Sunday, August 7, 2011

Antique silver tutorial

So here is my first tutorial... Having big expectations being my first I am hoping this will help give someone out there a inspiration to whip out their paintbrushes and get a little creative.  I have a  shiny, formal, cherry Queen Anne bedroom set that was screaming to be updated. Luckily the lovely Lane and her daughter stopped by and decided to let me use my imagination to give this set a new life!

See I told you shiny, shiny!!

I had found this spray paint last Christmas to update some terra cotta pots for my silver and white theme
Can you say loovvve!!

Tried it on this antique chair to update it and was very, very pleased with the results!

So with that in mind I set out to put this tutorial together!  First step was to remove the handles (2 each drawer ) and key hole covers from 19, yes I said 19 drawers! I thought I would never be done. But I finally was and so on to sanding, Who hoo!! Yah!! said in a sarcastic tone of voice cuz sanding is my least fav thing to do. (I did try to bribe my 19 year old but I guess he had something more important to do like to go to work)
 Sooo ....I lightly sanded all surfaces with a 220 grit to give the shiny some grip to hold the primer and paint. Did I mention there was 19 drawers? 

I said I prefer to use the Rustoleum grey auto primer, but that depends on the project. Since I knew I wanted a super smooth surface I used it this time. But sometimes I will use Kilz spray primer or the Kilz water based primer in a can if I am goint to do a distressed finish. 

Then I get to .. guess what sand again..

Then I vacuum all the dust and wipe with a damp cloth..

 I like to wait at least an hour between coats, especially with a gloss finish.. And don't touch the finish to see if it is dry.. learned my lesson as it leaves a funky black smudge.

I let dry 48 hours after the last coat before I started the antiquing process, just to make sure the surface was good and dry..

Then let the fun begin!!

I have on hand a cheap chip brush to apply the glaze which is 1 part black paint and 1 part glaze of your choice), couple of dry rags, a wet rag and gloves. I don't normally use gloves but with this finish I like to get messy

Then wipe with dry cloth first and then the wet rag 

Once you are finished and pleased with the results let completely dry and then protect your work with your choice of poly or wax. I used  a wipe on poly by Minwax this time.

And Wha la!!

I love how some of the mirror like finish still shows!

They haven't decided on the color of the drawer pulls yet but I am thinking black matte.. 

I hope I covered everything  and you get a chance to try this technique out.. If you are afraid to try on any furniture maybe try on a picture frame or a decorative lamp? Have questions please let me know and I will get back with you as soon as I can.. and please please send my pics of your finished pictures. I love to see what you are working on.

Until next time,


  1. GET OUT!!!!! I am so amazed. I'm voting for you Elsie. I have a little sewing machine cabinet that is just begging to get this treatment. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Looks amazing! My MIL is buying new cabinets that look like this and she's probably paying a kazillion dollars for them! Great job!!

  3. What a GREAT tutorial. I just finished (today) painting a secretary desk and adding black glaze. My next piece should look like this...I found your blog after googling antique silver furniture. Lovely and thank you.