Patina: step by step instructions to learn how to do it at home and 35 inspirations

Patina: step by step instructions to learn how to do it at home and 35 inspirations
Robert Rivera

Table of contents

The patina is a great solution for renewing and giving another face to that piece of furniture or object that is a bit forgotten at home. It is possible to restore beds, tables, dressers, dressers, closets, boxes, and whatever else you want. This craft is very easy to put into practice and helps to reuse even those pieces of furniture that are out of fashion.

The basic rule to make a patina is to paint your furniture in any color and, based on this color, choose a lighter or darker tone to mix. The most used colors in this technique are white and beige, but you can also mix more cheerful colors and leave the restored piece even more original. From there, the secret of the aged effect, characteristic of this painting, canbe done in several ways: with stiff bristled brushes, steel wool, wax, paraffin, candles, or even with pieces of glass.

There is a wide variety of ways to do this technique, and the most interesting thing is that each patina is unique, and each person does it in a different way.

Step by step: how to make a Provençal patina

The Provençal patina is one of the most used types of patina in handicrafts, and also one of the simplest to make. The main characteristic of this style is that the entire surface of the furniture is painted, while the corners and edges are worn. In addition, in traditional Provençal patina the background is always dark brown, because that would be the original color of the wood, and the covering isThe Provençal style helps redecorate your furniture, giving it an aged and romantic look.

Materials needed:

  • Three types of sandpaper: coarse, medium and fine
  • One round brush, one small flat brush and one wide flat brush
  • A rough sponge, a soft cloth, steel wool #00 and #000
  • White PVA paint
  • Two paints in two shades, one lighter (preferably white) and the other a little darker, in the desired color

Step 1 : Sand the part and clean it well

Sand the entire piece with the coarsest sandpaper to remove all the varnish and other possible products. This process also serves to make the wood very porous to receive the new paint. Sand every little corner and don't forget the crevices, folds and reliefs. Clean the dust and sand a second time with medium sandpaper. Clean well again and sand a third time with the finest sandpaper. Always try to sandAfter sanding, clean the piece well with a damp cloth and remove all the dust.


  • To do any kind of patina, it is essential to have a very clean surface. If you are thinking of working on a piece of furniture that already has a coating (of paint, varnish, or wax), remember that you will have to remove everything before you start painting. Use the appropriate remover for the product you want to remove and leave your piece very clean, it can be a blower or a liquid or gel paint remover.
  • Before you start painting permanently, do a test on a small hidden surface of your furniture to avoid any problems.

Step 2: Prepare the background for painting

This step is very important, because if you do not prepare the furniture properly before you do the final painting, the paint can peel off very easily. So pay attention to the guidelines:

With a round brush paint the white PVA base all over the piece, you can also use a medium paintbrush if you prefer. This painting doesn't need to be perfect, but there shouldn't be any gaps in the wood. Paint the reliefs and holes as well. Wait for it to dry for 3 to 5 hours in the shade.

After drying, use the steel wool to sand again. It is very fine and will remove any brush marks, leaving the surface smooth enough to receive the paint. After the process, clean it well with a damp cloth.

Step 3: Painting

After applying the white PVA paint, it's time to start the definitive painting. With the wide flat brush, paint the whole object with the lighter paint - usually white, in the case of the traditional Provencal patina. In the crevices and reliefs use the narrow flat brush. Let it dry for up to two days if necessary. After the first coat of paint, it may even look like the piece is in bad shape.This is because the paint is absorbed more in some parts, and less in others.

After drying, with the narrow brush, paint with the darker paint of your choice the reliefs and the points where you want to highlight the weathering. Once again, wait for it to dry very well.


  • Water-based enamel paint is a great option for this type of painting. It has no strong smell and dries quickly. If you like a shinier effect, you can opt for satin enamel, which provides a semi-gloss finish.
  • You can also use craft paints, but for larger pieces it is better to use regular paints, as they yield more. The prices are more affordable and they are sold in larger quantities.
  • You can use any color, but the Provençal style mandatorily uses white as the predominant color. The combination with pastel shades looks beautiful in this style of patina.
  • Avoid brushing too many times on the same spot, because the brush starts to take away the fresh paint that has already been applied. Make back and forth movements, covering one part, and then move on to the other surface, still unpainted.

