How to Antique Acrylic Paint

Written by jake essene
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How to Antique Acrylic Paint
The paint on many old paintings and objects has cracked with age. (Cracked Weathered Paint image by ryasick from Fotolia.com)

Antique paintings and objects have wide appeal, due to their history and aged appearance. Not everyone has the means to acquire antiques, however. Using simple techniques, you can make your new acrylic painting or an object painted with acrylic paint look many years older than it truly is. Ageing varnish gives your painting or object a slightly yellowed, aged appearance. Cracking varnish can be applied if you want a crackled paint appearance.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Ageing varnish (such as Lefranc Ageing Varnish)
  • Wide, fine bristled paint brush for paintings
  • Round, fine bristled paint brush for three-dimensional objects
  • Paint cracking varnish, if desired (such as Lefranc Cracking Varnish)

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Instructions

    Antique a Painting

  1. 1

    Remove the painting from its frame or matting. Make sure that the surface of the painting is free of debris.

  2. 2

    Coat a wide, fine bristled brush with the ageing varnish. Test the look of the varnish by first applying it to a small section of the painting, preferably in a corner that will be covered by matting or a frame. Continue applying the varnish when you are pleased with result.

    How to Antique Acrylic Paint
    Wide brushes with thin bristles work best on paintings. (Two isolated brushes for painting. image by Saskia Massink from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Use long, vertical strokes to apply a thin layer of varnish to the entire painting until it has taken on a slightly muted, aged appearance.

  4. 4

    Allow the varnish to dry according to the manufacturer's directions.

  5. 5

    Apply cracking varnish over the wet ageing varnish using the same long, vertical strokes you used with the ageing varnish. This will give your painting the crackled-paint look of many antique paintings.

  6. 6

    Allow the varnish to dry according to the manufacturer's directions.

    Antique an Object

  1. 1

    Make sure that the object is free of debris.

    How to Antique Acrylic Paint
    You can make a toy look antique by applying ageing varnish. (cheval de bois image by fotogisèle from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Coat a round, fine bristled brush with the ageing varnish. Test the look of the varnish by first applying it to a small section of the object, preferably in a corner that will be hidden when the object is displayed. Continue applying the varnish when you are pleased with result.

    How to Antique Acrylic Paint
    Round brushes with fine bristles work best on three-dimensional objects. (brush image by amlet from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Use long, vertical strokes to apply a thin layer of varnish to the entire object until it has taken on a slightly muted, aged appearance.

  4. 4

    Allow the varnish to dry according to the manufacturer's directions.

  5. 5

    Apply cracking varnish over the wet ageing varnish using the same long, vertical strokes you used with the ageing varnish. This will give your object the crackled-paint look of many antique vases and painted sculptures.

  6. 6

    Allow the varnish to dry according to the manufacturer's directions.

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