How Do You Distress Furniture?

How Do You Distress Furniture?

Distress furniture by sanding the piece of furniture, adding a base coat of paint, sanding out a distressed look and applying a base coat. The timing on this project varies according to how big the item is. You need a piece of furniture, satin latex paint, sandpaper, tack cloth, polyurethane and painting tools.

  1. Sand the entire piece of furniture

    Lightly sand the piece of furniture unless the furniture already has a finish on it. In this case, you need to sand the finish off. Use the tack cloth to wipe the piece free of dust.

  2. Paint the piece of furniture

    Paint the piece of furniture with a base coat of satin latex paint.

  3. Sand areas of the piece of furniture

    After the base coat is dry, sand those areas of the piece that naturally start to wear. How much you sand depends on the exact look you want. For a lightly-distressed look, sand with a gentle touch. For a more dramatic look, sand the piece even more. However, be cautious not to over-sand the item and cross the line to shabby.

  4. Wipe away the dust

    Use the tack cloth to wipe away the dust.

  5. Add the finish

    Apply a coat of polyurethane finish to protect the piece, if desired.