It’s funny how old things come back in style. That is certainly true for furniture nowadays—old is in! Distressing furniture is a hot topic!
People pay top dollar for vintage and retro pieces of furniture. Thrift stores, estate sales, and auctions have never been more popular. Want to create your own “distressed” furniture? Check out these tips below:
Sand your piece before you paint it, especially if it has been finished already.
Image from Lovely Etc
Do a base coat of a lighter color and a top coat of a darker color (or darker shade of the same color). When you distress the furniture, the lighter color will peek through. If you want raw wood to show through, just paint one coat.
Image from White Lace Cottage
Use a water-based polyurethane as a finishing coat that will keep the colors looking great and prevent yellowing.
Image from The LilyPad Cottage
For the two-tone look, after applying the base coat, rub candle wax on the areas you want to distress. After applying the second coat, use steel wool to rub the areas that were waxed.
Image from Perfectly Imperfect
Start gently at first with your sander. You don’t want to take off too much paint. But you can always take off more if you need to! Use a power sander and experiment with different grits to get different looks.
Image from Antique Recreation
To get “clean breaks” in the paint, use a liquid paint stripper instead of a sander. Pool and drip it wear you want to strip the paint.
Image from Lemonade Makin Mama
Use a Dry Brush to paint the furniture. Lightly cover the surface, and make sure the brush is VERY dry. This piece from Unexpected Elegance was created using that technique. I love this look for distressing furniture.
Use paint remover and a scraper to achieve this worn look. Get the how-to from Unexpected Elegance.
8 thoughts on “8 Tips for Distressing Furniture”
Thank you for these great tips. I find them quite helpful. Though not a novice to painting furniture, I am to distressing. I really like the distressed look and want to do a three piece wall unit. Explain Dry brush please. Is this a specific type of paint brush? If so, where might I purchase one?
Here is a good site that explains dry brushing and gives images on what she does. http://howtodistressfurniture.net/dry-brush-method
Does anyone know the name of the paint on the hutch behind white distressed dresser? -it looks purple,greyish black,.,? Thank you
Those furniture pieces are quite beautiful. It is actually 8:18 am here. Where do you reside that it is now 12:18 pm? Just curious.
Thank you for the tip. Again here to you for keeping it simple.
I have an old mantle..my grandmother’s. It is a maple. I want to distress it with white. Do I still have to paint a dark and then white?
It all depends on the look you’re going for. Just be careful, sometimes stain can be very tricky to paint over.
Super work! I like it 🙂