Step 4: Wearing the part

This is where we do the actual patina effect. After the paint has dried well, sand once more with the steel wool and go on removing the layers of paint, with less force where you want the white to stay, and with more force where you want the wood to come out. This is what will give the wear effect to your object. Some places will be straighter than others, and this is exactly what we do.difference that gives the patina its charm.

If you want to give an even more aged look to the piece, dilute some of your lighter paint in water. With the wide brush, make strokes on the object or piece of furniture and immediately wipe the excess with a dry cloth. It will look like it is staining, but that is exactly the effect it should have.That's the charm of a patina! Once finished, you will see different shades of color, from wood to a lighter color, and the antique effect will be much more apparent.


  • It is not necessary to use varnish, as Provençal patina does not use this finish, but if you must, use water-based varnish.
  • For those who want more options for scraping than steel wool and sandpaper, they can also use wax, paraffin, candles and pieces of glass. The effect that each one of these items provides is different and unique. Glass is a very interesting option, especially for scraping the corners and partitions of the furniture, because the paint comes off very easily. However, don't forget to wear gloves so as not to run the riskof cutting yourself.

Types of patina

The patina has many variations in style, colors, and techniques, and you can even mix them together to achieve the desired effect on the piece of furniture or object you want to work on:

Colored Patina

In the colorful patina, you can combine all sorts of colors you want or even choose just one bright, vibrant color. This way you get an aged but at the same time lively effect. This bookcase served as a drinks corner with space reserved for a wine cellar and everything. The colors gave a creative touch to the furniture and also made a great combination with the chair as well.color.

Demolition patina

The demolition patina is very worn and has no shine. It matches mainly the finish of farmhouse furniture and houses with a more country style, since the mixture of this painting style with the demolition wood makes the environment even more rustic. As you can see in this set of bench and coffee table, in this type of patina, the painting is very marked and even more imperfect.

Aged Patina

As we have already seen, all types of patina cause the effect of aging on the pieces, but the aged patina technique enhances this wear even more, as if it were natural due to the time of use. This patina also allows the combination of many variations of colors and tones, but the ideal is to use tone on tone precisely to enhance the effect of natural wear.The style is perfect for oratories, holy images, chests, reliquaries, picture frames, etc.

Washed Patina

The washed patina, normally, is also made in tone on tone or with complementary tones with a soft difference between them. Choose a different shade of the already painted color and slowly dilute it in water, until it becomes a very watery paint. Apply it over the painted base and wipe the excess with a dry cloth. It is this process that will give the washed effect. This vintage dresser is even morecharming with this light blue patina.

Mexican patina

The Mexican patina is also full of colors. The difference with the colored patina is that here the colors are all blended and mixed at once, the background is very colorful and the coverage is lighter. It is a great option for those who want to highlight the characteristics of a well-worn piece of furniture. Usually the most used colors are red, orange and yellow, but all kinds of colors arewelcome.

Provençal Patina

The Provençal patina, as we have already explained, takes the color white as its main base and is inspired by the charm and elegance of the antique furniture from the Provence region in the South of France. The Provençal style mixes romantic and rustic elements. In this example, we see that besides the patina, the chairs are also part of the same style and the set made a beautiful composition.

36 patina furniture and objects ideas for you to fall in love with

Now check out some pieces with patina for you to get inspired and start making them at home.

1. refurbished tables and chairs

This beautiful set of table and chairs got a special touch with the colorful patina. An interesting detail is the combination of two different designs of chairs, which also received different styles of paintings, giving an even more stripped look to the environment. Besides, the choice of colors is very Brazilian, isn't it?

2. special corner for the plants

This potted plant has been given a very special place. The crate was painted with patina, stuck to the wall as if it were a painting, and even received a beautiful motivational message. Furthermore, the painting with different shades of green matched perfectly with the plant.

3. beautiful combination of mosaic and patina

This demolition wood bench was restored with mosaic and patina. As already explained, the patina of demolition wood has a matte look and makes the rustic style even more charming. Besides the renewed look, the piece left the environment with more expression, good taste, and exclusivity.

