Sometimes, the best “new” furniture actually turns out to be something used. Not only can you save hundreds of dollars when you buy used furniture and restore it, but you can also tailor the look to exactly what your home needs.
One of the hottest trends for 2018 is the return of the distressed look. Fortunately, it’s a style that’s easy to create yourself at a fraction of the cost. It all starts with the right furniture.
What to Look for in Furniture
Starting with the right piece of wood furniture is the key to achieving an attractive distressed look. Of course, you want to make sure the piece fits the scale and style of the room. Think about this in advance and have a clear picture in mind of what you want the finished project to look like.
There are different techniques you can use to achieve different looks. Going into the project with the end result in mind is the first step to achieving a successful outcome.
If this is your first time distressing a piece of furniture, it’s best to start small — maybe with an accent table or coffee table, for example. Your first piece of furniture should be considered a trial run, meaning you don’t want to spend a lot of money acquiring an expensive piece. You could even perform your trial on something you already own but aren’t currently using in your home.
If you’re already familiar with distressing furniture, you could take on a bigger project, such as a dining room table. Buy a well-built, pre-owned table, rather than bringing home a brand new table from the store.
Prepping the Workspace
Once you’ve selected a piece of used furniture to distress, it’s time to get dirty. Distressing furniture is a hands-on project that requires a well-ventilated but covered area — a garage or barn is perfect — to do your handiwork. Use tarps or newspapers to cover the floor and other items around your workspace to protect them from sanding dust, splattered paint, and other spills that might occur.
Getting That Distressed Look
Use a paint stripper to remove the finish from the furniture, and then follow up with sandpaper on any paint that still remains. After that, sand it to get a smooth surface you can paint, and don’t be afraid to leave small areas of the old finish. This technique gives it a more weathered look when you’re done.
If you’re really confident, you could even add cracks and dents to the wood using a hammer or chisel — but be careful not to overdo it. A wire brush can also help add scratches and imperfections, preferably in an uneven and random manner so they look like they occurred naturally.
Once you’ve distressed the wood to your liking, it’s time to preserve it. After cleaning off any residue and sandpaper dust, brush on stain in the direction of the wood grain, and then wipe it off immediately. This method leaves stain in the crevices and dents of your furniture, which highlights and draws attention to those areas.
Give it time to dry, and finish it with a coat of clear varnish. This seals the wood and protects it while preserving the stained areas. Upon completion, you’ve got a trendy, stylish piece that suits your style — and shows off your creative flair.
When you’re ready to start your distressed furniture project, take advantage of the top-quality options available at CORT Furniture Clearance Centers to find lasting pieces at unbeatable prices.