How to Distress a Painted Dresser – The Find & The Fix – HGTV

So we found this really great
old piece here in our barn. We love the piece, we
love the look of it. But as it is, we
really can’t use it. I mean, the drawers
are messed up, the veneer’s completely
gone off of this drawer. So to save it we’re going
to add a little bit of paint and give it a really
awesome distressed look. It’ll be a farmhouse
inspired dresser that you can put in any space. So the first step in
distressing furniture is to remove the hardware. You can leave it on if you
want to and dry brush over it. But I think it’s a little
easier to take it off first. It makes sanding easier
and all the other steps. So the next step before
you distress any furniture is to sand it. Because this really
thick varnish that’s on all this
old furniture, it won’t take the paint. The paint will just
slide right off. So you really have to
rough it up a little bit. We have found that
when painting, a palm sander is really
your best friend. So everybody should have a palm
sander, it’s an essential tool. Now primer is actually
really important, especially with this old
furniture and especially if you’re going to use
a light colored paint. Because years and years,
possibly hundreds years of [inaudible] and
cigarette smoke and toxins and whatever else have gotten
absorbed into this wood. And when you put
white paint on it sometimes you’ll see a yellowish
color, that’s what that is. So if you prime your
wood first, then it prevents that from happening. Primer is actually
really thin, quick, and it goes on fast, too. So it’s definitely a
step you shouldn’t skip. Now their primer is dry,
you’re ready to start painting. We’re going to put on one coat,
we’re going to let that dry and then add another coat. For this piece, we tossed
around all kinds of color ideas to do but we ended up
landing on going with a real pretty, creamy farmhouse white. White is just a timeless
color we thought would be really pretty on this buffet. Also, it’s really going to let
all of the detailing come out so much more once we sand it. We put two coats of paint on
our piece, we’ve let it dry, and now we’re ready to sand it. This is where the magic happens. We like to grab our palm sander
and really the biggest tip when sanding is to hit the
areas of natural wear and tear. So that really is like the
edges and the high points. We just like to sand
it really lightly so it has a natural distressed look. One other tip with
sanding is to be really careful with your sander if
you have intricate details on your piece. Like this piece has some
really nice detailing on it. You don’t want to mess that up. So go really light
on those areas. All right. This is the getting there
but it’s not quite done yet so we’re going to finish
up, add polyurethane and then I can’t wait
to see it in a space.

7 Replies to “How to Distress a Painted Dresser – The Find & The Fix – HGTV”

  1. i did the same but before the painting part I put a little of Vaseline on edges and some others areas and the distress looked even better when sanded 👍plus it was easy and faster❤

    1stComment 😂

  2. No. The distressing is not natural looking.
    You want to distress in the places where it would naturally rub off with years of wear.

  3. To me, the shabby chic style seems to emphasize cheap nature of the original furniture. Why not just take care if it instead?

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