4. the veranda became more charming

This antique piece of furniture has gained more life after being painted with an aged patina. On the balcony, it has become a support for plant pots and other decorative adornments. Give your antique furniture an aged, charming, and authentic finish with this technique.

5. the choice of colors makes all the difference

You can choose the colors you want to apply the patina, but always remember to take into consideration the rest of your home decor, so that you can make a harmonious combination. Here, the small sideboard was given a greenish blue color, making a beautiful combination with the decorative objects that rest on its surface.

6. a stylish tray

This tray was painted with the Provençal patina technique. Notice how the edges are well worn. Inside, we can see once again the combination with mosaics and also with decorated tiles, giving even more authenticity to the piece.

7. create original pieces full of personality

Isn't this frame super authentic with the combination of patina and decorative spoons? It can be used as a kind of painting on the wall of the pantry or even be used in the kitchen as a support for dishcloths.

8. the patina made the box even more delicate

Here, the highlight goes to the beautiful color combination of turquoise with gold, making a beautiful old gold effect. These boxes are also very easy to paint and look great with a patina. Besides, they have many uses and can decorate different types of rooms and environments. The one in the photo is used to store tea.

9. the mug collection deserves a special piece of furniture

Mugs are useful and also great decorative accessories, and it's not for nothing that many people collect them, but every good collection deserves a special place for the objects to be well organized and displayed. How about this beautiful piece of furniture with patina taking over the coffee corner? The light color highlighted the mugs even more.

10. a treat for the saints

Oratories and mini chapels are objects that look beautiful with a patina, as they remind us of old times. In this example, the doors of the oratory also received a beautiful and delicate painting of flowers and above, on the cross, a finish in mirror mosaic. The space for prayers was beautiful and charming.

11. the floor can also be painted with patina

A great way to restore that wooden floor that is already peeling and lifeless is to apply a patina, so it will continue with that aged look, but with much more charm and beauty.

12. furniture set to make the living room even more beautiful

In this room, all the wooden furniture received the same patina, forming a very harmonious set. The combination with the wooden floor made the room even more rustic, but at the same time, the black iron details of the furniture gave a more modern look to the place.

13. great idea for plant pots

In this example, succulents and cacti were used to add a touch of rusticity to the patina.

14. a creative idea

If you have a mailbox at home, you can personalize it, making the letter corner super creative and cheerful. Here, besides the patina, the decoupage technique was also used with images related to the travel theme. Isn't it cute?

15. an extra charm for the sewing machine corner

Sewing is a true passion for many people, so why not make this work tool more beautiful and charming? This sewing machine base was given a rustic top made with aged patina. The painting highlighted even more the beautifully designed feet of the table.

16. modern and elegant door

The patina usually gives a more rustic look to the environments, but that's not why it can't be combined with more modern and sophisticated decorations too, it all depends on how you are going to use it. This door, for example, is super elegant and matched perfectly with the patina. The design of the bars, which resembles a leaf, made the choice of the green color even more assertive.

17. a special touch for the sofa sideboard

Sideboards behind the sofa already give the decor a much more modern and authentic look, and when they are painted with patina, the room gains a lot more personality. Here, shades of beige and white were used, one of the most popular combinations of patina.

18. a bath in style

Who doesn't like to relax in a delicious bath after a stressful day? In this bathroom, the bath becomes even more enjoyable because of the beautiful decor. The patina of the countertop cabinet and the mirror frame made the room more welcoming.

19. delicate washed patina oratory

Our Lady of Fatima in terracotta received a special washed patina painting, and the interior of the oratory, made of ecological wood, is finished in pastel shades of blue and green. The piece looks beautiful adorning the wall.

20. a versatile and cheerful bench

The patina is excellent to give a new look to furniture and disguise imperfections. This Venetian style bench was made with reused wood and became much more cheerful and vivid with the yellow color.

21. aged patina in a beautiful coffee corner

The patina can be made on different surfaces, but wood is still the most popular material for this technique, and when it comes to the aged patina, wood is even more popular.

22. cachepot with provençal patina

Cachepots are containers with countless uses, models, colors, and different sizes. Usually, they are used as plant pots and look beautiful in any room of the house. In this example, it was painted with the Provencal patina technique, with well-defined wooden edges and a white color.

