If you are ready to learn how to distress furniture, and fill your home with beautiful, distressed furniture pieces then you have come to the right place.
We are ready to share with you the secrets of distressing furniture in easy to understand, step-by-step picture tutorials. Best of all – It’s Free!
Add a Beautiful Antique Patina Using Wood Stain or Antique Glaze Using wood stain or antiquing glaze is one of the most effective furniture aging effects that you can utilize to antique a piece of furniture. There are so many options with these two. You can take a piece of furniture with shiny, brand new paint, and add decades or centuries of natural-looking aging in just a matter of minutes, and the results are incredible. Depending on the piece you are working on, using stain or glaze can be a tedious job, but the results are well worth it. Antiquing furniture with stain or glaze will add a darkened patina to the top of your piece, and creates the appearance of dark buildup in any crevices, lines, and design work your piece may have. So what is the difference in the two? Truth be told, not much, but there are some minor differences. Both essentially perform the same function and perform it well. Wood stain is very thin and can be a little messier to work with. Glaze is generally thicker, will finish a bit darker, and sometimes is more of a paste. Both come in multiple colors and shades. Stain tends to work better if you are working on a flat surface, but glaze is our preferred choice when working on anything with design carvings, lines and crevices. The glaze attaches itself down in those surfaces and ridges very well with very little running, and gives your piece a fantastic, authentically aged finish from another era. To show you how to do it we will take a look at some kitchen cabinets that we were recently working on for a client of ours. We glazed all of their cabinets using M.L. Campbell Vintage Alkyd Glaze in a ‘Raw Umber’ color. The cabinets were a brand new, pure white, and they wanted them to look antiqued to add some character and aging. What You Will Need Antique Glaze or Wood Stain – In the picture you can see the Campbell Glaze and also the Valspar Antiquing Glaze. You do not need both of these. We are just showing you some of the available options. Both are great choices. Foam Brushes – You can use regular brushes, but these foam brushes are excellent for flat surfaces, and for getting the glaze to stick in crevices. Plus they are very cheap so if you don’t get one cleaned in time, it’s not a big loss. Clean Dry Cloths/Rags – We recommend soft t-shirt or sheet material cut into smaller pieces. Lowes sells a bag of pre-cut t-shirt material cloths for about $2. They work very well with glaze and stain. Wax/Polyurethane or Other Sealant – Minwax Furniture Paste works well or you can use something like Polyurethane for a higher gloss and stronger finish. We used the Minwax on these cabinets. Mineral Spirits – Mineral spirits will be needed to clean up any glaze or stain that goes awry, fix mistakes, and sometimes you just may need to start over – Don’t feel bad, it happens. How It’s Done Start by cleaning your piece VERY well. Warm water and a mild soap or detergent can be fine if it is dirty. You can also use a cheese cloth. Whatever is...read more
Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes If you are a DIY junkie and love to paint furniture, then most likely you have at one time or another made, or thought about making, your own chalk paint. If so then you know that there are several DIY homemade chalk paint recipes out there, and unless you have tried them all it can be difficult to know which one is the best. Perhaps you are just now hearing about chalk paint for the first time and wondering what it’s all about. Either way you have come to the right place. We have received this question on numerous occasions from various readers, and until now we were unable to fully comment on which chalk paint recipe is the best – if there is one at all. As many of you know we already have an awesome guide on how to make chalk paint that was one of the first posts we ever put on the site. However, our guide is for the Plaster of Paris recipe, and it works wonderfully, but we had not tried any of the other recipes out there. So, Angie and I finally decided to get back to testing and take an in-depth look at the 3 main DIY recipes for chalk paint. We understand there are other ways of making chalk paint besides just these 3, but we didn’t want to get too out of focus. So we decided to lock in on the main 3, as these are the ones we get asked about the most. We tested: Plaster of Paris Unsanded Grout Baking Soda In each section we will give you the recipe that we used to mix the paint. Please note, however, that there are many recipes out there for all three versions. Some will say use more or less of the main ingredient, or more paint, or hot water, etc. so do not take our recipes as DIY law. The Plaster of Paris recipe below is the one we give in our how to make chalk paint tutorial and what we use on every piece of furniture on our site. We use it because it fits our purposes the best. The other two recipes we kind of came up with on our own by trying to duplicate the consistency of the plaster recipe so that it would be a fair test between the three recipes. So if you use a different recipe or come up with a different mixture on your own that works for you then perfect. The purpose of this post is merely to examine all three side-by-side using similar mixtures. For paint we picked up a gallon of Wal-Mart Oops paint for $5.88 – Nice! Let’s take a look at what we found out. **NOTE: These recipes yield 1 cup of paint each. If you need more paint for your project adjust the recipe(s) accordingly Plaster of Paris How To Make It First you mix the plaster and water together until you get a smooth consistency with no lumps. Next mix the plaster and water mixture into the paint and stir well until all of the mixture is dissolved with no lumps; make sure the paint is as smooth as before. Then we painted our test piece...read more
