Megan
Megan
  • Hometalker
  • Paragould, AR

How to Distress Furniture!

3 Materials
$20
30 Minutes
Easy

There are many different ways you can distress furniture! I wanted to share with you all one of my favorite (secret;)) ways to distress furniture. It is simple and adds an authentic distressed look to your furniture.


To begin you will need a piece of furniture that has some raised details. I chose an antique bed for this project.

how to distress furniture


Bed Before
Bed Before

Notice the raised edges and pretty details on the headboard and footboard. This is great for distressing! :)


Once you have your furniture selected you will need to have painted your furniture with 2 coats of a chalk based or mineral based paint. I used Annie Sloan Old Ochre for this project.

post

Supplies for this project:




  1. Steel Wool GRADE 3
  2. Clear Finishing Wax
  3. Shop Towels


After furniture project has been painted with two coats of paint and is dry begin by lightly dipping the steel wool into the furniture wax. You want just a small amount of wax on the steel wool.

post

Begin rubbing the raised edges of your furniture with the wax and steel wool. (Grade 3 steel wool is import! It needs to be course to help remove the paint.)


Rub until you see that paint is being removed. Rub just enough so that you can still see some of the original finish of your furniture project. :)


NOTE: Steel wool is great because it is more pliable than sandpaper. You can make it fit the exact shape of what you are wanting to distress.


Use shop towels to wipe off any dust and excess wax. Keep repeating this process on all raised edges of your furniture. What is great about this method of distressing furniture is that you are also sealing your project while you are distressing! How cool is that!?

picture of distressed bed
picture of distressed bed
distressing top edges of headboard
distressing top edges of headboard

PRO TIP: Add dark wax in creases of furniture for an antiqued distressed look.


After you have distressed all of your raised edges with steel wool you can finish your project by continuing to seal project with clear wax and a shop towel. Make sure to work the wax into the paint and lightly buffing to shine. :)


At this point you should have a pretty distressed bed.

Close up of distressed details. :)
Close up of distressed details. :)

If you'd like to learn more about the secrets of distressing furniture click here!


Would you like to learn more about painting furniture? If so send me a message at megan@letspaintfurniture.com and I'll get you more info! :)

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

31 American Flag Ideas That Will Fill You With Pride
Turn Your Old Junk Into The Perfect Home For Your Plants
31 Space-Saving DIY Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
18 Adorable Container Garden Ideas To Copy This Spring
13 Spectacular Ways To Display Your House Number
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
16 Creative Ways To Upcycle Pallets
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
The Easiest Ways to Grow a Bumper Crop of Tomatoes
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
11 Unexpected Ways to Use Spices in Your Home
21 Insanely Cute Reasons to Add Pineapple to Your Decor
Megan

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Go

Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Kathy Green
    on Aug 6, 2019

    What light & dark wax do you recommend using on white chalk paint? I was asked to paint a old cedar bed

    • Marie
      on Aug 6, 2019

      Annie Sloan Wax is the best I have found...

  • Jeri Walker
    on Aug 6, 2019

    I do a lot of furniture distressing but I do not like to wax after, I like using a paint on sealer so I was wondering if it is necessary to dip the steel wool in wax? I could not do a paint on sealer if it has wax on furniture piece.

    • Megan
      on Aug 6, 2019

      Hi Jeri! I find that dipping the steel wool into the wax gives a higher sheen.


      But if you use a spray on sealer (love those!) then it’s not necessary to dip the steel wool into the wax! You can just do the steel wool distressing then your sealer 😀

  • Joan Stanley
    on Aug 11, 2019

    I have newly painted kitchen cabinets but they were painted with a latex satin paint. Can a dark wax or antiquing technique be used along the edges/crevices? I've heard it can't be done on latex paint.

    • Megan
      on Aug 11, 2019

      I would definitely try it out if it's something you are really wanting! (Do a test spot first.) Wax is a lot thicker. I would use a small brush and a small amount of dark wax. Go along the edges of the cabinet where you are wanting them antiqued and see how it adheres. I prefer Annie Sloan's dark wax. A little will go a long ways. Use shop towels to remove excess wax.


      NOTE: Clear wax will also remove dark wax, so it's good to have that handy incase you accidentally add too much dark wax and need to remove some.


      Also check out Valspars Antiqueing glaze. This works great for cabinets.

Join the conversation

3 of 7 comments
  • Amy5464445
    on Aug 6, 2019

    The real secret to distressing painted furniture is to distress only in those places that would normally have gotten wear from being touched or bumped. The places that wouldn't normally get the wear can be darkened with wax without the distressing, as if those areas were just neglected.

    • Megan
      on Aug 6, 2019

      Yes! 😀 it’s important to finish waxing the entire piece!

  • Eva
    on Aug 31, 2019

Your comment...