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Furniture Rehab and Repair

How to Paint Wood Furniture With an Aged Look (page 2 of 2)

See how to strip paint off an old chair, then repaint it with an aged-patina look.

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Step-by-Step Instructions:

Apply Primer

For our project, we used the color of the primer for the finished look. Oftentimes the primer color is used to create a consistent base color for the final color.

In this step, begin to add your creativity and start to outline the direction for the final look. It can be helpful to use a scrap piece of wood to test different paint colors. This can help you decide whether you like what you see before you commit to the final project.

Sand Smooth and Add Character

Smooth out the primer coat by lightly sanding the entire chair evenly by hand with 220-grit sandpaper.

This next step is optional. We thought this antique chair would look out of place if the finish looked perfect, so we decided to distress it. In areas that would normally show wear over time, we sanded through the primer with the 150-grit sandpaper. Again, this step is another chance for you to use your creativity. Have fun with it!

Chair Edge

Add Another Layer of Color and Detail

We were going for a midcentury feel in color on an antique piece. Begin by masking off the areas that you do not want to be the new accent color. This step takes a lot of time and is tedious, but it will be worth it. Be sure to SLOW DOWN, and do not rush this step! Spray paint will find a way through each and every space if it is poorly masked off.

Carefully and evenly begin to add your accent color. Use many light coats, not one heavy coat or you will regret it.

Let the accent color dry overnight. Carefully remove the tape and paper. Use a razor blade to help if the tape begins to pull the finish off.

Apply Final Clear Finish

The final step is to protect all your hard work with a clear protective finish. Make sure there is no dust on the chair. Begin with the chair upside down and start to apply light and even coats. Apply 3 to 5 coats of satin lacquer. Take your time here. This is the last step, and soon you will see your project finally come together.

If there are any slightly rough areas, use painter's masking paper in the same manner as sandpaper, as it acts like a super-fine sandpaper and makes the surface slick.

This type of projects always takes 2 to 3 times longer than you may think, especially if the techniques are new to you. Whatever you do, though, don't rush each step. Have a good time being creative and expressing yourself. When you are finished and you receive compliments from your friends and family, you will be glad you did.

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