Projects

Distressing

Project Overview

Distressing

Add decades to the appearance of furniture by using a distressed finish. For this technique, a wood-graining tool is dragged in a rocking motion across an area glazed in light and dark hues, simulating the real-life ear and tear of aged furniture. It's important that the surface be smooth; any nicks or bumps will cause uneven deposits of glaze. Create various effects by changing the speed with which you rock the tool back and forth and by varying the starting and stopping points. To intensify the aging effect, dip a trowel into undiluted paint and skip it across the surface. Practice with both the wood-graining tool and the trowel on a scrap board until you reach the desired results. For a dramatic, worn look, choose contrasting colours and vary the amount of glaze applied. If desired, add more age by rubbing wood stain over the entire surface with a clean cotton cloth after the piece has dried completely. Distressing can be used on all types of furniture.

4 Steps

  1. APPLY BASE COAT
  2. PULL WOOD-GRAINING TOOL THROUGH
  3. BRUSH ON GREEN PAINT
  4. DIP A TROWEL INTO WHITE PAINT
APPLY BASE COAT

Step 1

APPLY BASE COAT

Use a 2-inch trim brush to apply the White Swan base coat to the outside areas. Paint two coats if necessary. Let dry. Mix 1 part Basketry latex paint and 1 part Sophisticated Blue latex paint to 4 parts glaze medium in a plastic container. Apply to a small area with a 2-inch chip brush. Depending on the size of your project, start wit ha small amount of glaze. Approximately 1 cup paint to 2 cups glaze was used to treat this cabinet.

PULL WOOD-GRAINING TOOL THROUGH
PULL WOOD-GRAINING TOOL THROUGH

Step 2

PULL WOOD-GRAINING TOOL THROUGH

Drag the wood-graining tool over the area you’ve glazed, rocking it back and forth as you pull. The glaze will stay wet for about 15 minutes, so if you are unhappy with the graining, simply pull the tool through the glaze again. Vary the starting and stopping points of the tool and the dragging speed. After you are satisfied with the results and while the glaze is still wet, turn the tool around and use the comb edge to drag vertically through the glaze. Repeat steps1-2, working one section at a time until completed. allow to dry.

BRUSH ON GREEN PAINT
BRUSH ON GREEN PAINT

Step 3

BRUSH ON GREEN PAINT

Dip a clean, dry chip brush lightly into the Frond Green latex paint and light dab onto a paper towel to help separate the bristles. Drag the brush lightly across the surface in selected areas to build up sections of darker colors. Repeat step 3 using Sophisticated Blue latex paint. Allow the paint to dry completely.

DIP A TROWEL INTO WHITE PAINT
DIP A TROWEL INTO WHITE PAINT

Step 4

DIP A TROWEL INTO WHITE PAINT

Pour White Swan latex paint into a small paint tray and dip the tip of a plastic trowel into it. Use the 2-inch trowel in small area and the 4-inch trowel in larger areas. Deposit the paint by skipping the trowel across the surface in random areas. Practice skipping the paint on a piece of scrap board before trying it on the furniture. Hold the trowel somewhat flat against the surface to create a more heavily textured look. When you’ve reached the desired results, remove the tape and allow to dry.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 2 hours

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.

Materials

  • Cloud Kit
  • White Swan Satin Finish Latex Paint (base coat)
  • Basketry
  • Sophisticated Blue
  • Frond Green Satin Latex Paints (glaze coat)
  • 120-grit Sandpaper
  • Tack Cloth
  • Primer
  • 2" Low-tack Painter's Tape
  • Stir Sticks
  • Glaze - medium
  • Lint-free Cotton Cloths
  • Paper Towels

Tools