How to Distress Furniture
Knowing how to distress furniture can be a great way to decorate your home for very little money. It is eco friendly because you can use the technique to update furniture that might otherwise be thrown away, and best of all it looks great if you like a cottage, casual, country, or rustic look. You can buy furniture in catalogs and local boutiques that has been distressed but the cost can be quite high. It is a simple thing to custom paint your own furniture to get the look you want at a much more affordable price.
When you know what to look for, and how to create the distressed look you want you can easily fill your home with beautiful custom pieces. You can make designer gifts for your family and friends and you may even consider selling your creations for a little extra money. It just takes a little knowledge, some creativity, and some practice.
Finding Furniture to Distress
The easiest way to find furniture to paint and distress is to check your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, or other thrift store. These stores are usually a treasure trove of inexpensive wood furniture. Remember, you are planning to paint over the existing finish so you don’t need to worry about discolorations, chipped paint, or a finish you really hate. What you are looking for is simply good design and a sturdy frame.
Tips for Choosing Furniture to Distress
- Check the joints and make sure that they are tight.
- Look underneath the piece to double check for weaknesses
- Furniture with carved areas works extremely well with this technique
- For your first piece or two keep it simple.
Choosing the Color for Painted Furniture
Choosing color may be one of the most difficult aspects of distressing the furniture. White or cream is classic and soothing but you may want to try a brighter color for some pop. Depending on the type of décor you have and the colors in your room consider any of the following colors:
- Robins Egg Blue
Once you have decided on a main color you will still need to choose a color or two for the undercoat color. The process of distressing will allow the undercoat to show through the topcoat of paint in some areas. Again this depends a lot on the look that you want.
Supplies Needed for Distressing Painted Furniture
Once you have your furniture and colors chosen you just need to collect a few items and you will be ready to go.
- Rag and gentle household cleaner
- Paint brush
- Fine-grit sandpaper
- Steel wool
- Flat paint in at least two colors
- Paste Wax
How to Distress Furniture Easily
- Take off any loose paint of extra dirt with a light sanding.
- Wash the piece and allow it to dry thoroughly
- Paint the undercoat and allow it to cry completely
- If you are using a second undercoat color paint it and allow it to dry completely
- Paint the top coat over all and allow it to dry until it is set but still tacky
- Using the sandpaper, steel wool, or scraper begin to remove a layer of the topcoat in areas that would naturally wear like the edges and corners, raised carvings, and around knobs and pulls. Don’t make the distressing even, it needs to be random.
- You can use the chain to hit the furniture piece to cause dents and chips.
- Sand over carved areas lightly.
- Allow that to dry completely and then use the paste wax to seal the whole thing.
- Allow the paste wax to dry for two hours and then buff it off.
A New Hobby
Your new distressed furniture is ready to be used and enjoyed. Knowing how to distress furniture may turn into a fun hobby or a side business that allows you to be creative and make a little extra money as well. As you get better at it you can take on bigger projects and experiment with different methods, materials, and techniques.
Whether you want to live in a cottage or a farmhouse having one eye-catching piece of furniture can make a huge impact on your decorating scheme.