Distressing is one way of achieving an antique look without searching around for the perfectly aged piece of white furniture. White distressed dressers can be easily achieved by a few simple steps.
Distressed Furniture Tip 1- Sanding
First sanding your piece lightly, which allows the paint to bond better to your piece of furniture. If you sand your piece well, and start with a plain untouched wood dresser you can add almost any color and achieve a great look. If you have an un-touched piece of furniture - (plain wood) all you need is paint and sanding, with a little bit of glaze. Starting with a plain dresser is ideal.
Distressed Furniture Tip 1- Priming
You don't need to prime if you have a solid wood piece without any surface protectant. Most vintage dressers, chests and armoires have polyurethane sealants which in most cases just need a slight sand.
If your dresser is already painted, and has a gloss finish, using a primer will help.
Pro Painter Tips:
1. Once you have sanded your piece, you can soften your look by wiping over the distressed areas with your white paint. You can control how much of the distressing you want to show. Doing this you achieve a light white wash look in the areas you have distressed. I find this step really produces professional results that antique dealer show rooms often feature without looking home painted.
2.-French country furniture is often seen with black or red distressed paint. I have found early on in my painting experience, that you DO NOT want to prime your furniture piece before hand if you plan on using these colors. The problem is you end up seeing the white primer once you begin distressing. Be sure to sand your piece down well, and then apply your paint. I have always suggested Rustoleum's Satin Oil Paints, because they are quite a bit durable than latex paints.
3.- White furniture that shows black distressing can look very sophisticated and elegant. I have found success using black oil paint (with no primer underneath it) and then a (flat) latex on top. If you do this, lightly sand your oil finish and use a flat paint, which you can later apply a water based polycrylic over your finished piece. Flat will eat up any dirt, so be sure to coat it with a water based polycrylic or untinted glaze. You can use an oil based flat paint in black, which doubles as a primer.
4.- Bright white furniture is never a color you find in true antiques. Try an antique white or the heirloom white by American Accents. It is a creamy white, which would fit in with any period antiques.
5.- Try adding a brown glaze over your white piece of furniture for an extra antiquing step. Do not add glaze over a flat finish, because the white will eat up the brown pigment. Paint over your piece with a coat of glaze (un-tinted), which will protect your paint finish, and then add your glaze with a little bit of brown paint mixed together to finish your piece. The glaze un-tinted can be used instead of your polycrylic as a finishing coat as it dries clear.
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