Monday, December 12, 2016

How to Distress Wood for A Rustic Farmhouse Look

If you've been around for a while, you know that I LOVE all things rustic, farmhouse, and "Fixer Upper" when it comes to home decor. (If you need a little proof, check out our Rustic Dining Room and Farmhouse Living Room.) I love adding light and brightening a room without having to tackle painting all of our oak trim, and thus I've repainted a lot of furniture with pale greens, whites, and pretty neutral pops of color. But what's a girl to do when working with unfinished or older wood? Distress it to look rustic and add some character, of course. Here's how you can make your wooden furniture look old and farmhouse fresh.

Distressing Wood for a Rustic Farmhouse Look

1. Make sure the wood is sanded, clean, and dry.

My hubby built me this new beautiful church pew as a surprise gift. I'll demonstrate the process with it, and if you love the pew as much as me, he can actually build you one. Just contact me on Facebook or through the Contact Form for more info on available sizes and pricing! It's my favorite part of the room.

Church Pew

2.  Choose your stain, apply, and rub off.

I initially thought I wanted to go with white stain for the pew, but decided that I'd rather go with the deep brown stain color that we used for our rustic centerpiece.  We chose Minwax Wood Finish Dark Walnut Oil-Based Interior Stain. Just use an older brush to do this, knowing that it won't be of much use for other paints after you use it to stain. Be sure to put down a drop cloth- stain will ruin clothes and carpet. After letting the stain sit for 30+ seconds, depending on how dark you want it, you will need to use a rag to rub off some of the excess stain and build texture. This is very important for the proper rustic look!


3.  Let the stain dry for a day or two, and choose your favorite chalky finish. 

While we let the stain soak, we landed on a dreamy chalky finish from Americana DECOR by DecoArt.  The color we chose was "vintage", a pale blue gray. Keep in mind that the chalk paint you choose needs to be lighter than your stain or the current wood color in order to create a rustic look.

 

4. Apply the chalk paint using "dry brushing" strokes.

This is the biggest part of a successful finish- choosing a good brush and using "dry brushing" to not overly apply your chalk paint. Make sure your brush has good bristles and is wide and flat. To dry brush, place just a little bit of paint on a paint can lid or a paper plate. Dip the edge of your brush very gently into the paint, and then dab the brush on a paper towel to remove any extra paint. You need the edge to be "dry" or else you'll end up with big globs of chalk paint that won't look rustic. (Make sure the bristles of the brush are still separated.)

Distressing Wood for a Rustic Farmhouse Look

5. Repeat as desired (or use a variation of these steps to paint older wood too!)

Use short, quick brush strokes in a variety of directions, and add a little more paint as you get more comfortable and reach your desired look. If you don't have new wood, you can simply skip to steps three through five, and use a chalky finish to add some texture and color to your wood!

Distressing Wood for a Rustic Farmhouse Look

How to Distress Wood for a Rustic Farmhouse Look

That's it! I love how our pew turned out, and I'm excited to "finish" the new kitchen island my husband also built me before Baby K comes in a few months! I love the way that we can make brand new wood look old and full of character. Let me know if you have any questions!

Distressing Wood for a Rustic Farmhouse Look

Are you a rustic farmhouse home decor lover too? Check out my board on Pinterest for some inspiration and dreamy looks I'm loving!

Currently,
Kelsie


16 comments:

  1. I so need to try this! I'm currently a little painted out from refinished ALL of the nursery furniture, but I may have to find something to distress because I love the look of your pew!

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  2. This is a gorgeous piece of furniture, and the rustic finish is beautiful! Pinned!

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    1. Thanks! I'm so happy with how it turned out!

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  3. This turned out AMAZING! I'm really bad at these sorts of projects, but yours looks great. I think my problem is that I'm not patient enough. lol

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    1. Thank you! It does take patience and is kind of nerve-wracking!

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  4. I love this look! I had no idea it was brand new when I first saw the pictures! You did a great job making this look rustic!

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  5. This is beautiful! All of these tips are so helpful! :)

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  6. This bench looks amazing! I love seeing all the rustic touches in your home. It motivates me to keep working on mine!

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    1. Thank you, friend! Finishing the nursery next and then I'm dreaming of our bedroom!

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  7. Your bench looks so beautiful! We just bought our first home and I'm excited to actually be able to do more DIY projects.

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  8. Your bench is gorgeous! I never would have thought to create this type of look until reading your post. So cool! I wish I had something to try this on. :)

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