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How to Create Distressed Furniture

How to Create Distressed Furniture

Distressed furniture is a popular look for interior as well as exterior design.  The look is meant to create a feeling of age, and many people turn to new distressed furniture as an inexpensive alternative to actual antiques.  As the look becomes more popular, however, the prices on distressed furniture are rising, making it often just as pricey as an aged piece of furniture.  The answer to this problem for anyone who wants the distressed furniture look on a tight budget is of course to create your own right at home.  Fortunately, this is relatively simple and requires little in the way of tools or expertise.

To create a piece of distressed furniture, you will need only a few simple things.  Of course, you will need to select a piece of furniture first.  A second hand store or garage sale is perfect, or take a piece you already own and give it a new look.  You will also need some fine grit sandpaper, some paint including a primer and the color of your choice, a nail or other item with which to roughen the surface, and both a glaze and a sealant.  You will also need some paint brushes to apply the paint.

Start creating your distressed furniture by sanding down the entire surface.  This will help the new paint to adhere better.  Next, you can create an aged look on the surface by scratching and denting it slightly using either a nail and hammer, a chain, or even a screwdriver will work.  Once you are satisfied with this step, apply a thin layer of your primer, which is usually white.  Let it dry and then sand the piece again lightly with find grit sandpaper.  Uneven sanding is actually a good thing when it comes to distressed furniture, so don’t worry too much about perfection!

Next, you can apply the paint color of your choice.  White or off-white tones work great for distressed furniture looks, but you can choose any color that appeals to you.  Try to choose a basic color that doesn’t appear too modern, however, to stick with the antique look.  Let your paint dry thoroughly.  Two coats are usually recommended to provide the best coverage.  When both coats are dry, it’s time for the glaze.

Although the glaze isn’t required, it will really help to create that antique look by bringing out the details of the roughed up areas of the distressed furniture surface.  Choose a brown or gray glaze to really give the piece an aged look.  Apply the glaze using a pint brush and then use a clean dry cloth to wipe off the excess and finish the look.

Finally, you should protect all that work on your newly distressed furniture by using a protective sealant.  Apply the sealant according to the directions on the container and let it dry.  

Once you see how easy it is to create your own distressed furniture at home, there will be no reason to ever overpay for the look again!

Photo courtesy of apartment28.

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