Monday, February 7, 2011

How To "Age" A New Architectural Piece

This project shows how to turn a re-purposed piece of furniture detail into an aged piece that looks much older then it really is. This large scroll of wood was attached to the top of my master bedroom armoire. It was screwed on with three hinges so it could be easily laid down for moving purposes. My master bedroom isn't that large and I always thought the scroll detail was a little too imposing for the room. I decided to take it off the armoire and use it over a mirror in my great room.

Here is the armoire with the scroll still attached.

After I removed the scroll I gave it a good cleaning (it was very dusty up there). I have to fire the cleaning lady. I'm the cleaning lady, yeah I'm fired again!

You will need the following supplies.

*A paint tarp

*I used the following colors, but you can use any color that works with your decor. 3 cans of Rust-o-leaum spray paint in Fossil, Granite, and Heirloom White.

*A white candle or a bar of soap (I used a candle).

*Sand paper and/or steel wool (I used both).

*An old tooth brush or paint brush to clean sand paper dust and steel wool dust out of the detail in between painting coats.

*A small paint brush to add gold detail (optional).

*Gold craft paint (optional).

*Antiquing glaze (can be bought at a craft store or mixed yourself).

Step 1
I started by spraying the piece with one coat of the Fossil spray paint.

It was a warm breezy day when I did this project so the drying time was minimal. The whole project took about an hour and a half because the the piece dried so quickly between coats. Make sure your piece is completely dry before the next step. Don't worry if you can see the wood through the first coat. More coats will follow.

Here's what it looked like after the first coat.

Step 2

Take a candle or a bar of soap and rub all of the raised detail. This will cut your sanding time in half and will allow the first coat of the fossil color to show through the next layers you are going to apply.

Step 3

Spray the whole piece with a coat of the Granite color and let dry thoroughly.

Step 4
Sand the whole piece especially along the edges of the detail with steel wool or sand paper. Do as little or as much as you want. I sanded some parts down to the original dark wood. The candle wax makes this step quick and easy. Clean all of the sanding dust off the piece. If it has a lot of detail take an old tooth brush or paint brush and use it to clean any dust left behind out of the nooks and crannies.

Step 5

Apply another layer of candle wax and spray with the third and last coat of Heirloom White.

Step 6

Sand again and clean up dust. I sanded down to show some of the original dark wood, some of the Fossil layer, and some of the Granite layer. At this point I hung it on my wall. I added two picture hangers to the back. I used this great tool to ensure it was level. I've had it a long time and I can't remember where I got it? It's a yard stick with a level attached and sliding brackets (see the black little rectangles with the holes in them) to mark exact holes. It's very handy. Just line up the holes on the piece you are going to hang and mark where you need to drill the wall. It eliminates the need to make multiple holes to get an object level.

Step 7 (optional)
After hanging it up I thought it needed a little bling to tie it into the gold mirror it was hanging above. You can skip this step if you don't need bling.

I used a small brush and painted it on the detail, then wiped some of it off.

I also added a little antiquing glaze to age it more. I try to use what I have on hand when possible. I found this in my paint supplies. It's really old, but still good. I think I got it at Michael's? It's kind of a taupe brown color.

Here it is finished.

Here it is on my freshly painted walls above a mirror that belonged to my husband's Grandmother.

The mirror used to hang horizontally, but after taking it down to paint the room, I re-hung it length wise. I think it helps emphasise the ten foot ceilings in this room.

This is really an easy process and I would love to see your painting projects.
Thanks for check in.


  1. Bonjour Shannon,
    WHat a fantastic tutorial. The finished piece is marvelous! My wheels are turning right now...
    a bientôt,

  2. Looks great as usual. Your "new" piece looks beautifully aged.

  3. That looks awesome. You certainly aren't afraid of hard work and elbow grease! My kind of project too!

  4. i really love this thanks for sharing

  5. I cannot believe you could achieve that look with spray paint! Well done! I love the finished look!


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