Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Paint Frenchstyle Furniture

Distress painted furniture to get the look of a French antique.

Chips and worn-away paint confer charm---and a hefty price tag--on Old World furniture. Give your ordinary wooden furniture the look of a French antique at a fraction of the cost with the faux finishing technique of paint distressing. Use bold colors, such as maroon and mustard, for rustic French country decor and cream and pale pastels for a touch of Parisian chic. For the most authentic imitation, study antique items to see their pattern of natural wear and tear. Take the project a step further by replacing drawer pulls and knobs with historic reproductions. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Protect floors and work surfaces with plastic sheeting. Tape plastic over all parts of the furniture that you will not be painting, such as fabric seat covers.

2. Sand varnished furniture with a sanding sponge to remove the glossy finish. Wipe the surface off with a tack cloth.

3. Rub a candle on parts of the furniture where you want the wood to show through. Apply the wax to places that are naturally subjected to wear, such as edges, horizontal surfaces and legs.

4. Apply latex paint to the furniture with a nylon-polyester brush. Use a 3- or 4-inch brush for big projects and a 1-1/2-inch brush for more detailed areas. Use two coats of paint. Allow the paint to dry for a few hours.

5. Use the steel wool on areas where the wax was applied. Rub until the original wooden surface is visible. Distress other areas with the steel wool, as desired. Sand the painted surface with 220-grit sandpaper for a more worn look. Wipe the furniture with a tack cloth.

6. Paint the furniture with a tinted wax. Use a stiff natural-bristle brush to apply wax in cracks and corners. Wipe the wax off the furniture with a clean, dry rag after 2 to 3 hours.

Tags: furniture with, French antique, furniture look, furniture look French, look French, look French antique, parts furniture