What Is Antiquing And Distressing In Painting?

What is antiquing and distressing in painting? The antiquing and distressing technique explained. There are several ways to improve the texture on your walls at home or at your business. Antiquing and distressing...

There are several ways to improve the texture on your walls at home or at your business. Antiquing and distressing are two ways. These techniques can add a unique style to any house. Our expert, Lu Goodwin Mark, owner and director of Austin School of Faux Finishes at Design Center of Austin, says the process takes some skill.


"Antiquing and Distressing are techniques of imitating the natural wear and age of an antique surface. The faux finisher must have knowledge of how coatings fail and how they wear over time, and how to achieve those effects with modern materials and without decades of time. All faux finishing is difficult if you don't have some basic information and practice," Mark says.




To achieve an antique look, here are some steps to follow: 1. Start off by sanding the area you wish to apply this technique to. If it has a finish, sand all of the area until everything is removed. 2. Apply a base coat and allow it to dry. A good idea may be to let it dry overnight. Use any color combination for this project. Your results will be better if the lighter color is applied first as the base. 3. Hold the candle base like a pencil or pen and rub the wax on wherever you want the base coat to show through. 4. For an aged look, wax the corners and edges--anywhere paint would normally wear off over time. Don't forget to do the sides and back, as the entire piece should show this technique. 5. Apply a top coat to the entire piece, covering over all the wax. Allow it to dry for several hours. Rub the steel wool over the entire object, making sure to remove all the wax. Be sure to rub the steel wool over everything, so that the entire paint finish shows some distressing. When finished, remove all dust.

Distressing an object allows just a peek of the previous paint job to show through, so some sort of contrast is a must or the technique won't be seen. Vary the base and top coats by their darkness vs. lightness (usually a brighter color underneath a more neutral shade). For example, one great country look is a bright yellow underneath an ocean blue.

This technique is not limited to making objects look old. Create a personalized gift, writing the special person's name and birthday on the object with the wax. Draw some favorite characters or flowers. Mark says antiquing or distressing is a versatile technique you will surely enjoy.

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