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Paint and Age Furniture Without Chalk Paint

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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.

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  1. 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

  2. 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.

      1. 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.

    1. 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.

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

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. Hi,
        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