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Date: Jun 2, 2016

How to Distress Furniture with Paint [VIDEO]

Distressing a piece of furniture is a great and easy way to add character to your home decor. Items you have salvaged from auctions or flea markets are great pieces to experiment using this distressing technique to achieve a worn-out, well-loved look.

Watch a video demonstration below:


  • Piece of furniture to be distressed
  • Paint (choose one color for the base coat and one color for the top coat)
  • Painting tools
  • Sandpaper
  • Polyurethane finish (optional)


  1. Prep your furniture. If you have a finished piece of furniture (it has a glossy cover), sand it down or use primer. You could also use chalk pain without sanding or priming it.
  2. Choose your colors. Pick one for the overlay or top coat (the color you want the piece to be) and one color for the underlay or base coat (the color you want to show through after distressing).
  3. Paint the piece using your underlay color. No need to paint everything, just paint the areas that you want to show through after distressing. Let it dry.
  4. Paint the top coat. Use the overlay color to paint the entire piece. You may want to do a couple of coats. Let it dry.
  5. Sand off some of the top coat. Concentrate on edges and corners to achieve an older look.
  6. Apply a finish if desire.

Looking for a piece of furniture to or a frame to distress? Try bidding at the weekly year-round Shipshewana Antique & Misc. Auction. Up to 10 auctioneers sell antiques, primitives, shabby chic, furniture, collectibles, glassware and more simultaneously!

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