How to Distress Your Furniture

The thought of distressing furniture is more stressful than the process of doing it...at least when using Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan! Because of the ingredients in Chalk Paint®, there is no need to sand or prime your piece in the beginning- which only leaves the fun parts! Learn how you can capture Annie Sloan’s signature look in 5 easy steps!


Materials Needed:

Something to distress

2 Coordinating Chalk Paint® Colors

Annie Sloan Soft Wax

Annie Sloan Brushes


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  1. Prep Your Piece

Though we mentioned above there would be no prep work, it is important to make sure there is no dust, dirt or other material on your piece you would not like showing in the finished project. To guarantee your piece looking its best, wipe your piece down with a cloth to remove any excess material, and then on to the fun!



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  1. Apply Your First Color

Use one of the coordinating Chalk Paint® colors you have chosen as your first coat. Before applying your first coat, be sure to shake your paint and check that it is combined well. Once this is done, begin painting your piece in whatever way you would like. To create the distressed look, it is important to move the brush in different directions. For a rougher look, we suggest painting against the grain of your piece or using one of Annie Sloan’s round paint brushes. Chalk Paint® is thick so it is very easy to create a textured look.



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  1. Apply Your Second Color

Once your first color dries, you may move on to your second coat. Using the second color, apply a thinner coat than you did in the first application. You can do this by using a smaller or thinner brush. The second color does not need to completely cover the first coat. Distress is created through the first color peeking through and adding a rustic quality to your color combination.



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  1. Sand It Down

As soon as your second coat of paint dries, beginning rubbing your piece with 600 grit or higher sandpaper. This process will clean up any drips or mess you want hidden. Annie Sloan suggests emphasizing areas that will receive more wear to give your piece a more natural look as it ages.


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  1. Apply Wax

Though this isn’t a necessary step if you like the matte look, but if you would like to add a glossy finish, use a lint-free cloth or brush to apply Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax to your piece. Annie Sloan compares working the wax in to applying hand cream. Make sure it is a light coat and is evenly distributed. As you go, be sure to remove any excess wax. You will immediately see a sheen on your piece!


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And voila! Your piece has been transformed into distressed rustic home decor in 5 easy steps. If you need any assistance with your furniture distressing project, please come into our store or contact us!
March 12, 2017 by Betsy DiGorgio