Perhaps if you describe a bit about what your going for as far as looks, many folks here will come up with some great ideas, better then mine. But here goes my ideas.
There are all sorts of methods used to distress furniture. What is done would depend upon what or how much you want it distressed.
It can be mimicked by paint, using different painting methods, Applying a grease or Vaseline in spots before you paint then wipe it off once dry will prevent the paint from adhering to the surface. Giving it a worn look, Or if you are looking for a more beat up look, you can strike the surface using a chain, or any hard object to dent the wood.
In extreme cases you could even use a small hand axe to cut little chips out of the wood.
Basically you just use your imagination and you can get all sorts of great looks.
Its funny, for years we sanded out all the marks, bumps and scratches to make things look nice and shiny, now were beating our stuff up again.
The last thing would be to put it in a teenagers room and let them have a party. I am sure that will make it look more natural.