How to Distress Furniture? | Step-by-step Guide

Furniture plays a vital role in the interior design of our homes. Choosing the right furniture and its style can make or break the entire look of your room decor. Distressing furniture must be a hobby for many people who want to do adventurous things.

The main reason for making distressed furniture is that you want to give handmade furniture to your furniture. If you have ancient furniture in your home, then you can perform various operations on them for creating unique and amazing things out of this wasted stuff.

Distressed furniture refers to the pieces that have been damaged and give an older look while placed in your home. You can give an aged and old look to your distressed furniture. By applying different tips and tricks to them. In today’s article, we will discuss how to distress furniture?

Materials That Are Helpful For Distressing Furniture

We can distress paint wood to make them look aged or older by using materials like:

  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • Concrete
  • Plaster
  • Stone
  • Drop cloths
  • Polyurethane
  • Candle
  • Paint Brushes 
  • Paint 
  • Metal, etc.

6 Steps To Refurbish The Distressed Furniture

You can make your furniture look old and age by distressing it using various methods. We will discuss the top 6 ways to distress your furniture. Let’s give the painting wood furniture a distressed look by using different methods in which you will learn how to make something look rustic. 

1. Use Candle Technique

Distress Furniture by candle technique

How to get a distressed paint look? This method can also be called the most versatile technique for distressing wooden furniture. This will give the best results when you apply it to the surface of the furniture perfectly. You can also make a single or multilayer to apply this technique.

You must have to analyze which layer should be placed at the bottom and which one at the top. Now apply the paint at random places on the furniture surface. After this, take the candle and start rubbing it at random places on the wooden furniture.

Again, paint the furniture with another color for giving the next later to it. After this, get a rag and scrub the surface by applying so much pressure. This will make the paint visible at the places where you are rubbing the candles.

2. Use Sanding Technique

sanding techique for furniture distresstin

It is the most simple and easy technique for distressing furniture and gives a sanded paint look. This technique can be used on both painted and unpainted wooden retro style furniture. You have to Sand some areas on the wood to let the paint off of it.

Sand at random areas on the wooden furniture to make it bumped and scratches which give the natural look just like the old furniture look. You can also repeat this process for painting the specific areas again and again and leave each layer to dry. You can also use this method for distressed cabinets painting.

3. Use Wet Paper Technique

Use Wet Paper Technique distressing furniture

Using wet paper for distressing the furniture is the best technique ever. You can also use vaseline for that purpose. Pasting the wet papers at various places on the surface of the furniture will make the paint to be damped and lifted off easily. You can also use vaseline instead of these wet papers.

You can give different shapes to these papers and also cut them in various sizes for giving a unique look. Dip these papers into the water and place them at random places on the furniture surface.

Before the papers get dry, apply the paint to the wooden furniture and carefully take off each piece of the paper from the surface of the furniture. You can do it even if the paint gets dried or not.

4. Use Scraper Technique

"how to distress furniture" use scrapper technique for

This method is like the sand technique. The only difference is that using the sand helps to remove more wood and paint to expose the raw wood of the furniture. It will remove the paint before it gets dry and give a weathered look to the wood.

To apply this method, you have to paint the wooden furniture and leave it for a few minutes. Before the paint gets dry, take the scraper and scrape off some paint from the surface randomly.

5. Use Rinsing Technique

Distress Furniture by rinsing technique

This technique is used for giving an elegant and soft-aged look to your wooden furniture to give a perfect furniture arrangement. This technique is best for applying to the farmhouse’s furniture. Paint the wood and let this paint for a few minutes to get dry.

Before the paint dried completely, keep the furniture under the running water and gently wipe the surface by using a rag. Wash off a few places of the furniture to give it a unique texture to it. This technique is used for giving an aged barn style to the furniture.

6. Pouring Paint Technique

Distress Furniture by pouring paint technique

It is the easiest way, as it can be done by using a single step to distress your furniture for giving an old and ugly look. It will give your wooden furniture a whitewashed barn look that is best for the textures of various surfaces.

This method is best for both smooth and textured surfaces. To apply this technique, follow these instructions:

  • Get the white paint.
  • Then pour it into the bowl and mix with the rags and cups.
  • Now take a rag and dip it into the solution you have made.
  • Then apply paint to the furniture surface by wiping the surface with the dipped cloth.
  • You can use a paintbrush for this purpose.
  • After this, repeat the process by adding 2 to 3 more layers to it. 

Tips For Distressing The Furniture Perfectly

There are some important tips for you to get beneficial results while distressing the furniture:

  • If you made a mistake and painted the surface with the finished sealer, was, or lacquer that you can use a little sand or apply fresh paint on it for giving a balanced look.
  • You should not be afraid of getting too messy while distressing the furniture because you will always have the option of painting the new layers over these ugly spots to give it a new look. 
  • Keep practicing on the waste stuff for becoming an expert in distressing the actual furniture. 


This is all about distressing the furniture. We have discussed various methods for helping you to distress the furniture. After this, we also gave some amazing tips to follow while performing this task.
I hope this article will be helpful for you and you can distress your furniture like a professional. But if you still didn’t understand something or have any queries regarding this, then you can ask by posting a comment. Our professionals will guide you.

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