How To Create A White, Antique-Looking Distressed Paint Job

There are many ways to paint your furniture and it is always fun to do.  With these simple step by step “how to” instructions your paint skills will be envied by your friends and family.  Give your dresser, armoire, chest of drawers, coffee table, or end tables, that antique look.


Tools and Supplies You Will Need For Your Antique Paint Job

  1. Kilz Primer
  2. Spray pump used for touching up spackled ceilings
  3. White Gesso
  4. Acrylic Spackling Compound
  5. Off-White latex or acrylic paint
    (If you prefer different white, that’s fine too!)
  6. Off-White Crackle Base Paint (If you desire the crackled look)
  7. Taupe Colored Glaze
  8. 120 Grit Sandpaper and Sanding Block
  9. Water Based Polyurethane in Satin or Flat Sheen
  10. Knife



  1. Start by priming the bare wood with a kilz type primer and sanding it smooth.
  2. In the pump spray that is used for touching up spackled ceilings, add a mixture of two parts white gesso and two parts acrylic spackling compound. Spray it all over the piece, but not enough to cover it completely and let it dry.
  3. Using a sanding block, sand back the spackling smooth leaving the spots slightly raised from the surface. Use a knife to separate any bridged furniture joints.
  4. Brush on one or two coats of your base color using latex or acrylic paint, usually an off white color.
  5. At this point, you can add another off white color with a crackle base to give you the cracked look or move on to the next step.
  6. Apply a taupe colored glaze and strike it of to your liking and let that dry.
  7. Using 120 grit sandpaper, simulate some worn areas by sanding trough some layers to the bare wood.
  8. Apply two or three coats of water based polyurethane in a satin or flat sheen to seal it all down and your done.


You can build other color layers and glazes to get different looks if you want to play around with it.