Question for the furniture painters out there....

Sandy1963September 23, 2012

I picked up a dining table at a yard sale yesterday for my daughters apartment and I'm refinishing it for her. The top has been sanded, stained, and it's now waiting to be polyurethaned.I also painted the legs, and base of the table with Glidden semi-gloss in Warm Caramel. I 'think' I have to re-coat, as it's going over a dark green paint. Now, my daughter wants me to distress the legs, and I need to know the best way to go about doing it. Should I actually put another coat of paint on the legs? Or should I start working with what I already painted (one coat)? I've never distressed furniture before, and I'm just not sure how.

Please help, I'm going slightly crazy here ! : P

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When I've distressed furniture, the idea is that you are making it look worn, so the idea is usually to put on all the paint you want before distressing it.

While I've distressed furniture at the request of people, I don't really like it, because I think life should distress your furniture. But, the best way, if your daughter insists, is to look at the table and see how it will become distressed in real life. Imagine where chairs will hit it, legs rub against it, etc. Edges are usually the places where distressing will look the most "natural."

Ask your daughter too, if she wants all the distressing to go down right to the wood, or if she would like some of it to go down to the under paint coat so it shows that the table has been painted before. Some folks really like that "History" look that having tiny peeps around the edging of the original colors can show.

Distressing is one of those things where a little can go a long way. Do just a tiny bit and show your daughter. It can be easy to get carried away and once you've distressed it, you really can't touch it up without it looking odd.

I like the new color. But yeah, you'll need at least one other coat, the old coat is showing right through.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 9:31PM
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I haven't refinished much furniture (yet, though I do have several projects coming up) but I do agree with Cindy that distressing should be done sparingly and in places that are likely to get bumped during normal use. One of my pet peeves when I see otherwise nicely painted furniture for sale on CL is when the distressing is out of control and fake looking.

I'll also "ditto" the advice to add another coat of paint before doing any distressing. Nice work so far!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 4:32PM
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