How to paint 'distressed' furniture

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Distressed furniture is a way to take newer furniture and make it look old or weathered. This type of look is most often found in shabby chic and French country decor. Many speciality stores and boutiques sell distressed furniture that is highly priced. This type of furniture can easily be reproduced with a little paint and a few techniques.

Apply painters tape and newspaper to cover fabric or areas that won't be treated. This will prevent staining and damage.

Take the furniture piece and sand lightly. Sand just enough to get the original glossy finish off the piece. This will allow the new paint to adhere well.

Put on safety glasses and a heavy jacket to protect yourself from backlash of any heavy object while swinging and beating.

Fill a large sock or small pillowcase with moderately heavy items such as a handful of nails, nuts and bolts. Different items will create unique dents and dings. Begin to hit or beat the furniture briskly in corners and around edges---this aids in a distressed look.

Distress the furniture piece further with a chisel and wire brush. Take the chisel and add small indents to edges and the top surface. Take the wire brush and create grooves and crevices.

Add a coat of paint by taking the brush and covering the entire piece thoroughly. Allow to dry completely.

Sand the entire piece lightly---sand off more around the edges and corners. Wipe with a damp cloth and allow to dry.

Place a thin coat of tinted wood stain to the entire piece---this will create an antiqued look. Allow to dry.

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