How Can Wood Distressing Improve the Look of Painted Furniture?


Quick Answer

Distressing improves the look of painted furniture by adding an antique look to an otherwise normal piece. It can both transform the piece and change the look of an entire room.

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Full Answer

To distress painted furniture, choose a shade of paint lighter than the piece's original color and thin with one teaspoon of water at a time. The texture of the paint should be a thin wash, but it should not bubble when applied. Use a foam brush to apply the wash. To make the piece look more distressed, wipe a few wet spots with paper towels before allowing the paint to dry for at least 24 hours. Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the piece's edges and corners and add to the distressed look.

To create the distressed wood look on an unfinished item, first sand the item in several random spots to make the surface uneven. This allows the uneven portions of the item to absorb more paint than the even portions, adding dimension to the color and increasing the distressed look.

Choose two colors of paint; one should be darker than the other. Flip the item upside down and apply the darker paint to experiment with the desired color and thickness. Upon achieving the ideal look, paint the rest of the piece in the same manner. Apply the paint thinly enough to show the furniture's natural cracks and grain. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours, and then use the process listed above for distressing painted furniture.

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