Learn to get that Restoration Hardware look with this easy tutorial on how to paint antique books! I saw some amazing antique books on Instagram as part of Christmas decor. They were outside my budget, but I wondered if I could age my own and have it look half way decent.
I grabbed an old book off the shelf and some chalk paint that I was using on another project and got to experimenting. This method is awesome because you control the look. It allows for artistic interpretation. Some books I laid the paint on thick, some I almost dry brushed. Then a quick swipe with sandpaper gives them even more of a vintage look.
I am in love with books in any form, but sometimes the cover just doesn’t jive with the look I am going for. This is an easy and cheap way to transform any book into a neutral piece of decor.
Steps to Antique books with paint
- Grab a selection of old or new books that you want to antique.
- Apply a layer of chalk or other matte finish paint to the areas you would like to cover. It’s ok to experiment here. If you apply a little too much, it can be sanded right back down. If it’s too light of a coverage, you can layer the paint colors.
- Be sure to apply paint around the edges and on the spine. Clean up any drips.
- If you want a lighter coverage, then water down the paint.
- To get a really light coverage, you can “dry brush”. Dip your brush in to the paint, but then dab off the excess on a paper towel or the plate.
- Let dry completely.
- Use a fine grit sandpaper to bring out the details in the book or expose the edges for a more rustic look.
- Apply a thin layer of wax, whether you want clear or dark wax for more of an antique look.
Tips for antiquing books
- Sometimes just cutting the paper off the spine of an old book will reveal that beautiful old paper underneath and paint wont even be needed.
- Sanding a little bit can really transform the look of the book.