Decorating Interior Painting Decorative Painting How to Distress Furniture for a Laidback Vintage Look Learn how to instantly age a piece of furniture using sandpaper and this easy distressing technique. By Jessica Bennett Jessica Bennett Instagram Jessica Bennett is an editor, writer, and former digital assistant home editor at BHG. Learn about BHG's Editorial Process Updated on October 25, 2022 Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Brie Passano Project Overview Working Time: 2 hours Total Time: 6 hours Skill Level: Kid-friendly Antique furniture often bears its age through chipped paint or a well-worn patina. This imperfect finish adds texture and character to old furnishings, and you can easily replicate the effect on new furniture with paint and a bit of sanding. In the steps below, we'll show you how to paint and sand wood furniture, so it looks beautifully aged. This painting project is a great way to refresh basic furniture you already own or re-create a vintage look without the steep price. Plus, the distressed white paint finish that we chose will disguise any watermarks or minor scratches, so it works well for thrifted furniture that's not quite in pristine condition. Choose a piece of solid wood furniture that's the right size and style for your room. Then select two colors of latex paint: one for the top coat and another for the base, which will peek through from underneath. Once the paint is dry, you'll use sandpaper to distress the surface to your liking. Follow the steps below to learn how to paint wood furniture with a gorgeous distressed finish. What You'll Need Equipment / Tools Sandpaper Tack cloth Paintbrush Drop cloth Materials Wooden bench Primer Paint, 2-3 colors Wax Clear polyurethane Instructions Brie Passano Prep Furniture Select a piece of painted or unfinished wood furniture. If it's unfinished, sand and prime, then paint the base color. If it's painted, wipe with a tack cloth and paint the base color. Or, prime again and paint the base color. Let dry. Rub wax over the base coat, going with the grain. For an authentic look, concentrate on edges and areas of natural wear. Brie Passano Paint Bench Paint the top coat, and let dry. If the piece will be used outdoors, choose exterior latex paint to avoid fading. Interior latex is fine if the piece is in a protected area. Brie Passano Distress Surface Place the piece on a drop cloth. Sand with medium-grade sandpaper until you achieve the distressed effect. Repeat waxing, painting, and sanding for a third color if you wish. Wipe bench with a tack cloth, and seal with two coats of polyurethane.