Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Distressing Furniture

I recently took some furniture pieces that I already had lying around the house and decided to paint them so I could use them in our house for a new fall look.  I have to have a project and have a short decorating attention span, so I'm constantly changing things around.  I bought a sample can of paint from Lowe's Hardware in a teal color for $3 and it was more than enough to paint a mirror and a table and do a little distressing action on the two of them.

I always forget to take a 'before' shot until I'm well under way in a project, so I'll just have to describe the table and mirror for you.  My table came from Daniel's grandmother's barn.  It was a small white farmhouse style kitchen table that we found when cleaning out the smoke house at his grandmother's place.  The tabletop was very warped but the base was in good shape.  Since it was small, I decided to use it for a coffee table.  I took it home, ripped off the top and replaced it with new tongue and groove pine boards cut to fit, stained and distressed the top with chains and hammers to make it look worn, cut off the legs so it was more coffee-table height, and spray-painted the base black.  Then I distressed the black paint using sandpaper so that some of the original white paint could be seen.  After I had completed this project, I was all psyched about my new coffee table until I realized that it was too big for our living room.  Wah wah...  It got stored away in the garage and has sat there for about 5 or 6 years now.  Since our new living room is a little bigger, I was able to use it.  I knew I wanted to re-do the color scheme in my living room for summer and fall without damaging the furniture I already had so I would be able to switch things out from season to season.  Out came the coffee table and some new teal paint, and I started in on her again.  I put a very thin coat on, so you could still see some of the black showing through.

You can kinda see in these pics how thin my layer of paint was and how you can still see some of the black paint showing through.

Then, once it had time to dry, I got to work with the sand paper.  To distress furniture, you simply take your sand paper and sand over the edges, corners, and any other spots where it would naturally get wear and tear until you get your desired distressed effect.  You can go as light or as heavy handed as you like depending on how distressed you want your piece to look.  It's really pretty hard to mess up.

If you have several layers of paint like I did, you will start to see each layer the harder you sand.

I like to sand around nails and imperfections in the wood to really bring out the character of the piece.

Pretty much the same with my mirror.  It also came from Daniel's grandmother's house from a dresser set we found there.  It was a dark brown stain, so I painted a light layer of the same teal paint over top and then sanded the edges and corners to bring out the design in the molding.

Ta da!  Totally distressed and ready to go dress up the room! Here's the finished product in the room with all the other fall decorations:

So easy and it makes such a big impact!  And come Christmas when I want to switch everything around again, I just have to change out my coffee table and mirror, a few pillows, the rug, turn my decorative doors around, and presto-change-o, it's a whole new look!


  1. Mitsy i love DIY table!!! The color is beautiful!!! I love your blog

    1. Thank you so much for the sweet comments!


  2. The post is giving information about distressing furniture. Good post

  3. This was EXACTLY what I was looking for! Thanks so much!!