Piece of furniture

A distressed and antiqued piece of furniture can add a unique charm to any room. And if you do it yourself, the process of distressing and antiquing furniture is relatively inexpensive. And best of all, it’s not really difficult! With a bit of liquid sander/deglosser, spray primer, spray paint, sandpaper, and stain, you can turn virtually any piece of wood furniture into a beautiful heirloom-quality treasure.

So, let’s get started! We’ll turn this…

…into this…

Project Cost:

Approximately $55 + cost of furniture piece

Tools & Materials:

  • A piece of wood furniture that needs a facelift (it needs to be solid wood or wood veneer–this process won’t work on a laminated surface);
  • Liquid sander/deglosser;
  • Spray primer (the dresser shown required two cans of spray primer);
  • Spray paint for dresser (the dresser shown required two cans of spray paint. I used Rustoleum’s Heirloom White in a satin finish–I wouldn’t recommend a flat finish, as it may soak up way too much stain during the antiquing process);
  • Stain in your choice of color (I used oil-based Minwax English Chestnut;
  • Spray paint for drawer hardware (I used Rustoleum in flat black);
  • Clear spray sealer (I used Rustoleum in a matte finish);
  • Optional–polyurethane (needed if you’re going to stain the top as shown);
  • Rags (use old ones that you no longer want, or purchase cheap ones from the paint department of Home Depot or Lowe’s);
  • Electric sander with 80-grit sandpaper and 150-grit sandpaper;
  • Standard 150-grit sandpaper;
  • Paint brush;
  • Piece of cardboard, approximately 12″ square; and,
  • Foam brush (if staining the top).


1. Remove all hardware from furniture, and be sure that the piece of furniture is clean.

2. Using a dry rag, apply the liquid sander/deglosser according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the container. If you are going to stain the top, there’s no need to use deglosser on the top.

3. After the surfaces are adequately deglossed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, apply the spray primer. On the drawers, use a piece of cardboard under the edges of the drawer fronts to avoid excessive overspray.

4. After the surfaces are primed, follow with the spray paint. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions on the paint. Spray paints generally have specific guidelines regarding dry times and recoating. Ignoring these guidelines could result in your paint finish wrinkling, cracking, or peeling.

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