Shabby Chic, distressed furniture isn’t for everyone. I love it, especially when painting an aged or antique piece. Or for turning a modern boring piece into a piece that has character and a story to tell, even if its story is that it used to be an old dated piece discarded on the roadside – and now it is reloved and ready for its next chapter!

In saying that I also love furniture that is painted or stained and has no distressing at all. I normally just decide depending on the piece I’m doing. Often a piece speaks for itself and will take me on a journey as I encounter problems that need to be solved.

So, firstly choose a piece of furniture you would like to transform.

If you are going to use a light colour to paint with like Weiss or Cream, I suggest starting with 1-2 coats of our stain blocker. This will stop any tannins and stains bleeding through. With darker colours you can get away with no stain blocker.

If your piece needs a little more character, you can grab a hammer and give it a bang in some places, you can also grab a screw and scratch. Do this in places you think would have wear and tear naturally. For example on the legs of a table and the tabletop.



After painting your piece in your chosen colour and waiting for it to dry. You can then you can use sandpaper to rub back sections. I would go for a 240 grit first and see how that goes. That way you have a little control and won’t take too much off too quickly.

Wet distressing – you can use a wet rag to wipe the paint away. Chalk paint easily wipes off with water. This can give a much softer look to the distressing. Use an old t-shirt or a chux wipe.

Another way to wet distress is by using a water spray bottle and spraying directly onto your piece. You can then use a 240 grit sandpaper to distress and wipe the paint away.

You can also apply clear wax onto your piece and then sand back. The wax allows the paint to be workable and easily rubbed back before it fully dries. Once you have the desired distressed look you finish by waxing the whole piece. Be sure to distress and wax in sections, because if the wax begins to harden it will be harder to wipe back to expose the timber and paints underneath.



When distressing, remember less is more. Start off by distressing where it would naturally wear – corners, legs, raised sections, edges, wooden knobs, and tabletops. You can always go back and distress more, and if you distress too much – remember it is only paint; you can paint over it again!

I love seeing colours peeking through. Like the furniture has had layers of paint over the years. To achieve this you can paint your piece in several colours. Making sure each layer is dry before adding the next one.

Once you have sanded back to your desired look, some people like more distressing than others, you then need to seal your piece. Chalk paint is porous so needs to be sealed with either a wax or clear lacquer.


Our Guest Contributor:


Thank you to Melanie Blythe, founder and the creative force behind Refunked Junk. Refunked Junk was born out of the necessity to freely create. What started as a passion has now grown into a business. Melanie is a mother of 3 gorgeous girls Hayley, Courtney, and Billie and wife to Craig. Formally a florist and a stay at home mum. Refunked Junk continues to evolve – now offering Lignocolor paints and products online for those wanting to create their own piece. All paints are eco friendly, so just another way to do our bit to create a more sustainable future for our world.

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