Ways to Distress Wood Furniture(46423)

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If you like the aged, distressed look in furniture, you most likely have looked for ways or techniques to make wood furniture look old. Distressing and aging techniques can give wooden furniture a vintage or antique look. You can enjoy the old look without the problems associated with old furniture. Moreover, you can incorporate distressed furniture and accessories into numerous decorating styles, such as shabby chic, American country and French country. If you have a piece of wood furniture you would like to distress and make the wood look old, you have many options.

Tip #1 - Bang the piece of wood furniture with a hammer in random areas for a rustic, distressed look. Focus on high-traffic areas, such as the corners and the legs, for a realistic weathered appearance. Strike the wood with a chain to create additional marks and scratches. Apply a water-based stain and ensure that the stain gets into the dents and nicks to make them appear darker and give the entire piece a weathered appearance. Protect the stain with a protective finish.


Tip #2 - Spray a lye-based oven cleaner on the entire piece of wood furniture. Clean off the excess cleaner with a rag, and coat the wood with white vinegar. Simply apply the vinegar with a paintbrush or a sponge. The vinegar neutralizes the oven cleaner and gives the wood an aged, gray appearance.


Tip #3 Create cup rings on a wooden table to make it appear well used and aged. Over time, a cup of steaming-hot coffee can leave a water ring if placed directly on the wood. To reproduce such rings, fill a tin can with hot water and wet the bottom of the can. Place the can on the table's surface, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. You will notice a water ring when you remove the can.


Tip #4 - Apply brown shoe polish to the wood for an aged, vintage appearance. Apply a bit of polish directly to the wood surface. Work the polish into the wood with a rag. Use back and forth motion while following the wood grain. This aging technique works particularly well on small projects, such as wooden picture frames, wall shelves and wood candle holders.


Tip #5 Burn the wood with a propane torch. Move the torch back and forth along the area you want to look worn. Brush the burnt areas with a wire brush to remove any charring. Apply a light gray stain if you want an outdoor weathered look on your wood furniture.


Tip #6 Wax the wood with a dark-colored wax in paste form. Apply a generous amount of wax on the wood and spread it over the entire surface with a rag. Rub the wax into the wood and wipe off any excess. The dark-colored wax will make the wood appear darker and aged.


As you can see, most techniques for aging and distressing solid wood furniture are simple and do not require much time. Such techniques are also economical and can produce a sense of satisfaction when you observe the end result. Don't be afraid to try new techniques. You're not likely to mess up a piece of wooden furniture with a distressing technique.


Tips & Warnings

  • Soft woods, such as pine and redwood, work better when you want to achieve a weathered look. It is more challenging to create marks and blemishes on hard wood like oak.
  •  When working with stains, always work in a well-ventilated area.

Copyright © 2011 Ana Jackson. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part constitutes plagiarism, is illegal and strictly prohibited.


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