DIY Network

How to Antique Crown Molding

Antiquing is a great way to dress up any plain piece of wood. Learn these tips on how to antique your furniture, molding or baseboards, from DIY painting expert Gary Lord.

More in Painting

use firm pressure to create a striated pattern
  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Mix the Glaze

Before doing the antiquing, make sure the crown molding is installed, caulked, puttied, primed and base-coated. Next, mix the glaze. Use acrylic paint and clear glazing medium (90 percent glazing medium, 10 percent paint). A dark brown and an earth brown are used in this illustration.

apply glaze onto surface in thin, even coat

Courtesy of Jeffrey Rowe

Step 2: Set Up the Ladder

Use two four-foot ladders and a stretch board in between; that allows you to get up to the crown molding all in one movement.

Step 3: Apply the Glaze

Once the glaze is mixed and you’re up on the scaffolding, begin to antique the molding. Use a brush that’s the same size as the molding. Apply the glaze to the surface in a thin, even coat (image 1). While still wet, wipe it off with cheesecloth (image 2), using firm pressure so that you’re creating a striated pattern. Work your way around the room until all the molding is covered.
When the tape has been removed, notice that the glaze adds a subtle elegance to the crown molding.

Step 4: Apply Other Antiquing Methods (Optional)

To give the molding a distressed look, use a rock to beat it (image 1). Use a knife to shave off edges (image 2). With a knife or the point of a finishing nail, create a worm hole effect. Lightly brush the glaze onto the molding (image 3). While it’s still wet, use cheesecloth to wipe off most of the glaze.

Sand some areas to expose the raw wood underneath. Use sandpaper and rub gently. Then apply a coat of glaze over all the wood and wipe it off with a cheesecloth.