How To Make Wood Look Distressed With Paint

How To Make Wood Look Distressed With Paint


When I started looking for a suitable tutorial which can help me understand how to make wood look distressed with paint, I ended up full of excitement. As a passionate DIYer, I am always hungry to experiment with different techniques.

Nevertheless, being a raving fan of the notoriously mesmerizing weathered, distressed looks on wood, I knew I had to try all of the methods I discovered. So I thought to myself “Woohoo, let’s get this party started”.

From aging wood with Vaseline, through trying out chalk paint and milk paint, as well as the wood stain and paint technique – my distressed appetite didn’t seem to stop. I reached a point when I finally realized I could no longer afford spending tons of cash (and tons of time) exploring various wood distressing techniques.

Don’t get me wrong, though. That realization did not curb my enthusiasm. Instead, it encouraged me to find the most affordable, easiest way to make wood look distressed with simple paint (and simple tools). Do you want to check out this inexpensive, fun, and effortless method? You’re most welcome to jump on board!

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

  • Sander
  • Medium-grit and fine-grit sandpaper
  • Flat paintbrush
  • Paint
  • Dark wax polish
  • Steel wool
  • Protective gloves (optional)
  • Breathing mask (optional)

Step by Step Instructions for Making Wood Look Distressed With Paint

Step 1 – Sand the wood and apply a good layer of paint

For a start, it’s important to remove any residues if the wood you use has been painted or varnished before. In the case you are working with bare wood, sanding is still necessary to make the surface uniform. Don’t forget to sand the edges well, too. Remove the dust left behind from sanding with the paintbrush which will be still dry and perfect for this purpose.

Step 1 Sand The Wood And Apply A Good Layer Of Paint

Image Credit:

Afterward, apply a layer of paint following the grain of the wood. This is the only layer of paint you will apply because the aim is to let the wood slightly show off beneath for a more authentic, naturally distressed looks. Let the paint dry out for about 2 hours.

Step 2 – Polish the wood

Step 2 Polish The Wood

Image Credit:

You are almost done! Before you proceed with applying the wax polish, you need to sand the wood once again. Use fine-grit sandpaper and pay extra attention to the corners and the edges by putting more pressure as you work through these areas.

Next, it’s time to go for the dark wax polish. You want to rub in 2 good layers of the wax to help protect the wood but also to make the distressed effect truly stand out.

Well, if you can point out to a single example of a cheaper and easier way to make wood look distressed with paint, then I am BEGGING you to do drop us a line! Don’t hesitate to join us in the comment section below with any extra tips, personal experience or questions you want to discuss. Did you have a good time with our tutorial?

Your support means a lot to us, so don’t be shy to give this article thumbs ups and shares. That’s the only way we can spread the positive vibes with the world. I am extremely happy for discovering this easy-peasy, inexpensive way to distress wood, and I will be even happier if this tutorial has been useful to you, as well!