Hopefully you saw my last fall DIY project. Next up, my living room end table! I found this little guy at a junk shop while I was a student in Kingston, Ontario. I think it was around $40. The wood is in pretty rough shape and not worth writing home about, so I decided to paint it, too.
When a wooden piece has a scratched, flakey surface like this, I think it’s ready for a new incarnation as a timeworn, distressed heirloom. If it’s banged up, the simplest thing is to just go with it!
Make sure you sand off any loose bits from the surface. I love this Mouse Sander for small jobs like this. There’s no need to prime here, since I want to sand back the final paint layer a bit to reveal the wood below.
After painting the table with two coats of paint, I distressed the table with the sander. You could use a regular piece of sandpaper too, of course! Just sand lightly in the areas that would naturally receive wear — the edges, on the legs, and especially around the feet. This mimics the wear from being dragged around for a hundred years. But go easy, don’t bang it up too much!
For me, this look is best when it’s subtle. In this overall shot, you can barely see the distressing. This is usually how the pros do it.