DIY Distressed Wood

Maybe it’s the onset of summer, but I just have an urge at the moment for everything to be fresh, white and bright. I’ve decided to take action on my flat, and it’s a double-pronged attack. First of all, it’s high time for a clearout, and I can barely contain my excitement at the fact that car boot season has arrived.

Anyone who thinks car boot sales are full of old tat and knock-off beauty products, well you’re half right. But if you tackle it the right way, a car boot can be a fantastic way to get rid of unwanted junk, make a few bob, and [most importantly], pick up a bargain that you can reupholster/paint/take apart and put back together again to become a beauty to behold. Watch out for some car boot transformation DIYs in the weeks to come. In the mean time, I was just preparing my car booty when I came across this old pine mirror I’ve had since I was about twelve. It’s nothing special, and I really don’t like plain pine much at all, but instead of giving it the car boot treatment quite yet, I thought I’d give it a face-lift first to give it that lighter, more organic feel I’ve been craving recently.

If you’ve ever wondered how to give wooden furniture that ‘distressed’ look- you know, like it might have just washed up on the shore- here’s how. There are lots of different ways to do it, but this is the way I think is the easiest and most effective. All it takes is a bit of Vaseline and some sand paper. Trust me.

DIY Distressed Wood

You will need:

Old mirror/picture frame [or other furniture]
Paint – one colour for your outer coat, and one which will be the ‘peek-through’ colour
Primer, if you aren’t using wood paint
Newspaper
Paintbrush
Sandpaper
Vaseline
Masking Tape


Step 1: clean the surface to be painted. Mark around the edge, and apply a coat of primer if necessary

DIY Distressed Wood

Step 2: When the primer is dry, apply a layer of the under coat colour you chose. It doesn’t have to be neat, just make sure it covers the bits where you want it to show through to give that ‘distressed’ effect.

DIY Distressed Wood

Because you don’t need much paint, I recommend using one of these little samples with a foam applicator – it makes the whole job really easy and they don’t cost much at all.

DIY Distressed Wood

Step 3: when the under layer is dry, it’s time to apply the Vaseline to the areas where you want the under layer to peep through. The idea is that the Vaseline won’t allow the paint to stick to it, so it’ll be really easy to sand off later.

DIY Distressed Wood

Step 4: Apply as many coats as you need of your outer colour. Depending on how thick the paint is, you might want to re-apply a bit of Vaseline between layers.

When this final layer is dry, use the sand paper to rub the paint off the spots where the Vaseline is. Depending on how hard you rub, and the effect you want, it might even go all the way through to the wood underneath, which can look quite nice.

DIY Distressed Wood

DIY Distressed Wood

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