Tools For Aging, Distressing, and Antiquing

Tools For Aging, Distressing, and Antiquing

As an artwork technique, aging is a process that makes a painting or sculpture look old. It mimics the natural deterioration that happens to the material over a long time. This art technique is utilized in art forgery a lot of times. Meanwhile, distressing is a refinishing technique that makes the finish appear less than perfect.

Below are some of the tools for artwork techniques like distressing, aging, and antiquing. In the end, you will come up with a vintage-looking craft that you can sell on vintage fairs.

Acrylic paints

Add three portions of water to one part of paint to achieve an inky consistency called “wash.” One light color paper, colors of patina green, dark blue, rust, burnt umber, and black work best. Meanwhile, light blue, light gray, and white work great on dark colors.

Acrylic paint washes can be applied to any surface that can be painted. Apply light coats of paint to the paper until you’re satisfied with the color. The majority of acrylic craft paints are free of acid.

Pastels or chalks

You can use pastels and chalks to age paper. Apply dust chalk and darker colors on the corners, above sanded portions, or all over. However, you have to use a spray finish, sealer, or fixative to seal the pastels and chalks.

Antiquing gel

This tool is a thick gel or liquid applied on an object then rubbed off to form a thin film to make it look old. It is available in different colors, and you can use it for hard surfaces, too. Apply a small amount of the antiquing gel by rubbing or brushing it on. Afterward, wipe it away using a paper towel. The gel will adhere to the item’s cracks and fissures, giving it an antique appearance.

Steeped tea

Put multiple tea bags into a bowl, then pour hot water. For each cup of water, you may at least use three tea bags, making a strong batch of tea. But, avoid using teas that don’t produce rich color. Place the tea on a spray bottle, then mist it onto the paper before ironing it. Repeat spraying the paper until it looks aged exactly as your preference.

Coffee and coffee grounds

Coffee and coffee grounds

Just like tea, you can also use coffee for aging. Brew a dark and strong batch of coffee, then use it to soak the paper, spray, puddle, or dribble on it. You may also use coffee grounds by sprinkling them over wet paper. Afterward, let the paper dry to achieve a speckle of dark color.

Walnut ink

Walnut ink is scattered, brushed, or dripped across the paper to give it a sepia or brown wash. It’s typically in the form of a powder that you combine with water, but you can also find it in liquid form and a range of colors.


In closing, there are many tools you can use to achieve a beautiful result when applying the artwork techniques like aging, distressing, and antiquing. Choose the one that could bring out the best in your artwork and complement the style you are aiming for.

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