Add old-world charm to a piece of new furniture or refurbish an older piece with a distressed finish. Creating a distressed look is easy to achieve with the right tools. Distressed furniture goes well with many decorating styles, including French country, cottage style and rustic country.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Latex paint in a dark color
- Wax crayon
- Crackling medium
- Latex paint in a light color
- Clear varnish
Remove any hardware, such as handles, clasps and hinges.
Using a fine grit sandpaper, lightly sand the surface to remove any old paint or debris.
Clean the piece with warm soapy water.
Take a wax crayon and rub it along the edges of the piece of furniture, and along the corners, where it would normally get wear and tear.
Apply a base coat of dark paint, such as black, hunter green or navy blue. Let dry completely. Apply a second coat if needed.
Wipe off the crayon wax using a damp cloth.
Apply a crackling medium found at most paint supply stores. Follow the manufacturers instructions.
Apply a coat of light paint, such as white, ivory or pastel over the crackling medium. Let dry completely. Seal with a coat of clear varnish.
Tips and warnings
- If the piece of furniture you are distressing is made of very old, porous wood (it has the look and feel of driftwood), you may want to spray it with a coat of matte acrylic sealer before painting.
- Make sure you work in a well-ventilated area to avoid harmful paint fumes.