We shared recently some pictures of our two new brick book shelves that we built in one afternoon for less than $40.00. We told you we would be sharing a tutorial on how to build a brick book shelf for your own home so here it is. Yes, most people could probably look at the shelf and see how to make your own, but we do tutorials here as you know, so we wanted to put together this quick tutorial to show you how we built these beautiful brick book shelves. Now, there are of course a million ways you can do this project. You can use many different types of bricks, material for shelves, stain colors or paint, different sizes to fit your needs, etc. We chose this particular style and size to fit the needs of the room we put them in so be sure to do the same. Take this information and be creative. What You Will Need Bricks – Choose Your Own Color, Size and Style – For ours we used simple red bricks from Lowes $0.49 each. We used about 40 of them but this will vary depending on the size book shelf that you are building Shelving Board – We chose 3/4 x 6 shelving board from Lowes Skil Saw or Hand Saw – Unless you buy your shelving board already pre-cut in the size you need Wood Stain – Choose your color – We mixed Minwax Dark Walnut and Golden Oak together to get the shade we were looking for Sandpaper – 150 grit Foam Paint Brush or Clean Cloth Furniture Wax or Polyurethane Clean Cloths Step 1 Cut the shelving board into 2 foot sections (remember this is what we did on this book shelf. If you need a bigger book shelf adjust according to your needs) Step 2 Use sandpaper to smooth and round the corners and edges of the board. This step may be optional, but we do this whenever we cut shelving board. The smooth, rounded edges give it a very nice, professional looking finish. On this step we used an electric sander, and if you have one it is highly recommended. It will save you a ton of time and effort. However, if you don’t have one it is not mandatory. You can sand it by hand. Step 3 Use foam brush or a clean cloth to apply the wood stain to the newly cut and sanded shelving board. Apply liberally and wipe off the excess to quicken the drying time When the stain has completely dried, seal the shelves with furniture wax or polyurethane. We used Minwax Furniture Paste. Wipe on with a clean, cloth. Let dry 10-15 minutes then buff with a new, clean cloth Step 4 Assemble your bricks and begin stacking them to put the shelves onto. For ours 2 bricks on each side of the base was sufficient as we were making small book shelves. On a longer book shelf you may need to add more to the sides or middle for stability. ***Stability is everything on these and it pays to go slowly. We’re not using mortar or any kind of sealant so the bricks are...read more
If you saw our last post you saw that we have been busy at work making some really cool distressed wooden signs for Christmas. We have really had a blast creating these little signs. They are easy to make and they can say anything you want them to say. The only limits are your imagination! So, now we come to the fun part, where we show you exactly how we make these signs so that you can do it yourself. There are a lot of different ways you can do it and we certainly encourage you to experiment and find new and better ways to do it for yourself. This tutorial just shows the method that we use and have found to work the best for us. So, let’s get to it. Here’s what you will need Paint – 2 or more colors (we recommend using Chalk Paint – the official kind or the do it yourself kind that you can make cheap using our free recipe HERE Paintbrushes – 1 large standard brush and 1 small lettering brush Wood Slab: We used a simple pine 1×6 board from Lowes cut into 2 ft sections but you can use anything that will fit what you want your sign to look like Writing Pen Word Processing software, printer and paper: We used Microsoft Word but any word processing program will work. Sandpaper, Steel Wool, or Sanding Block: You don’t need all 3. Any of these will work Furniture Wax And Cloths – We used Minwax clear furniture paste or you can use our dark wax recipe or other similar furniture wax 1) Prep And Paint The Wood I like to do a little sanding to the edges of the board to make them rounded and smooth and not so shard and jagged. I think this really makes the sign look better but it’s up to you. Next paint the board. On this one we are doing a red bottom color that we’re going to distress down to so we start by painting the board red 2) Vaseline After the bottom coat has dried take some vaseline and smear it on the places that you want to show under top coat color (that we will paint on a little later). The vaseline makes the top coat of color come off super easy later on so be careful where you put it. (If you want more info this method is detailed in full in our tutorial “Chalk Paint and Vaseline Method” Add it wherever you want the sign to show wear but we recommend focusing on the edges and sides. Then add some in other places, but don’t add really big smear marks on the front and sides as it can sometimes come out looking unnatural. *NOTE: You can skip this part or you can use candle wax instead of vaseline. Both of these substances make distressing much easier but you can choose not to use them and just freehand distress with the sandpaper later on if you wish. 3) Top Coat Of Paint Now add your top coat of paint and let it dry. 4) Lettering Ah! Here is the tricky part you may be saying, and while it is the most tricky part of the process it...read more
