Pine furniture is perfect for distressing because the wood is a very soft. Dents, scratches and nicks give furniture character and a feel of homey use. Painting and distressing a table creates a rustic or shabby chic look that adds charm to country rooms. You can achieve this rustic look easily by using faux painting and distressing techniques. Create furniture that fits in with a rustic country farm house, or fashion an end table for an English cottage look.
Check yard sales for gently worn pine tables that you can purchase inexpensively. Craft stores will have unfinished pine end tables or benches you can distress yourself. Used furniture stores are another great resource to find pine furniture that you can refinish yourself.
Create the distressing by using tools to make dents, scratches and worn edges. Use medium-weight chains to hit and then drag across the pine table. Hammers, nails and all sorts of hardware can be used to mark the table. You should try to make the table look worn but not damaged. Try to achieve an irregular pattern of distress.
Apply a dark coating of stain by rubbing the dents and mars with a coated soft cloth. Smooth into the surface of the pine table and polish off excess stain. Coat the table with a lighter wood stain, brushing on with a paint brush and wiping off with a cloth as you go to make a rustic piece.
Layer contrasting paint colours on the table to replicate an antique time-worn look for a country cottage charm. Light paint and dark paint should be alternated. Apply a clear wax or petroleum jelly in between the paint layers, to edges of the table, parts of the legs and even the top where it should look worn. The wax prevents the paint from adhering to the table creating that layered look.
Use fine grain sandpaper to gently buff the table where you want a more used look. Rougher sandpaper can be used for more rustic tables. You can use steel wool to rub off portions of the stain and reveal the base colour underneath the stain or paint.
Paint a water-based polyurethane to seal and protect the finish of the table. Apply two or three coats of sealer, sanding after each layer of sealer is dry. Sealing the table is recommended to protect the porous surface of the pine wood.