An Easy Way to Distress Chalk-Painted Furniture

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Do you like the look of rustic, distressed furniture? I’ve seen a wide-range of distressed furniture out there… some have subtle distress while others have more drastic spots of distress. I’m more of a “subtle distress” girl myself. It’s super easy to do, and I wanted to share what I did on a recent end table we made!

Stephen built a beautiful farmhouse “X” side table, like this one. Since we’ve determined that the stained brown top and white bottom is the most popular look, I went for it… but decided to try something different. Normally, I just paint the base of the table solid white with chalk paint. This time, I started off by staining the entire table brown (FYI: I used Minwax Provincial).

Once the entire table was stained and dry, I went back and painted the base white, on top of the brown. I ended up doing 3 coats over the stain. (By the way, if you need white chalk paint, my favorite paint is only $10.88 on Amazon right now! Hurry!)

Once the chalk paint was dry, I used a sanding sponge (like this) and sanded along all of the edges of the tables. It doesn’t take much pressure to do this- you start rubbing the sponge along the edge until you see some brown. It’s up to you to how much brown you want to have come through. I like the look of random distress, not matchy-matchy distress.

I will say that chalk paint, when sanded, leaves a lot of chalk dust. (Remember in elementary school when you’d bang two chalkboard erasers together?? Am I showing my age here? 😉 ) I would recommend putting a blanket or some kind of surface protector that you can throw away or shake off afterwards!

That is it!! The importance of staining the entire table ahead of time is so that the darker brown comes out from beneath the white (instead of a very light, natural wood color). If you like a more drastic distressed look, you can take sharper tools to anywhere on the table and carefully scrape some paint off. Or use a finer piece of sandpaper!

Do you prefer the solid look? Or do you feel like distress adds a little something extra?

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