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How to Make a Piece of Furniture Look More Rustic

If you’ve ever wondered how to make a piece of furniture look more rustic, you’re not alone. The answer to that question is very simple: paint it! There are many ways to achieve this look, from using wood veneers to applying a stain. If you’re not sure how to start, keep reading! You’ll learn how to apply milk paint, sand it, and apply a stain.

Wood veneers

To give your new wooden furniture or trim a more antique, worn look, try distressing the surface of the veneer. Distressing is a technique that can create subtle or pronounced results depending on the tool you use. Although any type of tool can create a distressed surface, certain tools are more effective than others. Wet sandpaper and a wire brush are two popular tools that can be used to distress wood veneer.

Milk paint

You can use milk paint to give a piece of furniture an authentically old-world look. Milk paint adheres to wood very well and can be burned to give the finish a contrasting sheen. The result is a mottled, aged look. Many woodworkers try to replicate Colonial painting techniques when they use milk paint. The paint is also easy to layer and distress. Here are some examples of pieces that were transformed using milk paint.


If you want a distressed look for your furniture, you can try staining it using a glaze. This is a process that imitates the look of dirt, but without actually rubbing it in. Basically, you apply a wet coat of glaze over a sealed surface, then wipe off the excess with a rag. Wipe off high and low spots, then allow the glaze to dry and protect the piece with an additional coat of finish.


If you have a piece of furniture that you’d like to change in a rustic way, you might want to consider sanding it. This process can make a piece look older and a little more worn down. The key to success is to target wearable parts like edges and corners. When distressed, you can even use sandpaper to bring down the paint to the bare wood. It’s a simple, yet effective way to make your home look and feels more rustic.

Using a wooden block

If you are looking for a way to create a country-looking furniture set, then you should try using a wooden block. This can be an inexpensive way to achieve this look. Just take an oak wood block and place it next to a wall. Next, put a stone pressure plate or an upside of the staircase in between. Use a block to place a picture, item, or map inside. You can also use empty flower pots or a button to add more rustic accents to the furniture.


To add a rustic, vintage look to your furniture, you can seal it using one of several different types of varnish. The most common type of varnish is polyurethane/polyacrylic, which is available in either oil-based or water-based varieties. You can choose between a satin or glossy finish, or a combination of the two. Oil-based varnish can create a yellow tint over time, which may not be desirable if you’re working with light-colored paints. However, water-based varnishes offer a long-lasting, protective finish without affecting the color of the paint.

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