Decorative Paint Technique: Distressing Instructions

From our online exclusive Decorative Paint Techniques with Danielle Hirsch of Color Splash . Distressing is the modern approach to creating a timeless treasure. Follow these instructions from Danielle Hirsch.
painttechnique_distressedchest2

painttechnique_distressedchest2

Distressing is the modern approach to creating a timeless treasure.

Distressing is the modern approach to creating a timeless treasure.

Difficulty level: 2.5 out of 5

Danielle's Tips

  • Universal tints never dry unless mixed with another agent. If you spill some on the drop cloth, throw it away or cut out the stained area.
  • Paint with the grain of the wood to alleviate brush marks.

Materials and Tools:

wax (Original, Dark Brown) – Briwax
220-grit sandpaper
universal tint (Burnt Umber) – CAL-TINT® by Degussa
clear latex interior wood stain – Pratt & Lambert
unfinished piece of furniture
china bristle brushes
very fine steel wool
distressing items (hex bolts, wire brush, chain, nails, screws, hammer, chisel)
latex glaze (Studio Finishes 405) – Benjamin Moore
plastic containers
latex paint, eggshell sheen (Black 2132-10, Lafayette Green HC-135, Covington Blue HC-138) – Benjamin Moore

Steps:

1. Practice this technique on scrap wood before distressing the chosen piece. Use the hex bolts tied on wire, the wire brush, chain, nails, screws, hammer and chisel to remove the newness of the piece.

2. Mix one squeeze of Burnt Umber universal tint into the wood stain, and use a brush to apply it to the entire piece. Let dry thoroughly. This latex stain mixture dries fast and isn't as toxic as oil. It also seals the wood so it can be painted later.

3. Mix eight parts Black paint with one part water and sparingly brush the mixture on with the grain of the wood where desired. The brush should be practically dry, which will mean less sanding for an antiqued look later. Let dry.

4. Mix one part Lafayette Green with one part glaze and one part water. In another container, mix one part Covington Blue with one part glaze and one part water. Lightly brush the colors onto the same areas as desired.

5. Once dry, use sandpaper (or a wire brush in hard-to-reach areas) to remove portions of the paint and stain in areas you'd expect wear and tear to be.

6. Use steel wool and wax to shine/scuff the entire piece, which will add instant age.

Next Up

Paint Technique: Antiquing Furniture

Transform a ordinary piece of furniture into a stunning antique with a little bit of paint and glaze.

How to Paint an Antique Finish on Walls

Learn how to apply this faux technique with these step-by-step instructions.

Decorative Paint Technique: Parchment Instructions

From our online exclusive Decorative Paint Techniques with Danielle Hirsch of Color Splash . This Old-World look resembles parchment paper and fits in today's modern homes. Follow these instructions from Danielle Hirsch.

Decorative Paint Technique: Leather Wall Instructions

From our online exclusive Decorative Paint Techniques with Danielle Hirsch of Color Splash . Put the luxurious look of soft leather on your walls using plastic grocery bags. Follow these instructions from Danielle Hirsch.

Decorative Paint Technique: Woodgraining Instructions

From our online exclusive Decorative Paint Techniques with Danielle Hirsch of Color Splash . If the beauty of real wood isn't in the budget, paint and a fun tool can make a great alternative. Follow these instructuctions.

Decorative Paint Technique: Furniture and Wall Marbling Instructions

From our online exclusive Decorative Paint Techniques with Danielle Hirsch of Color Splash . Marbling exudes richness and sophistication. It can have a big impact on both walls and furniture.

Decorative Paint Technique: Colorwashing Wall Instructions

From our online exclusive Decorative Paint Techniques with Danielle Hirsch of Color Splash . Colorwashing is a subtle aged effect perfect for almost any room in the house. Follow these instructions from Danielle Hirsch.

Decorative Paint Technique: Strie Painting Instructions

Use paint to create the look of fine fabric on your walls to really dress up a room.

Decorative Paint Technique: Crinkle Paper Painting Instructions

From our online exclusive Decorative Paint Techniques with Danielle Hirsch of Color Splash . If you hate prep work, painting under and over crinkled tissue paper is for you. Follow these instructions from Danielle Hirsch.

Decorative Paint Technique: Wall Stenciling Instructions

Danielle Hirsch modernizes this stenciling technique with layers of color and style.

On TV

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.