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How to give your items an antique look

Mixing modern day décor with vintage items is a very unique look.

Mixing modern day décor with vintage items is a very unique look. If you want to achieve this eclectic look but don’t want to spend your weekends at antique markets haggling down the price, then try these simple DIY techniques to age items you already have.

How To Age Paper

Paper is an easy way to step into the antique look décor process. Aged paper can be put in a wood frame or be attached to dowel to replicate a scroll. Additionally if you mess it up, paper is relatively inexpensive.

You will need

  • Paper
  • Cutting board bigger than your piece of paper
  • Moistened tea bag

To start lay your paper flat on top of the cutting board. Next take your moistened tea bag and run it over the paper to give it a sepia hue. Let it dry for a few minutes. Moisten the tea bag again and dab it in various spots over the paper to give it a bit of dimension. Let dry for 24 hours. If you need to darken it up repeat the process again until you have the aged paper look you were going for. If you are displaying this in a frame then doing one side should suffice. If you will be displaying it on it’s own I suggest repeating the steps on the flipside of the paper as well.

How To Distress Wood

The price of barn board has increased rather dramatically over the last few years, so here is a simple way to give fresh wood a weathered look. I suggest making this mix in a workshop or shed, otherwise your house will have a pungent vinegar smell. Although it will take a few days to complete the process it will be a lot quicker than waiting for natural wood patina.

You will need

  • Unfinished cedar planks
  • Multipurpose bucket with lid
  • Jug of white vinegar
  • Steel wool
  • Paint stir stick
  • Water
  • Paint brush

Start by pouring your jug of white vinegar into the bucket. Next take two or three balls of steel wool and separate them a bit. Then place the steel wool in the bucket. Use the stir stick to immerse the steel wool in the vinegar. Once the steel wool has began soaking up the vinegar, put the lid on the bucket and let the steel wool and vinegar combine for a few days. After you have waited the ample time to created the distressing solution, remove the lid (prepare for the vinegar fumes) then add approximately the same amount of water as you did vinegar. Once again grab your stir stick and mix it well. Now dip your paint brush into the solution and start applying it to the cedar, using strokes that follow the grain. In just a few minutes you will notice the wood soaking up the solution and instantly aging.

How To Age Other Items With Paint

If you have items that you want to be aged with rust, Modern Masters paint finish is the way to go. You have the option to rust the full item or place rust in specific areas of an object. As with all paint projects, ensure you have the proper protection on hand IE face mask, gloves etc. Again I suggest the use of a workshop or shed to avoid having the paint and activator fumes inside your home during the processing of the rust finish.

You will need

  • Modern Masters Primer (optional)
  • Modern Masters Reactive Paint
  • Modern Masters Rust Activator
  • Modern Masters Sealer (optional)
  • Spray Bottle
  • Paint Brushes

The primer is optional, as it creates a barrier between the rust and the surface it is going on. The sealer is also optional IE if it is for an outdoor décor item, you may be alright with the object continuing to rust over time, but if you are applying this to items that will be inside your home it would be best to seal it to protect your furnishings.

This finish has a lot to do with your own eye for design, so be sure to watch the video on how to apply this faux rust finish.

This paint finish can be used on most hard surface items such as metal candlesticks, steel picture frames, iron yard arms, all the way to large outdoor items that replicate retro tin signs.