we repainted and added all new decor.
Leave a quick note if you have time. I would love to hear what you think of the painted sideboard.
Supplies used in this project:
Time to see what the other furniture fixer uppers have for us today. Just click the pink text links below the "before" makeovers photo.....
Furniture Fixer Uppers Tour:
Thrift Store Dresser With Transfer from Confessions of a Serial DIY’er
Refinished Card Catalog from Girl In The Garage
Bathroom Vanity Makeover from Salvaged Inspirations
Antique White Furniture from Petticoat Junktion (you are here)
As always, thanks for being here and have a great day, Kathy
Author: Kathy Owen (Petticoat Junktion)
Kathy is the founder of PetticoatJunktion.com, a home décor blog focused on repurposing and upcycling furniture, old hardware, rusty stuff, and thrifty finds into unique home décor. Kathy’s projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Read more about Kathy here.