Giving Furniture a Distressed Look

I have an older bedroom set that is very dark and very worn. I would like to give it a lighter, maybe antique look. I was thinking of spraying it with an off white or ivory color. To get some of the dark to show through do I need to wipe it before it dries or sand lightly afterwards? Then maybe put a faux marble laminate on the tops of the items.

Can anyone give me suggestions on how to achieve this look that is with the easiest techniques possible? I don't know the name of the technique I am striving for but have seen it often. You know, sort of a whitewashed look with the old peaking out. Thanks.


Nelwyn from Bunkie

September 12, 20080 found this helpful

I do this all the time and do it as a job sometimes. Paint it the color you want ivory or white. Sand in the areas you would normally see wear and tear corners and around the doors and sides top bottoms with sand paper. Then if you want add old English furniture polish as a glaze wipe it on and off. Real quick color stays in the distressed areas. Although I prefer the paint and light sanding!

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September 15, 20080 found this helpful

I've done this, with success. FIRST and VERY IMPORTANT, make sure the furniture piece is completely clean, sand rough spots, if necessary, wiping off the dust, before you begin to paint. Otherwise, the paint may not adhere properly.


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September 12, 2008 Flag
0 found this helpful

I would like to paint some old pine bedroom dressers and give it a distressed look. Any ideas on how to do this?

Jo from Garnerville, NY


Giving Furniture a Distressed Look

I have distressed pine by hitting it with a thick linked (Clean) chain and then painting it. You can also sand edges and other marks into the paint to make it look worn. Use a very fine sandpaper. (03/13/2006)


Giving Furniture a Distressed Look

I paint the first coat either black, burgundy or brown. The second coat is white. I then sand it using a hand sander until the under color comes out. I sand the surfaces and the edges. Then I wipe it down with a damp cloth to get all the dust off. Then I stain it leaving the stain on heavier in some areas and lighter in others.


Hope this helps. (03/13/2006)

By Annette

Giving Furniture a Distressed Look

Distress it with several different items and a hammer, such as hitting a nail on it's side, hitting a washer, chain, hammer marks, bang it with items most normal furniture gets banged with like a pot or a pan, tearing a little spot of grain off, etc. Another way is to use a crackling finish which you can buy at a paint store or home improvement store. you put on a base coat, then an over finish that, when it dries, it cracks and crazes, giving it an old look. (03/14/2006)

By Pops

Giving Furniture a Distressed Look

You could rub it with a heavy steel wool to make small grooves and ruff up the finish. (03/14/2006)

By srhp69

Giving Furniture a Distressed Look

I have to laugh when I hear about "distressed furniture". When my kids were little, they took care of it for free! Now there's an idea, borrow a few kids from the neighborhood! Good luck. (03/14/2006)

By Joankay

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In This Article
Giving Furniture a Distressed Look
Home and Garden Home Improvement Furniture RefinishingSeptember 12, 2008
Furniture polish being sprayed on wood furniture.
Removing Furniture Polish Build Up from Wood Furniture
Hands polishing a wood table
Cleaning Wood Furniture
Antique Wood Furniture with Sticky Film
Cleaning Wood Furniture With a Sticky Film
Distressed Furniture
Giving Furniture a Distressed Look
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