How to Distress Painted Furniture for DIY Farmhouse Style

Distressed furniture may owe its fame to the French countryside, but since the Gaineses flipped the city of Waco, the popular farmhouse trend has shown no signs of slowing down. This classic finish is loved for a reason: it can bring warmth to any room thanks to wood peeking through soft hues like cream and French blue.

But as with any popular style, farmhouse antiques can get expensive quickly (especially if you don’t win a trip to the magnolia market!). Fortunately, it’s just as easy to recreate the look at home! We asked blogger KariAnne Wood from ThistleWood Farms to show us how she can get the painted finish for less money in our own four walls.


  • brush
  • Latex paint
  • Attach cloths
  • Hand grinder
  • Sandpaper
  • screwdriver
  • Polyurethane
  • Plans

    How to torture painted furniture:

    1. Clean and prepare
          1. First, remove all hardware from your part and store it in a ziplock bag for safe storage before washing the furniture with soap and water. Rinse with a damp soap and wipe dry with a clean cloth. Wait at least an hour for the surface to dry completely.

            KeriAnn Wood / HouseBeautiful

            2. Paint and adjust

            Use a water-based latex paint to coat the piece the color you want, making sure to apply it in even, thin strokes. If the piece is unfinished or the seal is worn, layer the layers until the piece is completely opaque. Let the paint dry between coats for an even finish and let it dry Completely (ideally overnight!) before moving on to the next step.

            Painting wooden furniture

            KeriAnn Wood / HouseBeautiful

            3. Press the color

            Load the surface of your furniture with fine sandpaper so that the natural stain can peek through the paint. A hand sander is useful on flat surfaces such as a table surface. However, be sure to remove the paper from the sander when tackling hard-to-reach areas such as carvings or legs.

            Emergency paint

            KeriAnn Wood / HouseBeautiful

            4th Seal and finish

            If the piece is troubled to your liking, wipe off any excess sawdust with a cloth. For a longer-lasting finish, use a polyurethane sealant to combat wear and tear. Tables and large, flat surfaces can handle an overmold poly. If your furniture is more intricate, a poly wipe can grip the piece better without the risk of blistering.

            Let the sealant dry and cure overnight before reassembling. Reinstall your hardware and style it with fresh blooms – another farmhouse staple!

            Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.

            This content is created and maintained by third parties and is imported onto this page so that users can provide their email addresses. You may find more information on this and similar content at

      Comments are closed.