Do It Yourself Distressing Furniture

Distressing Furniture


In high school I was gifted a beautiful cedar hope chest from my parents.  Back in the 90’s my color was Hunter Green – for literally everything.  I love this chest so much still but the color needed to go!  So I grabbed one of my favorite products (Country Chic Paint) and went to work.  Check out what this thing looked like after 25 years and over 10 moves:




It was so beat up!  But everything inside was still in perfect condition – cedar chests dispel bugs and mold, they are amazing.

Here is my 60 second video tutorial recap, then follow along for all the details today on the blog!



If you would like to see more ideas using Country Chic Paint, check out my other blog post here. 

Supplies Needed:

NOTE:  I did receive some free product for my honest review from Country Chic Paint.  I only write posts about products that I use and love.  I do not have an affiliate link with this company and do not get paid if you purchase their products through my blog.  They are for reference and help to my followers.  Your welcome!



Step 1 – Clean Furniture

You do not need to prep your furniture with Country Chic Paint such as sanding or primer.  But you do need to make sure it is clean or the chalk paint will not stick.  Country Chic has a great tutorial on how to clean off grease and grime and how to determine if your piece is ready.  Read that here.   I even had a glorious permanent marker masterpiece made by one of my little boys that was darling – but needed to be covered!  I am still not quite sure what it was of!?



Step 2 – Apply First Layer of Paint

I chose to use Country Chic Simplicity as my base.  This is the color that will show in distressed areas.  It will not be your main color.  Use even strokes and apply to the whole piece.  Stir your jar well before painting.  I absolutely LOVE their twist on jars – it makes it so much easier to use!

I didn’t realize how nice a GOOD paint brush was until I had one.  Country Chic brushes are so well made and super strong.  I was sold after I used one.




The first coat usually looks more like a white wash.  Don’t worry, this is normal.  It will dry quickly and you can add more coats until your desired look.  Let dry according to directions.




Additionally, if you need other paint ideas that also work well, check out these links to more blog posts:

Old Fashion Milk Paint

Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint

Spray Chalk Paint


Step 3 – Distress with Beeswax Bar

They have a great product called The Beeswax Bar, made out of 100% Canadian Beeswax.  You can grab one here.




You gently rub this wax onto corners, edges, or anywhere else that you would like your furniture to look distressed.  The wax creates a sealant so when you paint your next layer on, the paint will not stick as well.  Once sanding is applied it will chip off easily without removing the first layer of paint.



NOTE:  I wanted my top piece different.  So I took it off and will showcase next week how I finished it using antiquing wax. 


Step 4 – Painting the Second Color

I chose to use Country Chic Sunday Tea as my main color.  I only needed one coat to create the look I wanted.  Then I let it fully fry before sanding.  You can see what it looks like, just a deeper shade of tan:




Step 5 – Sanding (Distressing)

Here you will take a light grit sandpaper (I used 150 grit) and gently rub it over the areas that you used the wax.  The purpose is to rub off the second color of paint until you hit the wax, but not rub off the first color of paint.  I wasn’t as gentle in the beginning and so my first color also came off in some places, leaving the dark green color:




I was much more careful after that.  Here is what my edges looked like:




Step 6 – Top Coat

You will need some sort of top coat to protect the chalk paint and enable you to wipe down your furniture if it ever gets dirty.  I love their clear coat and gave my entire piece a good covering.





Let it dry and you are all done!  So easy and a great way to freshen up an old piece that has lots of memories.

Make sure to keep your brushes washed well.  It will prolong their usage.  I used the Brush Soap from Country Chic that you can find here.

Stay tuned for my antique wax post on how I finished the top.  But here is a teaser:




Happy Friday and keep being creative!



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