Well, if you saw our recent post called “An Old Blue Chair” then you have already seen the chair we are going to talk about in this tutorial. We painted this chair using a technique called the “dry brush” method and it really is an amazing way to add a beautifully distressed patina to a piece of furniture. We found this old chair in a barn. It’s a very simple laminate chair but we thought it would make a good test cases for dry brushing. WHAT YOU WILL NEED * Chalk Paint : You can buy the Annie Sloan version or you can make your own using the easy recipe we use. Get the free recipe here: Chalk Paint Recipe -You will need two colors. On this we used a Williamsburg blue and a basic pure white latex. You can also use additional colors if you wish. On this one we decided on only two. *Paint Brushes * Finishing Wax (or other finishing material such as polyurethane). We actually made our own dark wax on this one and we’ll be sharing the recipe in a future post. However, you can use a basic wax like Minwax furniture paste. *Sand paper, steel wool, electric sander, etc for distressing. We just went with good old sandpaper on this in about 120 grit. * Clean Dry Cloths ————————————————————————————————————- PREP The first step was to simply clean the chair up of all the dirt and debris. No other prep was needed on this piece. PAINT Next, we painted the entire chair in our base color. Which color you choose to put on first is up to you and according to what look you are going for but we were really pleased in how the dark color on first and dry brushing the lighter color on top turned out. After the chair dried it was time to begin dry brushing the white on. Now, when we say dry brush we mean it! The drier your brush is the better. Here’s how you do it: Barely dip the edge of the brush just on the surface of the paint. Using the paint on the lid of the can is a good idea also Wipe the brush with a paint rag of some sort. Wipe it really good until you brush is very dry. It’s probably best to test it on a scrap piece of wood or something similar to make sure it’s not too wet. What you are trying to achieve with this technique is the look of old paint showing through a newer coat. You don’t want thick, wet brush strokes or the effect will be greatly diminished or even ruined. With the “dry” brush begin lightly brushing the piece in the areas you want it to look distressed. Remember you can always do more later so start slow. You will begin to get a feel for the brush as you go. It’s always a good idea to do a little, step back and look and then go again. You will know what looks right when you see it! On this piece we first focused on curves and edges to really bring the white paint out. On the back beams and legs a light up and down motion gave the best effect....read more
In this tutorial we are going to show you how we distressed a tall dresser we had in our house with chalk paint and vaseline. The dresser is about 55 years old, had some deep gouges in the side but was in still pretty good shape. We had an idea that this would make a good distressed furniture piece. We decided to go with a barn-type red that we already had around the house that would work well in the room we were going to use it in. I apologize that I can’t tell you the exact color on this one. We had it a while and just aren’t sure of the exact color. Anyway here we go! WHAT YOU WILL NEED: Chalk Paint – You can buy this from Annie Sloan or you can make your own with our VERY simple recipe here: How To Make Chalk Paint Paint Brushes Steel Wool Pads and/or medium grade sandpaper Finishing Wax – On this piece we used MinWax Paste Finishing Wax but you can also use Annie Sloan’s waxes made especially for chalk paint or you can finish it with a fast drying polyurethane or some other similar finish Rags Vaseline or Candle Wax – on this piece we used vaseline Prep/Painting Here is the dresser before we began. Very simple with a light stain. You don’t normally need to do any sanding prep with chalk paint but this piece had some deep gouges on the side that we needed to sand out. You can see them on the side in the below picture. Of course we could have left the gouges in tact to keep a little character on the dresser but they were accidental deep scratches and not very appealing to us so we got rid of them, but you decide what you want on your piece. PAINTING We went with a two color distressing technique where we have a different color than the color of the wood stain to show under the top coat so we used a Williamsburg blue on the bottom coat to cover any areas that would become exposed by the distressing. We did not use chalk paint on this bottom coat, just a standard latex interior flat. After the blue had dried we began applying vaseline anywhere on the piece that we wanted to show under the topcoat later on. The vaseline makes the top coat of paint practically fall off with ease so apply it wherever you want to distress the piece later. You can almost wipe it off with a rag so you have to be careful where you put it. Don’t overdo it though. The vaseline smears easliy and can leave you with larger exposed areas after distressing that you may not want. If you want larger areas exposed then apply the vaseline accordingly. Focus on corners, edges, raised areas and around high traffic areas such as handles and knobs. Again, always feel free to make the piece you are working with your own. Wherever you want the piece to show signs of distressing is where you should put them. Next we began painting the dresser with the top coat of red chalk paint. It took two coats to cover but that’s pretty typical...read more
