Many people love antiques, but they can be costly. If you aren’t a purist and are willing to “fake it,” here are some easy ways to make new furniture look old.
Old furniture has worn areas, around the corners and near handles. You can make them look worn by using a rasp to grind off sharp corners. Then use sandpaper to smooth the areas. It’s instant aging.
It’s not just the edges of furniture that get abused over time. The top surface is also usually heavily damaged. Use a hammer or some other heavy, metal object to inflict injury on the surface.
Scratches are a sign of age, too, and things like nails and chisels can create years’ worth of scratches in just a few minutes.
An ice pick or awl can be used to make “worm holes,” a sign of old age on many real antiques.
Paint and stain can be used to create an aged appearance, too. Rubbing dark stain into cracks and crevices will make a piece of furniture look old.
If you are going to paint the furniture, rub a little petroleum jelly on some edges and corners before applying the paint. It won’t stick on these areas, and you can wipe the paint off easily once it’s dried on the rest of the surfaces.
Paint on several different colors of paint and then sand and scrape off the top layer or two to show the colors underneath.
Use black paint and a toothbrush to make tiny fly specks on the finish. Other dark stains and spots may be added in other areas to show a lot of age and wear.
These are just a few ways you can create “old” furniture out of new pieces. You’ll need to come up with a great story of how you came to own the piece, too. It’s just part of the process, so have some fun with the furniture and your friends!
Q: My house is in pretty good shape, but I have been hearing a loud metallic sound that I think is coming from one of my rooftop air vents. I think I have figured out which one is making the noise but don’t know what to do to stop it. Got any ideas? – B.R.
A: Go up into the attic and watch the fan as it moves. It should be easy to see if one of the blades is hitting something or if the spindle needs to be lubricated. You may have to access it from the roof side to make repairs. Just be careful, and you should be able to handle it. These rarely have any major problems and, if they do, can be replaced without a lot of expense.
Q: I was considering putting up some reflective window film, but was wondering if it would really make a difference. I’ve also heard it is hard to take down. What do you think? – J.T.
A: It does a satisfactory job and is fairly easy to install. If you follow the directions and you use their particular remover, it will be easier to take down if you ever decide to. Most brands are not recommended for double-paned windows.
A Super hint
Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home? If you don’t, go get one before the day is over. Most are fairly inexpensive and available at discount stores and home centers. Every home should have at least one!
We make fun of the fact that duct tape can be used for just about anything. Well, Super Seal Spray-On Duct Tape can be used to do even more. It’s perfect for sealing metal, rubber and plastic leaks, and can be used indoors and outside. The patch is tough yet pliable, and it sets up quickly. You can apply several thin coats, waiting five minutes between each coat, and can be ready to use it again in about 30 minutes. You even can paint over it, so your repairs will be barely visible. It’s great for the car, gutters, ductwork, hoses, insulation, some pipes, planters and pots, and many other places. Super Seal Spray-On Duct Tape is available at a variety of stores, including discount and hardware stores, auto-repair supply stores and other outlets. For additional information, go to www.idqusa.com.
Got a question or a handy tip? Visit www.thesuperhandyman.com.