What Type Of Paint To Use For Distressing Wood Furniture How to Distress Your Furniture

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How to Distress Your Furniture

The question I am probably most often asked is “How do you distress furniture and make it look like that?” So follow my step-by-step guide and get distressing your furniture!

What you need:

  • Medium grade sandpaper
  1. Once you have applied a couple of coats of chalk paint to your piece of furniture, the paint will need to be waxed to protect it. Before the wax dries (because it will dry very hard) dig out some sand paper and fold or cut in to manageable sized pieces.
  2. Starting in an inconspicuous area, practice how hard you need to rub the sandpaper along an edge to sand the paint off to reveal the wood beneath. Working in a slightly circular motion, rather than in one direction, sand along all the edges and corners that you want to distress – you are trying to make it look naturally worn and knocked with age, so distress it anywhere you think will get bashed and worn as it is used. You can also highlight any dents or holes in the wood by distressing those too. If the paint just looks scratched, try pressing a bit harder with the sandpaper. N.B. It is possible to distress your furniture before applying wax, but this creates a lot of dust and you get a more authentic distressed look after waxing as the wax softens the paint slightly.
  3. People always ask me “Have I distressed it enough?”. My answer is always the same “It is entirely up to you!”. I don’t mean to be unhelpful, but the distressed look is all about personal taste so distress it until you are happy with the look you have achieved. The more furniture you distress, the braver you will get!
  4. When you have finished sanding and distressing, you will see that the paint looks slightly paler around the areas you have sanded because you have also sanded away the wax as well in the process. Using a soft cloth, wipe a little more wax along these areas to even the colour up, and you will see the colour of the wood shows through a little more too.
  5. Stand back and give yourself a well earned pat on the back!

Now you have completed your distressed furniture, you can put it in pride of place for your family and friends to enjoy. Remember you can distress any painted furniture and give it a vintage look.

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