In distressing, the object's finish is intentionally destroyed or manipulated to look less than perfect, such as with sandpaper or paint stripper. The technique is sometimes applied to electric guitars, where it is referred to as relicing.

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Antiquing is a more involved form of distressing where the artisan intends to not only age a piece, but also create an antique appearance. In addition to distressing the finish, the artisan may reapply historical paint colors, antique-like faux finish and crackle varnishes. They might also apply period accent details, such as antique knobs on dresser drawers. Several methods involve glazes in which colors blend into crevices to give an antique appearance.

The antiquing process is time-consuming and normally requires many steps to obtain the appearance of an aged and worn finish. In the mass-produced market, it is common for 'distressing' to include faux woodworm holes. These can easily be distinguished from real woodworm holes (as might be present on a genuine antique) as faux woodworm holes will usually be all of identical diameter and vertical into the wood. Genuine woodworm holes, on the other hand, would be of varying diameter and usually not perfectly vertical. Antiquing paints and varnishes are available at craft or can be mixed at home. New layers of paint can be watered down before they are applied to allow the wood and other layers to show through or to look more like white washing.

After any new paint or layers are applied, the corners and features can be painted slightly lighter or sanded down as desired to appear worn. Steel wool can be treated with vinegar to create an acid oxide, then brushed across a stripped and sanded surface of the piece to create a vintage stain effect. Can we just talk about that chair color for a second?

The paint is all chipped away, the seat is nearly falling apart, and it looks like it has been out there for decades.

I decided it was time to have a cute outdoor chair of my own!

I started by wiping down the entire chair with a wet rag to remove any dirt, dust, and (ew) spider webs. This chair only needed one good coat of paint… yay!

I like to keep a paper plate nearby and barely dip a paint brush into the wax, then wipe the majority off onto the plate before applying it to the furniture. This way you have better control of how much wax you use and don’t get dark spots that won’t blend evenly. Once you brush the wax onto an area, buff the wax into the paint with an old rag.

I applied wax to the entire chair, but added extra in the corners and crevices and anywhere the chair would normally see a lot of aging. Below you can see an example of what the chair looks like with and without wax. Just run the scraper along edges and corners to remove some of the paint and expose the wood underneath. Focus on areas that would become worn naturally and try to be random about your distressing. It’s also a matte finish (as the name suggests) so it won’t ruin your gorgeously antique finish with a super high gloss look. The boys love to come sit here in the shade when they need a break from running around outside.

I feel like it’s thoughtful, little spaces like this that really make a house feel like a home!

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It is a light, light blue…….weathered…definitely neutral!

I want a rocking chair like this on the front porch next to a pitcher of sweet tea. Is it holding up the summer elements well?

I can’t wait to paint them and put them outside. Paint finishes are popping up everywhere now. Whats so amazing for me personally is to see how the members are able to use the techniques to create their own custom beauties!!


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Then again at the feet… where the condensation would settle over time… the layers of blue fading back from the “sun”…. Be inspired to create your own fun and decorative artwork!

Georgia, who was a fantastic textile artist. Rather than swapping the furniture out for something inherently more rustic, a few finishing techniques will get that bright white furniture looking a bit more worn and loved, matching the rest of the room's decor. Older children may even want to help with some of the techniques, such as distressing the wood, which allows them to do exactly what they're usually told not to do with furniture: beat it up. To make the wear look natural, sand it with a fine- or medium-grit sanding block on areas that would typically become worn first, such as the armrests and seat on a rocking chair. Sanding is a simple process for aging a piece of furniture -- simply stop when the piece looks as worn as you'd like. A sock full of heavy nuts and bolts swung at the project creates random dents that would occur over many years of use. A hammer or heavy chain creates a similar effect. This technique looks even more effective when paired with one or more of the others. Recreate that old varnish look by thinning honey yellow latex paint with water or glaze, then brushing it over the entire piece. A rag wipes off much of the paint while it's still wet -- just enough to make the paint look yellowed. A dark brown paint or glaze mixture using the same technique can create the look of weathered wood that has been left outdoors for a while. To recreate that look, rub a candle over the entire piece of furniture, then paint it again with another color, such as yellow or an antique white. Layer as many colors, or even variations of white, as you'd like, each with wax in between. Sanding through the layers on areas of typically heavy wear shows the various paint colors, or even bare wood, underneath, much like an old piece of furniture that has been in constant use for generations. So instead of selling that old dresser at your yard sale this summer, why not transform it into a modern, vintage inspired piece?