23. rustic and striking cabinet

The success of patina is proof that the marks of time are very charming and beautiful. The technique presupposes age, time gone by, and wear and tear. This cabinet looks like it has been badly weathered, but actually the secret to this beautiful effect was caused by the patina technique.

24. with the patina it is possible to give a new face to used furniture

If you like to decorate with a retro air, the patina is a perfect solution to renew the environment while maintaining the vintage touch proposed by this method of painting. Do you have a piece of dull used furniture and don't know what to do with it?

25. an oratory full of flowers

Here we can see another example of combining patina with decoupage. In this case, the patina is very subtle and almost unnoticeable, present only in the details. This more discreet style of patina is also very successful and used by many people.

26. a mirror that stands out

This mirror is the highlight of this bathroom decoration, not only because of its size, but also because of the beautiful green patina wall that accompanies it. This tone made an amazing combination with the countertop and the wooden floor. Speaking of the countertop, it also received a soft patina with shades of green and dark colors, which cause the effect of stained wood.

27. old chest of drawers renewed with a patina

In addition to beautifying and giving a different face to the furniture decoration, the patina also serves to protect the surface that has been painted, creating an attractive and pleasant look. The faded and scratched effect can innovate the finish of a piece of furniture, leaving it with a charming Provencal and aged look.

28. another beautiful support for the little plants

Using hanging flower pots is a very charming way to decorate environments and is becoming increasingly popular, especially in outdoor areas and areas that receive a lot of light. Here, the support was given to this old window frame that became even more beautiful with the colorful patina. Notice that the window next to it was also painted with the same technique.

29. large and harmonious kitchen

This beautiful light-filled kitchen was made charming by the patina on the cabinets, drawers, and windows. Here, the patina effect is very soft, but still eye-catching. The blue used is beautiful and vivid, and went very well with the rest of the decor.

30. iron stand with patina and stencil

As we have seen in most of the examples, patina is often used on wooden furniture and objects, but it can also be done on metal and iron pieces.

31. white patina on the wall of the baby's room

The baby's room got a special touch with this very soft and subtle patina on the wall. The white color is predominant and made a beautiful combination with the different shades of pink. This example shows that this technique also goes very well with children's decoration.

32. a more than stylish country house

The decoration of this country house is extremely tasteful and super cozy. The choice of colors for the patina of the wooden sideboard matched perfectly with the color palette of the room. Really, don't you feel like dropping everything and going there?

33. another example of a patina on the door

Here, we see another example of patina on the door. The rusticity of the patina and the coffee table balance well with the leather furniture already in the space. Is your home door in need of a good makeover? Consider giving it a facelift with patina, the effect is amazing!

34. sustainability and beauty

Market crates can be reused and gain several functions at home. Besides, they also become great decorative elements. In this example, the crate became a bedside table and was given a beautiful white patina painting. This way, you contribute to the environment and also make your home more beautiful and authentic.

35. comfortable and inviting room

The patina can be made in various colors, but the light tones are the most used, because they match different types of environments. It is worth mentioning that the most used color combinations are white with beige, white with brown, and white with black.

How about giving patina a try in your home? Over time furniture becomes worn and ugly and needs a makeover. This is a great technique to renew them and leave them with a romantic and rustic style at the same time. Start with that old piece that was about to be discarded and surprise yourself! Nothing better than practice to achieve results each timeA simple and economical way to renew your decor!

Robert Rivera
Robert Rivera
Robert Rivera is a seasoned interior designer and home decor expert with over a decade of experience in the industry. Born and raised in California, he has always had a passion for design and art, which eventually led him to pursue a degree in interior design from a prestigious design school. With a keen eye for color, texture, and proportion, Robert effortlessly blends different styles and aesthetics to create unique and beautiful living spaces. He is highly knowledgeable in the latest design trends and techniques, and is constantly experimenting with new ideas and concepts to bring life to his clients' homes. As the author of a popular blog on home decor and design, Robert shares his expertise and insights with a large audience of design enthusiasts. His writing is engaging, informative, and easy to follow, making his blog an invaluable resource for anyone looking to spruce up their living space. Whether you're seeking advice on color schemes, furniture arrangement, or DIY home projects, Robert has the tips and tricks you need to create a stylish, welcoming home.