Painting and Distressing a Kitchen Table

Written by jophiel aurora
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Painting and Distressing a Kitchen Table
Add character to a plain dining-room table by distressing it. (dining room table image by Katrina Miller from

Although many people spend a lot of time searching for new furniture to replace old, worn-out pieces, some want their new furniture to look old or dated. Distressed furniture is available at antique shops and furniture stores, but prices are usually on the high end. For example, a distressed kitchen table could cost you a few thousand dollars, depending on the store. Save time and money by ageing the table yourself with distressing furniture techniques. These techniques, using paint, wax and other materials, give your kitchen table a weathered look.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Damp cloth
  • Flat latex paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Steel wool
  • Scraper
  • Screwdrivers
  • Paste wax with stain

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  1. 1

    Sand the table with the fine-grit paper and wipe away all loose paint particles with a cloth.

  2. 2

    Paint the surface area of the table with one or two coats of flat latex paint. Use two colours if desired. The bottom colour will show through the top layer after distressing it, adding more character to the table. Allow the paint to dry.

  3. 3

    Remove the paint with sandpaper, steel wool, a screwdriver or a scraper. Each tool with give a different look to the furniture piece. It is your choice to weather only the areas in which you would normally see a lot of distress such as the legs or edges, or you may distress the entire table.

  4. 4

    Apply the paste wax with stain with a brush. A short-bristle brush makes it easier to cover the table with the wax. If you do not have a small brush, cut the bristles to about 3 inches. Allow the wax to dry for two to three hours.

  5. 5

    Wipe the finished table with a damp cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • There are many ways to distress furniture. Use your car keys, nails, screws, scissors, and hammer. All of these tools will give a worn-out look to a kitchen table.
  • Use an iron to remove the wax from the table by placing paper towels over areas. The melted wax absorbs into the paper towels, leaving a rustic, dated appearance.
  • Elevating the table by placing each leg on a wooden block may make it easier to paint and distress.
  • If you are a beginner and this is your first distressing project, you may want to avoid distressing expensive, new or antique furniture.

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