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How to Make Furniture Look Old and Rustic

If you have old pieces of furniture, you may wonder how to make them look worn and old. Here are some ways to achieve the effect. You can hand-hew wood, distress wood using a wooden block, or use milk paint. Alternatively, you can purchase furniture and stain it yourself. Some of the methods described here are not suitable for furniture that is already stained or polished. But if you want to achieve an antique look, these techniques will certainly add character to it.


The process of hand-hewing furniture has been around for centuries. It involved gouging the wood with a sharp adze, leaving a distinct scoop mark and a hard edge. Today, you can replicate the look of hand-hewing with the use of a masonry chisel. In fact, this style of hand-hewing is so popular that it’s possible to get it to look as old and rustic as the period they were made in.

Distressing wood

If you’re looking to add a vintage or old-world feel to your new pieces of furniture, learn how to distress wood with this easy technique. The first step in creating this look is to clean the wood thoroughly. You can use a solution of Tri-Sodium Phosphate to remove grime and dirt, and then sand away rough spots and fill holes. For a more sophisticated look, consider using Oxalic Wood Bleach to remove metal stains and other blemishes. You can buy this product at Real Milk Paint Company or from any home improvement store.

Using a wooden block

Creating an aged, rustic look with paint can be as easy as painting a wooden block. Dip a wooden block into the paint and scrape along the grain. You can even use multiple layers of paint to create a multi-colored look. Whitewashing is especially useful for wood with lots of texture. You can apply the paint on painted or raw wood. This technique will give the item a distressed look.

Using milk paint

Whether you want to add farmhouse style to your home or simply give it a new lease on life, milk paint will do the trick. The rustic decor features warm natural materials like weathered wood and a creative attitude. Milk paint refinishing is a great way to give secondhand furniture a fresh new look, and can even turn a generic find into a masterpiece. You can also learn how to make your own milk paint by following some of the tips and tricks outlined in this article.

Using latex paint

One way to transform furniture into a rustic and aged look is by applying layers of latex paint. However, it’s crucial to purchase quality paint. You don’t want to spend a fortune on paint that won’t hold its new finish, but you also don’t want to waste time sanding the furniture. Fortunately, many companies sell quality latex paint, including Behr and Valspar.

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