Antiquing Silver Leaf
Step-by-step tutorial

Antiquing glaze creates the soft glow of slightly tarnished silver.

Basic antiquing

Antiquing is the process of aging a surface to produce a time-worn appearance. There are many methods of antiquing objects, furniture, mural paintings and wall surfaces. 

More techniques
Color washing
Glazing techniques 
Rag rolling 
Wood graining 
Striee glazing
Dragging techniques 
Pouncing techniques
Style archives
Preparation of surfaces
Know your materials


Gold Leafing might be just the right accent you're looking for!

Visit our
Gold Leafing tutorials


Masking tip: 
Always test an area to be taped before beginning the masking job. Wallpaper is particularly susceptible to tearing. Lacquer and varnish surfaces on furniture may come off easily with the tape and the item could be severely damaged.



artSparx Furniture Painting & Antiquing Techniques

Rating 2 - 3

Old World Antique - Distressed, sanded cabinetry with warm grey peeking through dark umber.
For use on: furniture, objects, and cabinetry

New! Classic Antique
video tutorial

To achieve the distressed appearance of warm grey peeking through a top color of dark umber it is best to use bee's wax. First you will need to paint the cabinet, furniture or object with your warm grey tone.
Antiquing Center Furniture Center Color Center Gilding Center Plaster Effects
General Antiquing Methods & Principles Antique Parchment Glaze 
  The "Classic Antique Glaze Furniture Antiquing 
  Antiquing with oil glazes Antique Plaster Effects
  Antiquing with water based glazes Antique Bronzing Patina
  Antiquing with waxes Antique wood grain
    Antique Red Lacquer paint treatment
Antiquing Gilt surfaces    
  Antiquing Gold Leaf    
  Antiquing Silver Leaf    

Painting over an existing oil-based painted surface:
If you are using latex paints over an existing surface of oil based enamel it will be necessary to prime the white enamel first with good oil based primer, and then paint over with your warm grey tone.

Painting over an existing water-based painted surface:
If the cabinets are latex enamel, it is necessary to lightly sand the surface to create ‘tooth’, then remove all dust and paint with your base coat of warm grey.

Apply the base color of warm grey:
The base coat should have an eggshell finish. A base color, such as Benjamin Moore Gray Sky (BM2131-70), will work well. Once this is dry you can apply the wax to the surface.

Applying your 'distressing' wax:
The concept is that where ever the bee's wax is applied, your top coat will be removed, creating the ‘distressed’ look. So apply the bee's wax in a loose and uncontrolled manner to the edges, high points on any relief, and random places within interior panels. Once you have finished placing the wax, paint on your top coat of dark umber.

Applying your top coat:
Latex flat or eggshell can be used. A top color, such as Benjamin Moore New Chestnut (BM AC-6), will work well for a traditional look; or Benjamin Moore Saddle Soap (BM 2110-30), for a darker, richer tone. Allow to dry. When dry, use a clean rag to remove any paint that easily comes off (mostly over the waxed spots). Then use 220 grit sandpaper to remove more paint, further distressing the cabinet. You will see what is happening and can control the distressing as you see fit.

Removing the top coat from the waxed area should be done within a 24 hour period; otherwise the wax may dry out. It would be best if you could experiment and sample this procedure on a scrap door or plywood panel before you begin the cabinets to insure you get the feeling of what the effect does.

Apply a final Antique wax or glaze to the entire surface to add an additional hand-rubbed and aged patina. For more information visit the Furniture Antiquing  tutorial.

Antiquing Gold Leaf

Add the finishing touched to your gold leaf surface!


Special Features

Antique Plaster Effects

artSparx has created a 3 stage step-by-step tutorial series. Series 1 begins with basic plaster application, our 2nd series illustrates antique glazing and plaster distressing methods, culminating in the final fresco simulation series 3, hand-painted elements. You can complete each tutorial as a finish and style in it's own right.
Or, depending on your interests and style needs, combine the tutorials to achieve the
hand-painted fresco appearance that will bring your environment to life.


Furniture Antiquing 

Ideally suited for kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities and almost any piece of furniture. Create a polished ivory look, or a Classic French striee with this glazing recipe and technique.


Special Feature - About gilding products

Aluminum Leaf

Dutch Gold or
composition leaf

Aluminum Leaf imitates the illusion of genuine Silver, at a fraction of the cost. Each individual sheet is bigger and easier to handle then its genuine counter part.

The same applies for 'Dutch Gold', or 'Composition Leaf'. But due to the large brass content, this imitation gold must have a sealer applied to prevent tarnishing, unlike genuine gold leaf.


artSparx Book special

The Paint Effects Bible is a library of faux finishes: 100 of them. Each is described on a single spread with a large photograph of the finish plus step-by-step illustrations, an ingredients list, and detailed instructions for creating the effect.

A valuable source for professional and amateur decorators alike, this book comes in a handy, pocket-sized format with a concealed wire-binding that lays flat during use.

more books

Interior Style design features

Have a question? Ask artSparx  

More decorative paint and glazing techniques



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