/ / / A New Way to Antique and Patina Furniture

A New Way to Antique and Patina Furniture

Are you looking for ways to antique your furniture using paint or stain? Here is a new method to try that is foolproof and easy!

The way I’ll teach you to antique furniture is easy, straight forward, and can be used on ANY finish: over polyurethane, bare wood, or paint!

No need to mix paint or glaze. Just wipe on and wipe off.

Antiquing a Brand New Table

During my hunt for a new dining table I headed to the Ballard Design store and promptly fell in love with their Chianni Trestle table in Belgian Oak. The sample in the store was all I had to look at that day. The finish was perfect with the fabric I selected.

Chianni Trestle Table_Not AntiquedBelgian Oak Sample_Ballard Designs

Once the table was delivered, I realized a few things:

  • The table didn’t look like the store sample, but more like the picture online.
  • It was TOO white and light against the other pieces in the room.
  • The surface texture was some what rough, giving it a more casual coastal look than I wanted.
  • Since the surface was rough, I was concerned about long term wear and wanted to seal it with something.

So after a few days of trying to live with it, I decided I had to find a way to shift the color. It needed to look more like the sample and take away the “white washed” appearance.

Post contains hand selected products, with affiliate marketing links throughout {full disclosure here} 

Using an Old Product in a New Way to Antique

Long ago, when I first bought my first nice piece of wood furniture the woman in the store told me to maintain the table with dark brown Briwax. It was applied to my dining room table, with steel wool, right over the polyurethane.  The wax was soft, went on easily, cleaned, and protected.  Those were all qualities I was looking for in updating my new dining room table! But this was different…

Never before had I tried this technique and didn’t know if it was possible to use a brown wax on a light piece of furniture. The can says cleans, stains, and protects. It was the “stains” part that made me hopeful.

Their website says:

“Known as “The World’s Premier Finishing Wax“. Briwax is a blend of beeswax and carnauba wax, two of the finest waxes known to man. Briwax is designed to protect raw wood and can be applied to virtually any existing finish. Use Briwax on all woods, untreated leather, marble, concrete, metal and painted surfaces. “

So I thought, this is going to work and who knew how many uses it had? In reality, I was using a very established time tested product in a new application. Briwax has has a wide range of colored waxes, but I decided that the best option for this project was light brown Briwax.

How-To Antique Furniture with Briwax

FIRST, test a small amount on the underside or in an inconspicuous area to make sure you like it first. You want to make sure it doesn’t change the finish, in a way you didn’t intend. If you don’t like it, STOP 🙂

Briwax Antiquing Supplies


Step 1:

  • Protect the floor from any drips and when you have to apply it to the bottom legs of the furniture. I used cardboard and my rug hadn’t been delivered yet which was great.

Belgian Oak Finish Before

Step 2:

  • With the gloves on your hand, dip the steel wool directly into the can of Briwax and pick up a good amount of wax.

Step 3:

  • Working in sections about 1 ft x 1 ft, with the grain and in circular motion gently rub the Briwax into the surface of the wood.

Applying Briwax for a Antique Effect on Furniture

  • On my table I wanted to eliminate the white in the grove, so I worked it into the that grove. In general, I was trying to knock out much of the white look, so I really pushed into the grain of the wood without concern.

Briwax in Groove

Step 4:

  • Let the wax sit about a minute or two. While you are letting one section of wax settle in, you can start on the next section.
  • You can start to see the transformation in the picture below and it’s looking more like the sample I originally fell in love with at the store.

Working Briwax in Sections

Step 5:

  • With a rag, T-Shirt, or paper towel buff the wax into the surface.  The process is very much like waxing a car and it is a work out to do a full table!

Buffing Off Briwax

  • I started with a T-Shirt and finished with a clean paper towel.

Step 6:

  • Step back and look across and down on the furniture piece to make sure you like the finish.  I went back and covered over areas one more time, where too much white was showing through (like in the bottom of this photo).  If you over apply, buff it out!

Review the Finish

Step 7:

The next day take a paper towel and buff the top of the surface of any table you are waxing to remove remaining surface wax.  You don’t want to get the brown wax on tablecloths or napkins.

Before & After Subtle Change

You see how subtle the change is. The table has a rich patina now that it has been antiqued with Briwax.  In addition, the table is protected from spills and dings and has a nice sheen too!

If I was going for a coastal look, the table as designed by Ballard Designs would have been ideal.  In my more traditional formal dining room, the new finish is exactly what I hoped it would be in my mind 🙂

After Antiquing with Briwax

TIP: If you want a more drastic antique effect, you can use the DARK BROWN BRIWAX as an alternative option.

Belgian Oak Dining Table Antiqued with Light Brown Briwax

Update: The dining room table has been waxed and used for major gatherings and holidays for over 10 months. The wax is doing it’s job protecting and the color is still as you see it pictured above!

Hopefully, this inspired you to tackle your own antiquing project!

Dining Room Makeover

This table is just the beginning and one part of my One Room Challenge Makeover.  Click the link to see the full transformation!

Have fun waxing…

Porch Daydreamer


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  1. Hi Tracy!

    So glad to have found this post. I just bought a new console table and like your dining table it has too much white and doesn’t blend as well with my coffee table.
    Would you recommend the Briwax instead of glaze or some other wax? Could I go back over the edges and legs with something darker to make it match my coffee table better?

    Any advice will be much appreciated. I like the table and don’t want to mess it up.


    1. Hey, Judy! Briwax is nice because it can go over any finish and it protects it too. A paint based glaze will just sit on top and won’t adhere if the table has a shellac or polyurethane clear coat.

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