I have a new love: antiquing glaze. It is easy to use and instantly adds like 100 years of tasteful grime to any piece. I'll explain my methods and show you this (as yet unfinished) jewelry box.
I used Valspar Antiquing Glaze which I applied straight from the bottle with a flat paintbrush to get it into all the crevices, then used a damp rag (okay, t-shirt sleeve) to wipe away the excess. I also made sure that I wiped with the wood grain to make it look more authentic. the glaze is workable for about 15 minutes, which is more than enough time to get it how you want it. Lastly, seal it with your finish of choice. I used Minwax Paste Finishing Wax. It is that simple!
A couple hints:
1. make sure your paint is dry before glazing (I'm starting with the obvious one here)
2. Start with more than you think you'll need and gradually keep wiping it away
3. A damper rag is better than drier
A bottle of the stuff will set you back a whopping 8 bucks, and even if you apply it generously, it will last a long time. I've done 2 end tables, a dresser, and a jewelry box with only about a quarter of the bottle.
I'll show more pictures of this box when I have knobs for the drawers and door, and I've relined the drawers. Stay tuned!