How to Distress Wood Furniture

A weathered piece of wood furniture can add such character to a room. Here’s how to create your own distressed wood.

Do you have a new piece of wood furniture or other wood article that needs some added character? Why not give your furniture piece a worn, distressed appearance? This look can transform a bland piece of wood into an antique replica. All you need to distress wood is a few simple tools and a little elbow grease. Here’s how to distress wood furniture:

How to distress wood furniture: Locate your wood item and tools.

You can pick up a wooden item to distress at a yard or garage sale for pennies on the dollar. This is a good way to experiment on a piece that you haven’t paid top dollar for to perfect your technique. For tools, you’ll need a hammer and a chisel and some heavy chain as well as any other metal tools that can create marks on wood.

How to distress wood furniture: Make distress marks on your wood.

This is the creative part of distressing furniture. It helps to have studied a few pieces of older furniture ahead of time to see where the most obvious areas of wear are. This is where you’ll want to concentrate your distress marks. Using your hammer, pound holes randomly along the surface of your piece to create visible signs of wear. Follow up by using a chisel to make a twisting motion across the grain of the wood. Still using your chisel, chisel the corners of your piece and then sand them lightly with 100 grit sand paper to round them off.

To create even more character, use your chain to beat warps into your wood to give it that aged, weathered look. This is a great way to relieve frustrations! Be sure to wear protective eye goggles when using any of these tools. There are a variety of other random tools you can use to make distress marks on your wood piece including a pizza pie wheel, an old padlock, or any other heavy metal item that’s touch enough to make marks on your wood.

How to distress wood furniture: Apply wood stains.

To highlight the distress marks, you can use wood stains or acrylic paint. First thoroughly clean the distressed surface and allow it to dry. Apply wood stain or acrylic paint using a damp cloth, completing one small section before moving on to the next one. Use a damp cloth to remove some of the paint or stain, leaving just enough to highlight the distressed areas. Some stain and paint colors which work well include browns and deep reds, although you can use whatever color you wish. Allow the paint to thoroughly dry before proceeding.

How to distress wood furniture: Apply a protective finish

To preserve your new distressed, painted surface, apply a clear acrylic finish or sealer.

Once your finish is dry, you can enjoy your new piece of distressed furniture. Don’t be surprised if everyone thinks it’s an antique!

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Published in: Do-It-Yourself


RSSComments: 6  |  Post a Comment
  1. Any tips if the furniture is already stained and finished?

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  3. Any tips if the furniture is already stained and finished?


  4. Hi, this is really very nice post.Want to know more about the furniture design.
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  5. its all about distressed furniture.

  6. It’s very necessary the last thing to do for distressing furniture is to apply a coat of paste wax. It’s best to use a dark paste wax to create an antique look. The wax brings out those worn areas created by the distressing process.

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