What is a distressed look?

Asked By: Teresia Archidona | Last Updated: 27th May, 2020
Category: hobbies and interests woodworking
5/5 (103 Views . 38 Votes)
Distressing (or weathered look) in the decorative arts is the activity of making a piece of furniture or object appear aged and older, giving it a "weathered look", and there are many methods to produce an appearance of age and wear. Distressing has become a popular design style and decorative art form.

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Similarly, you may ask, how do you paint furniture to look distressed?

  1. Prepare Your Space. Start by laying down drop cloths and preparing the area.
  2. Sand and Clean the Piece. Sand the surface of the piece.
  3. Paint the Piece.
  4. Apply Wax and Top Layer of Paint (Optional)
  5. Distress the Piece with Sandpaper and Steel Wool.
  6. Apply a Stain (Optional)
  7. Protect the Finished Piece with Polyurethane.

Furthermore, how do I make wood look weathered GREY? To age new wood to a natural silvery gray, to grey-brown or black patina (depending on the wood), let a small piece of steel wool (or a few non-galvanized nails) sit overnight in ordinary white vinegar, then dilute the vinegar solution 1 to 1 with water. (If you used 1/4 cup of vinegar, add 1/4 cup of water.)

Considering this, what style is distressed furniture?

Distressed furniture is often perceived as having a shabby chic style and you can expect to see it in rustic, vintage, industrial but also Nordic or contemporary interior decors. The techniques you can use if you want to distress something are quite diverse.

What paint do you use for Shabby Chic?

The shabby chic look is best achieved with wooden furniture and a couple of coats of Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish furniture paint.

38 Related Question Answers Found

How do you make white paint look rustic?

Sanding. Sanding through the white paint on furniture is a speedy way to make wood furniture look much more rustic and old than it is. To make the wear look natural, sand it with a fine- or medium-grit sanding block on areas that would typically become worn first, such as the armrests and seat on a rocking chair.

How do you make wall paint look rustic?

Mix dark blue paint with an acrylic glaze and apply the mixture to your walls with a paint roller. Use a dampened sea sponge to randomly dab the walls to create a rustic, aged appearance. Work in small wall sections at a time, starting at a top corner and working your way down.

How do you make wood look old with Vaseline?

How to Distress Paint with Vaseline
  1. Supplies: Vaseline.
  2. STEP 1: Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the edges of your project and anywhere you want a distressed look.
  3. STEP 2: Paint your project.
  4. STEP 3: Allow the paint to dry slightly (not wet to the touch), then use a damp rag to rub over the areas that have Vaseline.
  5. Like what you see?

Do you distress or wax first?

Annie Sloan herself recommends applying at least one layer of wax first before distressing because the paint is very chalky and can produce a lot of dust when sanding. So, if you want a little bit easier of a go at the distressing step, do it first.

What is antique color?


The most popular color combination is an off-white or ivory background and a dark brown or gray- brown glazing liquid. The result is an ''antique white'' finish. The background can be any other color, of course, including yellow, tan, dark green or red.

How do you make wood look old with vinegar?

Here's how to age wood and make it look old and gray. Iron vinegar on fresh cedar lumber: Soak some steel wool in white vinegar for a few hours or a few days – the longer it steeps, the darker the aged effect will be. Fill the jar with the steel wool and vinegar, the measurements don't have to be precise.

Where can I buy distressed wood?

If you're on the hunt for reclaimed wood for your home or your latest DIY project, here's where to start your search.
  • Home Depot.
  • Etsy.
  • eBay.
  • Craigslist.
  • Reclaimed Lumber Dealers.
  • Architectural Salvage Retailers.
  • Local Demolition Sites.

How do you paint weathered wood?

Before weathered wood can be painted, it will require extensive prep work to ensure that the paint stays on for more than just a couple of years.
  1. Step 1: Prepare the Surface.
  2. Step 2: Sand and Brush.
  3. Step 3: Apply Caulk Where Needed.
  4. Step 4: Wash It Down With a Hose.
  5. Step 5: Apply Primer.

How do you give furniture a distressed look?

  1. Prepare Your Space. Start by laying down drop cloths and preparing the area.
  2. Sand and Clean the Piece. Sand the surface of the piece.
  3. Paint the Piece.
  4. Apply Wax and Top Layer of Paint (Optional)
  5. Distress the Piece with Sandpaper and Steel Wool.
  6. Apply a Stain (Optional)
  7. Protect the Finished Piece with Polyurethane.

How do I make shabby chic look?


Shabby chic items are often heavily painted through the years, with many layers showing through obviously time-worn areas. The style is imitated in faux painting using glaze or by painting then rubbing and sanding away the top coat to show the wood or base coats, known as “distressing” the finish of the furniture.

How do you distress furniture with wax and chalk paint?

How to create a two colour distress using Chalk Paint
  1. Choose two colours from the Chalk Paint® palette.
  2. Once your base colour is dry, use a clean Chalk Paint® Brush to apply the second colour.
  3. Once dry, add a coat of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax.
  4. Once the wax is dry to touch, but hasn't hardened, you can start sanding.

What does distressed mean in clothing?

Distressing refers to a surface treatment of fabric that makes the material appear faded or wrinkled, as if from long, steady use.

What is a distressed wood finish?

In distressing, the object's finish is intentionally destroyed or manipulated to look less than perfect, such as with sandpaper or paint stripper. For example, the artisan often removes some but not all of the paint, leaving proof of several layers of paint speckled over wood grain underneath.

What paint to use on shabby chic furniture?

The shabby chic look is best achieved with wooden furniture and a couple of coats of Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish furniture paint.

What is distress paint?


With a timeless matte finish, Distress Paints are very fluid water-based acrylic paints for use on multiple surfaces. Developed to be reactive with water, like other products in the Distress family, Distress Paints are the perfect choice to accomplish a wide variety of artistic techniques.