In this tutorial we are going to show you what we did with a small coffee table using the candle wax and chalk paint method. The table is a very lightweight piece but has some nice design work and we thought it would make a good distressed furniture piece. It was originally finished in a dark mahogany stain. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: Chalk Paint – You can buy the Annie Sloan brand or you can make your own with our VERY simple recipe here: How To Make Chalk Paint Regular Latex paint for the undercoat that will show after distressing the piece Paint Brushes Steel Wool Pads and/or medium grade sandpaper (use a sanding block if you prefer) Finishing Wax – On this piece we used MinWax Paste Finishing Wax but you can also use Annie Sloan’s waxes made especially for chalk paint or you can finish it with a fast drying polyurethane or some other similar finish Clean, dry cloths or rags Candle Wax PREP/PAINTING We’ used chalk paint so we didn’t need to do any type of sanding or other prep work. We decided to do an undercoat in a dark color to show under the topcoat after we distressed the table. We chose an interior latex paint from Color Place. The color is called “Coalmine” You can paint the entire piece in the under coat color if you wish, which is what we did on this table, or you can cover only the areas you are going to distress. To see how this is done see our Red Dresser tutorial CANDLE WAX After the paint dried we took some basic candles and began to apply wax anywhere around the piece where we wanted it to be distressed later on. The wax makes the top coat of paint peel off with ease, making your job of distressing much more enjoyable! *TIP: Remember to focus the wax on areas that will naturally distress in an original piece. This is usually corners, edges, engraved areas, high ridges and similar areas. TOP COAT PAINT For the top coat we decided on a light butter-cream yellow. We used Valspar Signature interior latex but any good latex paint will do the job You can do one or two coats. Whatever you prefer but on this one we only needed one. DISTRESSING Alright, now down to the fun part! We used the steel wool and sandpaper to begin scuffing the table in the areas in which we had applied the candle wax earlier to begin showing that Coalmine black color underneath the yellow top coat. We also scuffed and scraped on other areas as well until we got the optimum amount of distressing that we were looking for on this piece. Ultimately we decided to go with a moderately distressed look. WAXING/FINISH After the paint had dried thoroughly we went ahead and began applying the finish. We used the MinWax Furniture Paste again on this one because we didn’t want anything too glossy. If you want a higher shine finish you can use polyurethane. Apply the paste per the instructions. You generally want to apply it on the entire piece with a clean,...read more
Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes 3 Different and Free Chalk Paint Recipes Well, if you haven’t heard about Chalk Paint chances are you will soon. Everyone seems to be talking about it and for good reason. We’re gonna talk a little bit about it and then we’re gonna show you how to make chalk paint. What Is Chalk Paint? Chalk Paint was designed by Annie Sloan and is a formula paint that is designed to go on nearly anything you could ever wish to paint on the inside or outside with no prepping or sanding. It covers easily, dries quickly and helps you achieve a beautiful patina that is perfect for distressing with very little time and effort. Chalk paint goes on smooth, dries very quickly and is easily sanded to distress your piece for a well-worn look. It is called chalk paint because it covers the piece with a soft, chalky patina that is perfect for creating an exceptional antique look. The problem is that it’s a little pricey at $34.95 and up/ quart. However, the other wonderful thing about chalk paint is that it is also very easy and inexpensive to make yourself. There are quite a few different ways to make chalk paint, and everyone has their own preference for which one works best for them. We are going to give you the 3 most popular chalk paint recipes. The directions below show you the steps for how to make chalk paint with the Plaster of Paris, but the directions are essentially the same for each recipe. We will first show you the Plaster of Paris recipe, and how to make it. Then below you can find the recipe for how to make chalk paint with Baking Soda and with Unsanded Grout Plaster of Paris Directions First you mix the plaster and water together until you get a smooth consistency with no lumps. Next pour the plaster and water mixture into the paint and stir well until all of the mixture is dissolved with no lumps; make sure the paint is as smooth as before. The paint will appear at first no different than the basic latex paint you had before, but when the chalk paint dries on the furniture you will begin to see that faint, aged and chalky patina that you are looking for. You can double the recipe for a quart of paint, quadruple for a 1/2 gallon and so forth. **Important Note: You can always add more or less plaster to suit your taste as well. This recipe is a conservative one. If you want a more chalky finish then add some more plaster. If you want less then add less. Just experiment and have fun. Don’t forget that this stuff dries fast! If you are working on a big project where the paint will be exposed for a long period of time, think about pouring just what you need to paint with into cups to hold while you paint. This will keep the rest of your paint from getting too thick too fast. If it does start getting thick you can add a little water to loosen it up but just add slowly until it smooths out a little to keep your consistency…..well……..consistent! Now that you know how to...read more