Keep reading to see some hand painted furniture makeover ideas. Perhaps these photos will inspire you to breathe new life into an older piece of furniture in your home.


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Paint it white, black or a even a bright color.

We also paint kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities and laundry rooms.

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You know those times when hubby is out of town on business, and you decided its the perfect time to paint all your bedroom furniture because you know asking for forgiveness is way easier than asking for permission?

My favourite additive for latex paint is plaster of paris but the product you used looks interesting as well. And also the paint color you chose as well please.

I have black bedroom set and ant to paint it white and distress.

I have to match the island in our new house – our builder left us some paint.

I do the same steps as above using the paint on its own without any additives?

You can get a sander/deglosser that will allow the paint to stick to the cabinets.

I live in a 2 br aparment but that hasnt stopped me from modest farmhouse decor!

and have told him many times how lucky he is!

I love to paint furniture and walls, and outdoor items and the dog if he isn’t quick!

A womans got to do what a womans got to do!

I seal the furniture with somthing and then paint a coat of paint that will be under the white?

Doing a dresser now but you have inspired me to do my living room set, it has that same brown finish.

I definitely would not paint 100 year old furniture!

I was just going to use chalk paint but you mentioned that you mix it with regular paint?

I have almost the exact same bedroom set and can’t wait to get started. What was the ration you mixed the chalk paint with the latex paint?

Just finished painting a bedroom set but it feels tacky and unset. The eggshell and satin are just the sheen in the paint.

You can also use any color that you want, that will not change the paint effect.

You listed one recipe at the beginning and another in the questions/answers. Its the 1/3 water 1/3 plaster of paris and 1 cup paint.

I noticed that you did not mention anything about sanding the entire pieces after painting.

I have seen people paint things white before and then put polyurethane on it and then it turn yellow later on. Getting ready to do a master bedroom redo this winter!

I have only painted end tables with chalk paint and did not buff them after the wax!

I just left it how you have it inthe oicture with your sister?

I would recommend doing one coat of paint first, and see if you like it.

I have, the is wood but does have paint and a gloss finish.

I want to paint my daughters trundle bed we got for free. Yes you could totally leave it white and not distress it. That is totally up to how you want it to look. Have you tried any projects made from this product?

If they are raw, then this would definitely work the same!

If it is has a finish on them, you may need to rough them up a bit before painting depending on the finish. Regarding recipe, in reply’s 2 different recipes are cited.

I have is how has it held up since painting?

Love the post and gorgeous transformation!

This layered, but simple technique gave us that look. It’s simple, and allows for a lot of customization when it comes to the look you are trying to create, but basically it only involves a couple of steps. Stain the wood (or leave it raw for a light finish). Mix 2 parts white paint (flat latex or matte acrylic both work fine) with 1 part water. Brush on the water/paint mixture in the direction of the wood grain. Use a clean rag to wipe off the paint in the direction of the wood grain. The next step is to brush on the water/paint mixture. When you brush the paint on, be sure to brush in the direction of the grain, and to complete the brushing on the whole project at once. When wiping off the paint, you want to wipe in the direction of the wood grain. If you are looking for a lighter finish, let the paint dry, and then repeat the whitewashing steps again to lighten it up. The next steps are optional depending on the type of finish you’d like. After the paint is dry you can sand off more of the white to give the wood a more weathered look. Depending on where your piece will go, you may need to add a topcoat to the wood.

I love the clean, yet weathered and rustic look whitewashing can give to wood. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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