How Do You Distress Wood?

How Do You Distress Wood?

To distress wood, beat up the wood, sand the edges, stain the wood, add cup rings and apply a coat of paste wax to the wood. Distressing wood takes about 18 hours from start to finish and requires wood, various tools, stain, brushes and paste wax.

  1. Distress the wood

    Strike the wood with a canvas bag filled with screws, nuts and bolts. Dent the wood randomly with an awl. You can also rub gravel into the wood to scratch it.

  2. Sand the edges

    Wear down the corners and edges of the wood with a sander. Use an electric sander for big jobs.

  3. Stain the wood

    Apply a coat of stain on the wood following the package directions. Be sure to carefully get stain into all of the dents and scratches of the wood for a nice color variation. Allow the stain to dry for at least 12 hours.

  4. Add cup rings

    Use a round metal container, such as an empty vegetable can, to produce cup rings on the wood. Fill the container with hot water, and moisten the bottom of the container. Allow the wet container to sit on the wood for at least 10 minutes.

  5. Finish with paste wax

    Apply a layer of paste wax in a dark color to the wood.