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Antiquing Furniture – How To Antique Furniture with Paint and Stain

In this DIY tutorial, I show you an easy technique for antiquing furniture. Learn how to antique furniture with paint and stain to make.

In fact, I often apply stain over paint for antique look on white painted furniture to flip furniture for a profit.

If you like refinishing furniture, be sure to grab my FREE chalk paint recipe at the end of this article.

Video Tutorial

There are several things which are difficult to fully explain with words and images, so be sure to watch the video tutorial below.

Supplies Needed For Antiquing Furniture

So, let’s get started with a list of things I used for this project.

Paint (White Satin)
Stain (Sun Bleached)
Paint Brush
Stain Brush
Orbital Sander
Alternate Sander
HEPA Vacuum
120 Grit Sandpaper
Nitrile Gloves
Foam Brushes
Polycrylic Liquid Finish
Polycrylic Spray
Distressing Furniture Secrets Using Wood Stain

How To Antique Furniture with Paint and Stain

This antiquing furniture technique works on painted furniture.

antiquing furniture

So, this takes us to the first step.

Paint Furniture

First, paint the furniture with 2 coats of white paint.

More specifically, satin (eggshell) or semi-gloss sheens work best when using stain over paint for antique look.

How to Antique furniture with paint and stain

Distress Painted Furniture

Next, use an orbital sander with 120 grit sandpaper to sand the corners and edges.

This allows the wood stain to penetrate in the exposed wood deeper, which adds to the distressed painted furniture look.

Basically, sand the areas which are naturally prone to wear and tear.

Essentially, the areas that get touched the most.

antiquing furniture
sand painted furniture before distressing with stain

Wood Stain for Painted Furniture

Use a scrap piece of wood and paint it the same color as the furniture

Test various wood stains and waxes until you find the product that looks best to you.

wood stain for painted furniture

Stain Over Paint for Antique Look

Next, I applied wood stain in small sections using a foam brush to areas which would naturally distress.

Keep in mind, you don’t need to be overly cautious when antiquing furniture with wood stain.

How to Antique Furniture with wood stain
antiquing furniture with wood stain

Remove Stain for Antique Look

To remove the stain, use a rag and wipe the area until most of the stain is removed.

Additionally, the stain darkens the white paint to produce a distressed and weathered look.

Also, work in small sections to prevent the stain from drying, which makes it difficult to remove.

antique furniture with stain
distress white painted furniture with stain
stain over paint for antique look
antique furniture with stain

Antiquing Furniture Tip

The amount of stain removed determines the antique and distressed look.

For a subtle antique look, wipe to remove more stain.

Wipe less to achieve a greater weathered and distressed look.

stain over paint for distressed look
how to antique furniture with paint and stain
antiquing furniture

Protective Top Coat for Distressed Furniture

Apply a protective top coat, such as Polycrylic, to the distressed painted furniture and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Additionally, 3 coats work best to protect the distressed furniture from normal wear and tear.

Remember, apply thin coats to build up the finish rather than fewer thicker coats.

best top coat for painted distressed furniture
How to Protect Distressed Painted Furniture
polycrylic on painted furniture

A quick tip when applying finish after antiquing furniture, use a spray can of the same finish to cover those hard-to-reach places.

protect painted furniture
polycrylic on painted furniture

Flipping Furniture for Profit

Why am I talking about flipping furniture on craigslist?
Once you learn how to antique furniture with paint and stain, you can start a side hustle flipping furniture.

flip furniture for profit

Potential Profit

I purchased this desk for $75.00 on craigslist for my daughter’s room.
After I finished this furniture makeover project, a friend offered to purchase the desk for $500.
I calculated my profit margin to be roughly $400 after $25 dollars in materials.
Despite the nice profit margin based on 3 hours of my time, I declined the offer.
Maybe I’ll consider selling it after we use it for a few years.

How to Antique Furniture Paint and Stain


I hope you learned how to antique furniture with paint and stain and it helps you with your next antiquing furniture project.

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distress painted furniture using wood stain

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you distress already painted furniture?

If you want to distress or antique already painted furniture, you can certainly do so. Just make sure the existing paint and stain produce the distressed look you want.

What is the best paint to use for distressing furniture?

Latex paint is the best paint to use for distressing furniture with stain. Furthermore, satin, eggshell, and semi-gloss are the best sheens to use to control the amount of distressing.

How do you make white paint look distressed?

To make white paint look distressed, simply add a dark wood stain to the paint with a rag, allow it to sit for 10 minutes, and then wipe it off with a rag. The stain penetrates the white paint leaving a distressed and weathered look.

How do you seal distressed painted furniture?

To seal distressed painted furniture, use 3 coats of polycrylic.

how to antique furniture