DIY Network

How to Create Aged Furniture for a Country Antique Look

Learn how to "create" country antiques from new, unfinished furniture.

More in Painting

unfinished wood footstool aged to look antique
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Prepare the Piece

To add some "age" to the piece, apply black spray-paint sparingly and sporadically over the surfaces to emulate aging and water damage. Apply more black paint toward the bottom areas of the piece, creating an effect that would be expected from a piece that had been exposed to water or had sat on a dirt floor.
Note: This technique is not recommended for authentic antiques, but can be used to good effect on unfinished furniture, which can be purchased fairly inexpensively from stores specializing in unpainted and unfinished furniture.

unpainted and unfinished footstool is good choice

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 2: Paint the Piece

Decide on a color for your piece. Typically, country furniture was painted using left over paints from other projects.

Paint the piece using an ordinary paintbrush. Start brushing paint on at the top of the piece and proceed downward so that, there is less paint on the brush when the bottom has been reached. Avoid covering every inch of the surface to create the illusion of some wear and tear.

Step 3: Scuff up the Surface for a More Worn Look

To give the piece an even more worn look, consider using medium-grit sandpaper to scuff and wear surfaces. An abrasive pad made of synthetic fibers can be used for the same purpose.

medium grit sandpaper used to make stool look worn

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Once the paint has been applied, wipe it with a rag before the paint has dried. This results in a more muted, antique-looking finish. Take your time and use your imagination to give the finished piece a look that imitates the effect of aging and wear.

Step 5: Apply a Finish

Finally, you may want to apply some extra protection using a water-based spray-finish. Use a satin finish rather than a high-gloss. A shiny high-gloss finish would not be in keeping for a naturally aged piece. A satin or matte finished is much better suited to the mellowed, antique look.

water based spray finish adds extra protection

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe