How to Make Antique White Paint: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Antique White Paint A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Antique White Paint: A Step-by-Step Guide


Antique white paint, with its warm and slightly creamy undertones, can give your home a vintage and rustic appearance. While you can buy ready-made antique white paint from stores, creating your own allows you to customize the color and ensure it complements your specific project.

Gather Your Supplies

Before you embark on this DIY journey, gather the necessary supplies. You’ll need:

  • A base paint of your choice (latex or acrylic)
  • White pigment or tint
  • Brushes or paint rollers
  • Sandpaper
  • Plastic containers
  • Measuring tools
  • Drop cloths
  • Protective gear (gloves and goggles)
  • Water and soap for cleanup

Choosing the Base Paint

The base paint serves as the foundation for your antique white finish. You can choose between latex or acrylic paint, depending on your project and personal preference. Latex paint is water-based and easy to work with, while acrylic paint offers durability and a smooth finish.

Selecting the Right Pigment

To achieve the antique white hue, you’ll need to add a white pigment or tint to your base paint. Titanium white is a common choice, but you can experiment with different pigments to achieve your desired shade.

Preparing Your Workspace

Set up a well-ventilated and clutter-free workspace. Lay down drop cloths to protect your surfaces, and ensure you have adequate lighting for accuracy.

Mixing the Paint

Mixing the paint is a crucial step in creating your own antique white paint. This is where you combine the base paint with the white pigment to achieve the desired antique white hue. Here’s how to do it:

Measuring Your Ingredients

Start by measuring your base paint and white pigment. The typical mixing ratio is 3:1, which means three parts of base paint to one part of white pigment. However, you can adjust this ratio to achieve the specific shade of antique white you desire.

Experimenting with Mixing Ratios

The mixing ratio can vary depending on the intensity of the antique white you want. If you prefer a lighter shade, use more base paint and less white pigment. Conversely, if you want a richer and creamier antique white, increase the amount of white pigment.

It’s important to note that experimentation is key here. Mix small batches of paint with different ratios and test them on a spare surface to see which one matches your vision best. This way, you can fine-tune the color to suit your project perfectly.

Testing Your Color

Before applying the paint to your project, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it matches your vision.

Applying the Antique White Paint

Applying the Antique White Paint

After you’ve successfully mixed your antique white paint, it’s time to apply it to your chosen surface. The application process requires some attention to detail and technique to achieve the desired vintage effect. Here’s how to do it:

Painting Techniques

  1. Brushes, Rollers, or Sponges: You have options when it comes to the tools you can use to apply antique white paint. Brushes are excellent for detailed work and intricate surfaces. Rollers are more efficient for larger areas like walls or furniture. Sponges can create a unique textured effect.
  2. Thin Coats: Apply the paint in thin, even coats rather than thick layers. Multiple thin coats ensure better coverage and a smoother finish.
  3. Even Strokes: Use steady and even strokes when applying the paint. Avoid leaving brush marks or roller lines for a more professional look.
  4. Layering: For a more aged appearance, consider applying multiple layers of antique white paint. Allow each layer to dry before adding the next one.

Adding Distressing

To achieve an authentic antique look, consider distressing your painted surface. Distressing involves intentionally removing some of the paint to reveal the underlying layers. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Sandpaper: Use sandpaper with varying grit levels (medium to fine) to gently sand specific areas of your project. Focus on corners, edges, and areas that would naturally wear over time.
  2. Random Patterns: Create random patterns when distressing to mimic the natural wear and tear that antique surfaces develop. Don’t overdo it; less can often be more when distressing.
  3. Dry Brushing: Another distressing technique is dry brushing. Dip your brush lightly in the antique white paint, then remove most of it on a paper towel. Lightly brush the surface to create a worn, aged effect.

Maintenance Tips

To maintain the beauty of your antique white finish, avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners. Instead, use a mild soap and water solution for cleaning.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Rushing the Mixing Process: One of the most common mistakes is rushing through the mixing of your antique white paint. Take your time to measure the base paint and white pigment accurately, and experiment with different ratios to achieve your desired shade. A well-mixed paint will result in a more satisfying finish.
  2. Neglecting Proper Surface Preparation: Failing to prepare the surface properly can lead to uneven application and poor adhesion of the paint. Make sure to clean, sand, and prime your surface as needed before applying antique white paint.
  3. Over-Distressing: While distressing is a valuable technique to achieve an antique look, it’s easy to overdo it. Excessive sanding or scraping can damage the paint and make your project appear weathered beyond the desired effect. Be subtle and strategic when distressing.
  4. Skipping the Sealing Step: Some DIY enthusiasts forget to seal their antique white paint finish. Sealing is crucial to protect the paint and enhance its durability. Without proper sealing, your project may be susceptible to chipping and wear.
  5. Using Incompatible Paint and Pigment Combinations: Mixing paint and pigment without understanding their compatibility can lead to unexpected results. Ensure that the base paint and white pigment you choose are compatible to achieve the desired color and finish.


Can I use any type of paint as a base?

While latex and acrylic paints are commonly used, you can experiment with other paint types to achieve different finishes.

How do I achieve a more distressed look?

Gently sand the painted surface in strategic areas to reveal the underlying layers for a distressed appearance.

What can I use antique white paint for?

Antique white paint is versatile and can be used on furniture, walls, cabinets, and decorative items.

Is it safe to use antique white paint indoors?

Yes, antique white paint is safe for indoor use, but ensure proper ventilation during application.

Can I create antique white paint in different shades?

Yes, you can experiment with the mixing ratio of white pigment to achieve varying shades of antique white.


Creating antique white paint allows you to infuse a vintage charm into your home decor projects. With the right materials and techniques, you can achieve a beautiful antique finish that complements your style. Get creative and enjoy the transformation that antique white paint brings to your living spaces!

Leave a Reply