How to Distress White Furniture

If you are into the aged rusting look and the French countryside has inspired you, you are likely to have wondered how to distress white furniture. This style is hands down one of the most stylish, looking without being or feeling too in the eye. It is refined, and it adds a component of contemporary elegance and dynamism.

Distressed white furniture is ideal for bedrooms or living rooms, inspiring that shabby chic or cottage style. 

Do you already have a piece of furniture that you think isn’t the right color or style for your farmhouse-decorated home? You have come to the right place. 

Today we present a few furniture-distressing techniques that you can easily use and do like a pro, whether you are a beginner or an experienced DIYer. So, let’s get started and discover more about distressing white furniture!

How to Distress White Furniture

How to Distress White Furniture?

If you still want to use your old furniture but don’t want it to look old, the distressing technique always saves the day. 

These are some of the coolest options to refresh anything that needs a little rehabbing while adding a little edgy touch. So, whether you are looking to distress your old coffee table or sitting chair, follow our tips.

Equip yourself with the right materials

This is what you need to distress your old furniture and give it an entirely new makeover:

  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Steel wool
  • Candle
  • Drop cloths
  • Rags
  • Polyurethane.

Make sure everything is protected

Before you get down to business, make sure to put protective covers around the area where you will do your work. Also, remember to remove everything from the furniture piece, like handles, pulls, knobs, etc.

First, sand the piece

First, thoroughly sand the piece. You can do that by using steady pressure with back-and-forth movements but be careful not to round down the edges.

Sanding is especially important if it has been painted or polyurethaned before. So, once the surface and all the corners are clean and shiny, get all the dust and crusties off using a rag so the paint won’t stick to that instead of the wood. It is also a good idea to clean again using an old T-shirt. Now you are prepared for the painting step. 

Choose the paint you want

This step requires you to make some decisions. White furniture gives you many options since it is easy to put in almost every color. You must figure out what you want to do with your piece, whether to turn it into its original wood color or play around and add multiple tones. 

Go ahead with the choice you prefer. If you choose to add some new color, paint it carefully. Use a foam brush to spread the paint evenly over the piece. You can also use a foam roller or other high-quality brush to get even more coverage. 

If you want to avoid noticeable brush marks in the middle of everything, always go over it again with longer strokes. If needed, put on a second coat in the same way as the first time. After you are done, let it dry completely for some time. 

Apply candle wax

Before applying the second color, apply candle wax to some places on your piece of furniture. Be extra mindful of where you will put the wax since the paint won’t stick to the waxed areas, and once you remove it, you’ll be able to see the first coat. Ensure you don’t neglect any area, especially the corners and edges.

Time to distress the piece 

Before starting the distressing process, ensure everything is nice and dry. You can use steel wool to remove the paint from the waxed areas for different types of distress

After this, follow up with sandpaper on other areas to get a nice finish. This technique is great if you use two colors.

Moreover, if you use one single color, use sandpaper to distress the paint and show off the wood beneath. Once you achieve the desired outcome, remove the dust using a rag.

Perfecting and protecting your piece of furniture

The final step requires protecting your craftsmanship to look good for a long period. Paint on a layer of polyurethane and make sure it is completely dry before you start using your piece, or set it anywhere you want it to stand. Then the next step is showing off your craft to your family and friends. 

Styling Distressed White Furniture

Styling Distressed White Furniture 

When you have your distressed piece all set and done, you wonder how to incorporate it into your space. 

First, decide on the general style of your space and what you wish to achieve. Almost everything can be transformed for a more oriental look, from wood to old carpets. Consider incorporating textiles like linen and leather that would look perfect if your piece is a chair or a couch. 

Pictures with antique subjects and frameworks go nicely together with distressed furniture, so consider placing your distressed piece in the center of the room and add some rustic style decoration to create a whole ambiance. 


Well, this is the very end of this short article. So, when you know how to distress white furniture, this type of aesthetic gives new meaning to making the old new again. 

Moreover, if you are someone that has a sentimental bond with their old furniture pieces, distressing them will make you enjoy them even more by adding a twist. 

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way you can distress your furniture since all the techniques work the best as long as you achieve the desired effect. The most important thing is to let your creativity go wild. So, be creative and transform your white furniture!

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