5 Tutorials on How To Distress Furniture and Home Decor

Distressed and worn looking furniture is a favorite for many because of the old-world charm that it brings to a space.   Even though a piece of furniture may be new, there are many ways to distress, age, or antique it’s surface to make it appear “old”.  Depending on the result that you envision, there are different tips, techniques, and methods to achieve the worn look that you may desire.

Similar to my post a few weeks ago on how to paint furniture, I’m going to share some secrets by some Designers / Bloggers on how to achieve the look of distressed and aged furniture.

 1. How to Distress Furniture: Pretty Handy Girl

Brittany a.k.a. Pretty Handy Girl is always sharing new DIY projects to empower others to create their own. In a post that she wrote on Techniques for Antiquing Furniture, she shares information on the tools that she uses to create an aged look, as well as some techniques to achieve a worn, weathered aesthetic.

One of the easiest ways to add years to a piece of furniture is to use sandpaper around the edges and on areas that would naturally get worn with age – basically you want to fast forward the aging process. Brittany also shares techniques on dry brushing, adding stain for a distressed finish, and how to apply a glaze layer over paint.  Her post has some great information and is a must-read!

Read: Aging is so Distressing – Techniques for Antiquing Furniture

2. How to Distress Furniture: Addicted 2 Decorating

My second go-to-gal for tips on aging furniture is Kristi from Addicted 2 Decorating.  She also uses sandpaper as her #1 element to achieve a natural look.  And with a “less is more” approach, the furniture piece will have a more realistic aged and distressed look.  Once the piece is painted, Kristi adds a dark stain to the surface, focusing on all the “cracks and crevices”, then wipes it away with a clean rag. What a great result and she also shares some wonderful tips on painting furniture.

Read: DIY Project Accent Furniture, How to Paint, Distress and Antique a Piece Of Furniture

3. How to Distress Furniture: Serendipity Chic Design

Lisa of Serendipity Chic Design loves to distress furniture and after mentioning it time and time again on her blog, her readers wanted to know how she achieved the look.  So to fulfill their requests, she set out to write an exclusive post on How to Distress Furniture and other Home Decor.

Similar to the other two how-to’s above, Lisa uses sandpaper to give a distressed look, but that is her ONLY tool, and she achieves a great result.  In Lisa’s post, she goes in-depth about the type of sander she uses, as well as how to use the sander.  She shares her techniques for aged furniture, as well as worn home decor accessories.

Read: How to Distress Furniture and other Home Decor

4. How to Distress Furniture: Movita Beaucoup

Like all of the above tutorials, sandpaper is key to achieve a worn look, but Movita of Movita Beaucoup, also suggests using candle wax on the edges where you want to expose the bare wood underneath.  Once the top coat has been applied, the areas with the wax can be scraped off, resulting in an antiqued finish. Movita also shares some thorough information on antiquing furniture and adding a patina finish.

Read: how to antique (and distress) furniture with paint

5. How to Distress Furniture: SAS Interiors

This is me!  If you know me from my real (blog) home at SAS Interiors, you know I venture into alot of DIY projects, and lately it’s been painting furniture.  Last year I transformed an old vintage cabinet and just recently made over a trash-to-treasure side chair, both of which I distressed and “aged”.

Instead of using stain as Brittany and Kristi do, I actually use a simple technique of watering down brown latex paint to use as a glaze overlay. It’s very forgiving and gives a great old, worn look.  Attention to the areas where the piece would be naturally worn is key, as well as in the grooves and crevices.

Read: Cabinet Makeover with Glaze Overlay


Read: Roadside Restoration – Distressed Turquoise Chair

With a few simple steps a piece of furniture can go from new to old within minutes!

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