HOW TO WET DISTRESS YOUR PAINTED FURNITURE. NO SANDING REQUIRED! [VIDEO]
Hi, sweet #sifamily, it’s great to be back. Happy New Year to you! I’m excited to share this makeover because I don’t come across pieces like this too often! To show off all this gorgeous detail, I decided to WET Distress this finish. WET Distressing your painted furniture can add a TON of character by giving it a more worn-in look. It’s a simple furniture painting technique that creates stunning results. As a bonus, I’m sharing MY FAVORITE way of doing it which will give you a much softer and subtle blended look. The best part, NO SANDING required!
I found this ornate dresser on Facebook Market place and thought it was the perfect piece to kick off the year. Isn’t she gorgeous?
If you follow me on Facebook, you may have heard some of the color suggestions yesterday. You all know me SO WELL. I was considering Caviar Black, a green or blue but decided on this custom red. What do you think?
Don’t you love all these scrolly details!
THIS POST IS SPONSORED/CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS I USE. YOU CAN SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
WHAT IS WET DISTRESSING?
When I first started painting furniture and heard the term “wet distress” I thought it was some fancy type of painting technique. Really it couldn’t be more simple. And if you hate sanding, this is the perfect way to get an aged worn look without the mess. Wet distressing simply means wiping back your paint to reveal what’s underneath. This can be done using a damp or slightly wet lint-free cloth, an old sock, baby wipes, a sponge, paper towel, or a shop towel… which is always my first choice.
BONUS TIP ~ I like to wet distress WHILE my paint is still WET. You don’t often hear this but it’s MY favorite way to get a “blended” and seamless distressed look. You can also do it the traditional way and wait until your paint is dry but not cured. Usually, 1-2 hours after you have painted.
BENEFITS OF WET DISTRESSING
- No sanding required
- No dusty cleanup required
- More control *(light pressure = light distressing more pressure = more distressing)
- You can layer paint colors and wet distress to reveal the under color(s)
- Wipe back while the paint is still wet to save a step
- A gorgeous way to showcase details, trim, appliques, insets, etc.
Here’s the full video tutorial. If you have any trouble viewing it in your browser, feel free to click on my Youtube Channel here… and don’t forget to subscribe! 🙂
STEP #1:: Clean & Prep
I started by giving this piece a super good cleaning with this cleaner mixed with water.
This dresser was solid but the backplate needed repair along with some deep scratches on the top. I filled the scratches with DB Mudd (brown) and after sanding them smooth I used BOSS Primer on the top only. This was to hide any filler marks and ensure no bleedthrough to the parts I sanded.
STEP #2:: Paint
The two colors mixed well and created this beautiful vibrant vintage red.
STEP #3:: Distress
This dresser took two coats. After painting EACH coat (while the paint was still WET), I used a damp shop towel and wiped back the paint on all the details. I used this water mister to spray some water on my shop towel rather than dipping it in water or putting it under a tap because I want it damp, not too wet.
In the pic below, you can see how this wet distressing gives a softer blended look while still aging the piece.
STEP #4:: Enhance Details
Don’t forget, once you’ve wet distressed, you can enhance the distressed details with glaze, gilding wax, dry brushing, dark or white wax… whatever looks good to you! For the bottom and side scrolls, I used this NEW Gilding Wax in Copper. I also applied it to the vintage hardware with amazing results!
I also used this black glaze. It was applied to some of the details to give the piece some more depth and dark aging. I focused on the sides, the feet, and along the edges of the drawers.
STEP #5:: Top Coat
Everything was sealed and protected by spraying three coats of DB’s Satin Clear Coat.
I really love this girl’s new look. I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Here’s another look at the before and after…
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS WET DISTRESSING TECHNIQUE OR FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE. I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU… YOU MAKE MY DAY! 🙂
Next week I’ll be back with my Trash To Treasure Crew with a creative solution for all your orphaned mirrors!
Happy furniture painting my friends!