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An Old Wardrobe That is New….A Story in the Making

Posted on September 6, 2009 by Admin


The fine aged patina of an old wardrobe evokes visions of the past, bringing a touch of history into your home. The old wardrobe whispers of ages gone by and speaks of the people that once used it to store their clothing and blankets for a cold winter’s night. How can you bring the character and aged look of an antique to a new pine wardrobe?

Old WardrobeThere are numerous ways to turn a new pine wardrobe old. Since pine is a soft wood and dents easily, this would be the best choice of wood with which to work. Purposely marring it will give the wardrobe an aged look. There are a few ways to achieve a distressed finish. You can use a screwdriver or hammer to make marks in the wood. You can make indentations in places where normal wear would occur over time, such as on corners and the lower half of wardrobes. Wrap up screws, nuts and bolts in a pillowcase or towel and carefully hit the wardrobe to create dents.

When you have completed the marring of the finish on your new old wardrobe, apply a coat of glaze to seal your work. A satin finish will look best and enhance the “old” look. Painting over the surface of a marred wardrobe creates a more natural look, especially if you made a few too many marks. Paint is a great way to mask these mistakes and still add to the old wardrobe look.

Old Wardrobe StyleThe finish of an old wardrobe that has not been restored generally has obvious signs of wear, especially if it is painted. For a natural look, paint the wardrobe with two coats of paint. Apply a water-based top coat to prevent bleeding. A good look is to paint the first two coats in an antique white. Once the paint dries, you can use sandpaper to remove sections of the outer coat to reveal the wood. Try to keep your sanding to obvious areas of wear, such as drawer or door fronts, around knobs, corners and legs. Once you’ve completed the wearing by sandpaper, liberally apply a coat of brown glaze. This will cover the underlying wood and give an aged look to the antique white paint.

Next, search for antique or reproduction hardware for the wardrobe. Antique brass, pewter or iron drawer pulls, door knobs and hinges look great against a distressed finish. There are many sources that carry a wide selection of hardware that will change the look of your old wardrobe. It is amazing how different a wardrobe can look by simply changing the hardware.

Now you have completed the old wardrobe look. You have created a very personal piece of furniture. You now have a very interesting story to tell about your old wardrobe and its transformation. So, who says only genuine antique furniture has a story to tell? Listen closely and you can hear…a story in the making.