Decorating Home Makeovers Furniture Makeovers How to Paint and Distress Wood Furniture for a Perfect Patina Use this easy guide to distress furniture and add a colorful weathered finish to flea market finds and antique treasures. By Caitlin Sole Caitlin Sole Instagram Caitlin Sole is the senior home editor at BHG. She is a writer and editor with nearly a decade of interior design expertise. She has vast experience with digital media, including SEO, photo shoot production, video production, eCommerce content, print collaboration, and custom sales content. Learn about BHG's Editorial Process Updated on April 7, 2020 Share Tweet Pin Email Project Overview Working Time: 2 hours Total Time: 2 days Skill Level: Kid-friendly For the perfect piece of furniture to give a distressed paint finish, scour flea markets or secondhand shops for something that's solid wood with a stained finish. Don't worry if it has scratches or watermarks; the painted finish will hide those flaws. Look for a piece with lines you love, that will look good in your space. You'll also need to select two colors of furniture paint. You can choose two shades of the same color, as we did, or for a bolder look, choose complementary or contrasting colors. We chose latex paint for its ease of use; however, oil-based paints are known for their durability and are often the go-to option for wood trim and cabinetry. Once you've chosen your piece and the paint colors, follow our step-by-step instructions for creating a look that appears aged over time. What You'll Need Equipment / Tools Drop cloth Sandpaper Paintbrush Small container for mixing paint Foam brush Paper towels Tack cloth or rag Materials Wood furniture Paint, in desired colors Instructions Jason Donnelly Prep the Surface Place your furniture piece on a drop cloth and lightly sand the wood to create a rough surface. Apply different levels of pressure as you sand, as this causes the wood to absorb more paint in some areas. Wipe the wood clean using a tack cloth or rag. PHOTO: Jason Donnelly PHOTO: Jason Donnelly Apply Base Paint Using your darkest shade of paint, apply the first coat to the wood. Spread the paint thin enough to allow cracks to show through. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours. Jason Donnelly Create a Paint Wash Place a small amount of your lighter shade of paint in a container. Mix in water, one teaspoon at a time, until the paint is thin, but not so thin that it bubbles when you apply it. This wash will go over your first coat of paint to increase the layered, distressed look. Jason Donnelly Apply Paint Wash Apply the wash using a foam brush. For an antiqued look, wipe some areas with paper towels while the wash is still wet. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours. Greg Scheidemann Distress Wood Furniture Edges To create an even more antiqued look, lightly sand the edges and corners of the surface with fine-grit sandpaper, concentrating on areas of natural wear to keep it looking authentic. Wipe everything clean with a tack cloth, and you've completed your painted, distressed patina.