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How To Distress Furniture

If you are hoping to fit out your home with an interesting array of furniture, there are many ways to go about it. One way which is becoming increasingly popular is to try and get hold of old-looking furniture which has been used a lot in the past. However, you don’t have to actually go and source it – you can instead simply buy cheap furniture and then distress it in such a way that it takes on the worn appearance that you are looking for. In this article, we will look at the process of distressing furniture in some detail, so you know exactly what you need to do.

Prepare An Area

First of all, you are going to need a space in which you work, so make sure that you find somewhere that you can use. It needs to be spacious enough and clear of debris and random items, and for safety reasons should be away from others. If you have a big shed, that could be ideal, or even just outside in the garden.
Distressed Minimal Furniture
Distressed Office Chair

Sand & Clean

Then you need to get your sandpaper and sand the piece in question down pretty well. For unfinished pieces, only a light sanding is going to be necessary. But pieces that have been painted or otherwise finished will need more of a sanding. You might also want to soften edges, if you like. Afterwards, wipe the whole thing down with a rag to clean it of dust.


Then it’s time to paint the item. This is where you can start to have fun with it. As you are looking to make it seem as though it has been painted before, you will need paint of two different colours so that the base colour shows through clearly. Or if you want wood to peek through, just use one colour instead and paint thinly.


Now comes the actual distressing of the piece. It’s very simple to do, though in some cases it can take some time, depending on the size of the piece and your patience. You will need to wait for the paint to be dry, and then distress the whole thing with sandpaper or steel wool. It’s really up to you how far you go with it, but be sure to stop from time to time so you can observe it and make sure you are not going too far. Then you can wipe it down with a rag again to remove the dust and dirt.

Apply A Stain

For an extra little touch, you might want to think about applying a stain to the item. This will give it more of an antiqued look, and it is a simple matter to do. Make sure to clean it again afterwards, however, or else it is going to stick dust to it.

There you have it – now you can distress any wooden item of furniture you like for that old world kind of look in your home.


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