Paint and Age Furniture Without Chalk Paint

Long before Annie Sloan Chalk Paint came on the decorating scene as well as DIY versions of it, I used to age furniture with any brand of latex paint I had on hand and some glazing liquid.

It was quite easy and I still think the method is a perfect option for anyone who doesn’t want the expense of buying Chalk Paint or the time to make their own DIY version of it.

Paint and Age Furniture without Chalk Paint

I painted the pale green pieces in my bedroom using the technique. All you need is latex paint mixed with glaze, a stiff bristle paint brush, and some sandpaper.

Bedroom Before

Bedroom-Furniture before painting

My bedroom Circa 1993.   See the desk over in the left corner?


I painted and aged it and all of the dark wood pieces in the room 18 years ago without any chalk paint.

Painting and Aging Furniture Without Using Chalk Paint


supplies needed:

  • Primer
  • Latex paint
  • Clear Glazing Liquid – sold at most paint and home improvement stores in the paint aisle or at the craft store. You do not need a lot for furniture.
  • Paint brush for applying paint
  • Stiff paint brush for removing paint
  • Rag
  • Sandpaper
  • Mixing container

1. Sand the surface with 60 grit sandpaper.

2. Prime with Kilz Original Primer and let it dry. (Have primer tinted to the color you want to expose underneath)

3. Mix satin finish paint and clear glazing mixture (75% paint, 25% glazing mix).   You can also add a few tablespoons of water to thin the mixture, if needed.  Brush it over the dry primer.

4. Wait about 5 minutes – then using a dry stiff bristle brush – brush it over the paint and glaze coat to reveal the primer.  You want to create a striated look.  Let dry.

5.  Use sandpaper to distress the edges to age the finish.  Clean off sanding grit with a tack cloth.


You can seal it with water based polyurethane if you want, but since it is an aged finish, I did not seal it.


Adding glaze to the paint takes some of the rubbery feeling away from the latex paint. The finish is smooth even without wax.  It has held up beautifully.


I do love painting with DIY chalk paint and wax, but this furniture aging technique is tried and true.  If you want easy and inexpensive, you may want to give it a try.

I used this furniture aging technique many years before Annie Sloan Chalk Paint was on the market to use to paint furniture. The method is trie and true, plus easy and inexpensive | In My Own Style


  1. says

    The chalk paint finish is not all that appealing to me. Your method is just as pretty and a whole lot less expensive.

  2. Shanna says

    Just to clarify for my pre-caffeinated brain… You use 75% of a satin finish paint mixed with 25% of a basic clear glaze. Any advise if it is a flat finish paint? I have some extra ‘test’ quarts laying around and there are some inherited furniture pieces in need of some love. Also, I have gallons of white primer here at the house. Any recommendations for tinting it myself on a smaller scale for individual projects? Thanks for this post, and for your DIY chalk paint post. I’m determined to get these quarts used up and these posts are getting me motivated to bust out the drop cloth and get it done.

    • says

      Hi Shanna – You can use any finish of paint. I happened to use the satin finish, but you can create the look using any finish of paint. As for your primer – you can buy tint at your paint store and experiment with creating the color you want. The tint is usually sold in tubes and cost very little. You can also mix the primer with a paint color that is already mixed. It would be like you were making your own Paint and Primer in One formula. I do this all the time. It works great, but makes it hard to tell readers what color I used since I created it by mixing it myself :)

  3. Kathi says

    I’ve done furniture like this. I’ve also used satin paint for a smoother, less chalky finish. I’ve just sanded off some paint here and there where there would be normal wear. Much less work!

  4. Beth Garland says

    Please explain the paint recipe/portions in Item 3. Is it 75% satin paint to 23% glaze or water? What about the other 2%? I must have a total of 100%…LOL! I actually like this technique better than the chalk finish, too! Your style and projects are so fun and your tutorials are so easy to follow. Thanks for all the inspiration.

    • says

      Hi Beth – Tt was a typo. 75% paint to 25% glaze. This percentage is not set in stone – you can mix it anyway – experiment to see if you like it more transparent or need more working time (more glaze) If you just want a little bit of transparency – the 75 – 25 ratio works well.

  5. Marsha says

    I really enjoy following your blog. You are very talented. I don’t really know why alot of people like the distressed look. If I am going to take the time to paint or anything like that, I wouldn’t like to ruff it up to make it look old or distressed. Do you find there are many other people who feel as I do. Just wondering.

    • says

      Hi Marsha – Choosing to distress a piece of furniture is all about personal preference. Some like it others don’t. I have never received a comment about it, but there are as many people who love the distressed finish as there are that don’t. I don’t like every piece to be distressed, but I do like using a mix of finishes, I like the interest it creates in a room. The chalk paint and wax adds a patina that you don’t see when a piece is just painted. Again it is just about preference.

      • says

        You can also use two different colors of latex and then sand. If you want a patina, you can use a watery acrylic paint (for artists) Burned Umber is a nice dark brown color, add a lot of water. Than add with a big brush, wait a little while and wipe of with a almost dry sponge or cloth. This is kind of tricky, if you wait to long it will be to dark it takes some practice.

        Caroline, the Netherlands

  6. Julie says

    I love your blog! You always share such useful information and ideas. I so appreciate your ability to create beauty without bankrupting the budget.

    • says

      Hi Kathy – I wrote this post fast since I was getting ready for vacation. You can make the mix any percentage you want. The more glaze you add, the more transparent the glazing coat will be and it also lengthens the drying time – giving you more time to add the dry brush strokes or whatever effect you want to the finish. I like 75 % paint and 25% glaze. You can add a tablespoon or two of water to thin the mix if needed, too.

