How to Paint a Distressed Finish

What You'll Need
Fine-grade sandpaper
Cotton Cloth
Two colors of latex enamel paint
Foam brush or regular paintbrushes
100-grit sandpaper
Screw driver
Polyurethane clear glaze

A distressed finish is one that may have any of the following: dents, rubbed edges, gouges, pin or nail holes, splits, rasp-marks, cuts, paint spatters and specks, brush-marks and blackened areas. Distressing is not a manufacturer’s defect or damage done to the furniture. A piece of furniture is given a distress finish to make it look like it has been used and built many years ago practically making it look like an antique.

Step 1: Choosing Your Color

There are ten textured base coat colors which are common to such a finishing. These are peppercorn (black), chocolate (brown), mustard (yellow), paprika (red), colonial blue (blue), cobblestone (sage), bayberry (green), putty (beige), parchment (cream) and wisteria (white). As you can see, the combination of the above mentioned colors is endless.

Step 2: Sanding Your Piece of Furniture

Take your fine-grade piece of paper and make sure to sand your piece of furniture lightly so as to prepare the surface for painting. Take a clean cotton cloth and wipe the surface to remove any dust caused by sanding the piece of furniture.

Step 3: Applying The Enamel Latex Paint

Take one color of your latex enamel paint and apply it to your piece of sanded furniture. After this first coating has dried completely, apply another coat of the same colored latex enamel paint. Leave this coat of enamel latex paint to dry thoroughly. Now, choose a different colored latex enamel paint; this will be your top coat for the piece of furniture you are painting. Apply a third coat with the different colored enamel latex paint and leave to dry completely.

Step 4: Focusing On Edges

Take the 100-grit sand paper, and sand the piece of furniture in a random fashion. This is important as it will reveal some of the base color paint. It is also important to focus on the edges and corners of the furniture where natural wear and tear would normally occur. Take the piece of clean cotton cloth once you are done and rub the surface to get rid of any dust or dirt on the piece of furniture.

Step 5: Distress Your Furniture

Take your hammer, screw driver and chains and hit the furniture randomly at different spots. Try to hit all over. Do not hit hard enough to break the whole piece. You must do this so that the furniture will continue to look distressed and have an older and antique look to it.

Step 6: Top Coat

Take your Polyurethane clear glaze and apply one coat to the piece. The purpose to apply this is in order to protect the finish. Allow to dry completely and if desired you may apply another coat.

Painting a distressed finish yourself is worthwhile in terms of money and personalization. In this way you are transforming a piece of furniture you already have at home and make it look old and antique yourself, rendering it much cheaper and at the same time gaining the satisfaction of doing it yourself.