Sand the surface of your wood item to remove the shine off the finish and to give the surface a "tooth" for the new paint. Paint the entire wood item using brown flat acrylic paint. Choose a topcoat color. Sand the surface, edges and any decorative detail to randomly expose the brown paint color beneath the topcoat. Apply an even and light coat of acrylic wood stain in the color of your choice with a foam brush to help mute the color and add a primitive quality to the piece. Allow the stain to dry for about three hours. Apply a satin acrylic polyurethane finish with a foam brush. Primitive furniture, also commonly called early American country furniture, refers to handmade tables, desks, dressers, and chairs from before the era of mass production. These pieces often feature interesting carpentry techniques, such as dovetail and mortise-and-tenon joints. Color theory was originally formulated in terms of three "primary" or "primitive" colors—red, yellow and blue (RYB)—because these colors were believed capable of mixing all other colors. Primitive design focuses on furniture made between the mid-1700s and early 1800s by farmers.
Prepare Your Space. Start by laying down drop cloths and preparing the area. Sand and Clean the Piece. Sand the surface of the piece. Paint the Piece. Apply Wax and Top Layer of Paint (Optional) Distress the Piece with Sandpaper and Steel Wool. Apply a Stain (Optional) Protect the Finished Piece with Polyurethane.
Sanding. Sanding through the white paint on furniture is a speedy way to make wood furniture look much more rustic and old than it is. To make the wear look natural, sand it with a fine- or medium-grit sanding block on areas that would typically become worn first, such as the armrests and seat on a rocking chair.
Mix a little brown or yellow latex or acrylic paint and water in a disposable container to create a watery glaze-like substance. The more water you use, the thinner and more transparent the mixture will become. Brush the solution over the antique white and rub most of it away to make the antique finish look even older.
Next, coat the entire piece of furniture with a thin layer of your main color. The thinner the layer, the easier the next steps will be. We opted to use a matte-finish paint, which works well when you don't want to use a primer.
Plain white or a primary color can be roughed up with fine-grit sandpaper to give it a weathered look. Antique spray paint can give the appearance of a timely patina in just one coat. Metal spray paint that is evenly sprayed on the shiny surface of a metal piece will give it an immediate look of age and charm.