  7. Sheryll & Critters. says

    This is great to know. I have bought a quart of Behr Premium Plus Faux Glaze. I was going to use it on my headboard I recently made. Funny how it helps if you know kind of what you want the finished result to be. I started with a Minwax stain in English Chestnut & hated it. It was left over from staining a brand new door and new front and back railings for one of Steve’s rental houses….. so I thought why not put it on and wipe it off just one time. “UGH”, never again. So, then I tried some American Cherry I bought from Wood You for my entertainment center and book case.. it looked the same to me, but was so much easier to use. I will never ever use Minwax again. It eats through your gloves it is so caustic. Anyway, I ended up painting it with a very light blue uh oh I got at HD for only $7.00 for the whole gallon. I mixed it with water, put on a coat or two, then used white ceiling paint mixed with water to streak that on a bit… so far I am very happy and have not sealed it yet, waiting to see a bit if I want more white dry brushed on it. lol I am halfway thinking I will use the glaze on the headboard….. ?

    Oh Diane, I so thought of you when I lucked out and bought a pack of 10 Papermate Write Bros pens for only a quarter at Walgreens. I liked them so much I went back for another pack in more colors. Now I have red, green, orange, purple, blue and black pens. I love all the colors.

    Hope you have a great weekend.

      • Sheryll & Critters. says

        I believe I have used the Le Pen many years ago and loved the one I stumbled upon. As I remember they were more expensive and I have not found them in stores and no longer have a need to go to Kinko’s or a print shop like when I worked. I got a ten pack for a QUARTER a couple weeks back at Walgreens. I was so happy that I made a special trip back to get another ten pack in different colors. So only spent 50 cents plus a few pennies for the state tax. I am thrilled with them and all the gorgeous colors.

  8. Rhona says

    Diane – Really appreciate your tutorial. I have a china cabinet I want to paint and really can’t afford chalk paint. Plus, I like the look of your technique better. Thank you for such a great blog, you always have the best ideas. Rhona

  9. says

    Thank you, thank you! I have Great results in distressing furniture with latex and glaze! As a matter of fact, I still use this technique frequently. I did use a clear polyurethane coat to finish off.

  10. says

    Once again, you have given some valuable information! I am assuming that you meant 75% paint and 25% glazing liquid (not water!?!) I have used the glazing liquid over a freshly painted piece, but never tried mixing them together. My new project! Also, I used Kilz for years, but have switch to Glidden Gripper. It sticks to everything and leaves a great bonding surface!

  11. Ann Rivers says

    Diane, you did it again! Perfect timing for a consignment piece that I’m painting! The client has a large piece she wants painted black with a little destress and a slight shine to the overall finish. I was hesitant that chalk paint would give me the look she wanted but I think this technique will be perfect! Thank you for giving us paint options!

  12. Jill says

    Thank you. I too am not a fan of the feel of chalk paint. Your projects are beautiful as always! Happy Monday!

  13. amy jorgensen says

    I have a whole bedroom set I want to do this finish on. It is the dark cannon ball style bed from the 80’s. Do I clean it first with anything? When you say to sand it with 60 grit…am I sanding it to get the finish off?

    • says

      Hi Amy – You don’t have to clean it with anything, but a damp rag with soap and water after you sand it. I always use a tack cloth to clean off the surface before painting, too to remove any small dust, grit, etc. You don’t have to sand to the bare wood, just enough to rough up the finish so the paint has something to adhere to. I always try to even – out the surface if there is old paint or varnish drips. with the sandpaper. You can never over sand.

  14. Annetta says

    The original Kilz is oil base, you use latex paint. Mixing oil base and latex paint is OK?

    • says

      Hi Annetta – It is fine to use an oil-based primer with a latex paint over it. It is not OK to use latex paint over oil paint. It will rub right off. Primer is different. The original Kilz is the best especially if the piece is old or has a dark stain. It dries in 30 minutes. It will block all stains out. The water based formulas work, too but may take a few more coats to block stains from leaching through.

  15. says

    I’ve spent the entire weekend using real Annie Sloan chalk paint for the first time, and I’m not liking it at all! For the past couple years I’ve been doing an antiquing technique similar to yours and I think I’ll go back to that!

    • says

      Hi Misty – I painted furniture for years the way I explain in this post. What I wish I knew back then was how nice the soft wax makes the finish come to life. I do like painting with the DIY versions of chalk paint, but this way is tried and true and looks just as nice. I like to think of paint choice as a fine artist would – their favorite medium that gives them their unique technique and style – which is a good thing :)

  16. says

    I agree, Diane. It’s all about personal preference. ASCP has its place, but there are many artisans that have never even tried it that create beautiful “aged” pieces of furniture! It really is all in the technique. I have tried pretty much every product available, and I always go back to latex as my go-to. Adding the glaze gives it a nice finishing touch.

  17. says

    All I can say is THANK YOU! This method makes so much sense, looks beautiful (if that distressed look is what you’re going for) and seems like a great alternative to chalk paint. I think I’ll “PIN” this and try later!

  18. says

    The before and after pictures look great. I have a piece of furniture in my home that I have been wanting to do this to but didn’t know how. This really helps, especially if I don’t have to use chalk paint.

  19. says

    Thank you for all the time you take to share your years of experience and wealth of knowledge on all refinishing techniques without being biased to one certain method. I shared this post on my Facebook page Two Dogs Decor. May be an older post but honestly, it’s more relevant now than ever. Thanks again,
    Kristie Ball
    Two Dogs Decor :-)

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