A white antique look on 2 small pine chest of drawers.


I have just sanded the 2 chest of drawers as they had a number of coats of varnish which made them look very orange! We are trying to achieve an ‘antique’ white finish & would be very grateful for any suggestions. One suggestion from a neighbor was to mix talcum powder & Unibond together & finish with a coat of clear varnish.

We were wondering if we could get the effect by using watered down white emulsion paint?

3 Responses

  1. Hi Karl..

    Thank you so much from London England for all your helpful tips. Especially getting hold of some pieces of pine board to experiment on.

    Another idea I read about was using Acrylic primer mixed 50/50 with water. Would that be a better option than using regular emulsion paint?

    My feeling is that I am doing too much research & not enough experimenting!
    Thanks again

  2. Quite a few years ago I white washed a set of kitchen cabinets. This did have an antique look and was quite easy to do.

    I used oil base Kilz thinned with mineral spirits, about 1 part Kilz and 2-3 parts spirits. You will need to experiment with the thinning ratio. You could also use watered down white emulsion paint or white wash wood stain.

    The Kilz has an added benefit that it won't raise the wood grain. Plus any excess can be removed or blended with mineral spirits and a clean white rag. You can windup with some lighter areas this way.

    Try different application techniques. Using a brush could give you a even stained look. Try applying with a rag, allowing a few minutes to penetrate, then wipe with a rag saturated with mineral spirits.

    After you have reached a look that you like it will be time to start "distressing" the chest of drawers (this is optional). Some techniques worth trying are lightly sanding the edges to expose some raw wood or distressing the surfaces with a small hammer or ice pick.

    You will need to experiment with different products and application techniques before starting your project. Purchase a couple pieces of pine boards from your local lumber yard to experiment on. Apply the Kilz or whatever products you want to try onto the boards first. Allow 24 hours of drying time then apply varnish. Once you have the look your after, you can apply the same products and techniques to the chest of drawers.

  3. Start Experimenting

    Using primer will be better than the paint. I think that an oil base primer or white wood stain will be a better choice. The thinned acrylic primer will raise the wood grain. It's still worth trying, the effect might be what you are looking for. Go ahead and start experimenting.

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