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February 14, 2023 4 min read

If you're a fan of the rustic or cottagecore decor style, you may be interested in creating a weathered look for your furniture. 

The weathered look can add a charming and vintage feel to your space, and it's surprisingly easy to achieve. 

Whether you're looking to revamp an old piece of furniture or simply want to create a unique and trendy aesthetic in your home, this article will guide you through the steps to distress your furniture. 

From selecting the right tools and materials to applying the finishing touches, we've got you covered.

But first let's clarify what we mean by distressed furniture.

What is distressed furniture

Distressed furniture is a style of furniture that is intentionally made to look old, worn, and weathered. 

This is typically achieved by using techniques such as sanding, chipping, and scraping the surface of the furniture, which gives it a natural-looking, aged appearance. 

Distressed furniture is often associated with the shabby-chic or rustic decor style and is popular because it adds character and a unique, vintage feel to a space. 

Distressed furniture can range from lightly distressed, which adds subtle character, to heavily distressed, which can make furniture look as though it has been passed down through generations.

Now that we have a better understanding of distressed furniture, let’s take a look at the tools you will need if you are trying to create a distressed look. 

Tools you will need to create distressed furniture

The tools needed to create distressed furniture can vary depending on the specific techniques you plan to use, but some common tools and materials include:

Sandpaper or sanding block: to create a smooth and even surface before distressing.

Paint or stain: to apply the base color of the furniture.

Paint scraper: to create scratches or dents on the surface of the furniture.

Hammer or chain: to create dents or divots on the surface of the furniture.

Chalk paint or milk paint: to create a more matte, vintage finish.

Wax or sealant: to protect the furniture and enhance its aged appearance.

Steel wool: to remove or buff out excess paint or stain.

Gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask: to protect yourself from dust and fumes.

Overall, the tools needed to create distressed furniture are relatively simple and can often be found at hardware or home improvement stores. With some basic tools and a bit of creativity, you can transform your furniture into a unique and charming piece that fits your decor style.

Now let’s walk you through the steps that you need to take to distress your furniture.

A step-by-step guide to distress your furniture

Ok now let’s get into the reason that you read this article, how can you start to distress your furniture.

  1. Choose the piece of furniture you want to distress. It's best to select a piece with a wood or painted finish.

  1. Gather your supplies (listed above). 

  1. Prep the surface. Remove any hardware from the piece and clean it thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. If you're working with a painted surface, lightly sand it to create a rougher texture.

  1. Start distressing. Use your sandpaper to create small scratches and nicks on the surface of the furniture. Focus on the edges and corners, as those areas would naturally experience wear and tear over time. Use a heavier grit sandpaper for more significant distressing and a finer grit for more subtle distressing.

  1. Apply paint (optional). If you want to change the color of the furniture, apply paint to the surface using a paintbrush or roller. You can choose to paint the entire piece or just certain areas.

  1. Sand again. After the paint dries, use your sandpaper again to distress the surface of the furniture. Sand over the newly painted areas and any areas that you missed before. This will give the furniture a more weathered and worn look.

  1. Clean and seal (optional). Once you're happy with the level of distressing, clean the furniture again to remove any dust or debris. You can choose to apply a sealant to protect the surface from further wear and tear.

And that's it! With a bit of time and effort, you can give your furniture a distressed, shabby-chic look.

If you don’t have the time to distress your furniture dont worry, we have all the vintage looking furniture you can want.

Your go to source for vintage furniture

A Cottage in the City is the premiere location for getting vintage furniture due to our exceptional curation of unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. 

We offer a wide range of vintage furniture styles, including shabby chic, French country, and mid-century modern, all of which are carefully selected for their quality and character. 

Our collection features not only furniture but also a variety of vintage decor items, such as antique mirrors, vintage signs, and salvaged architectural pieces. 

Additionally, we have a knowledgeable staff who are passionate about vintage furniture and can assist you in finding the perfect pieces to complement your homes. 

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