I like to wet distress my pieces because it makes much less mess and I feel like it’s easier to accomplish different looks and feels to the paint finish, depending on what you use. It doesn’t break through the original finish and expose the bare wood like regular sanding can.
I always use Country Chic Paint so this process works well with this but I’m not sure how it will work on others. CCP is safe for family and pets and is a chalk / clay base with 0 VOC’s. If you’re local you can stop by Vintage Vogue for all of your CCP needs.
- Wet lint free rag. (I love my ecloth for this) (US link here)
- Wet sanding block. (US)
- Wet dish scrubbie (I use these ones) (US link here)
- Wet sanding paper
- Furniture glaze
- Large paint brush for Glaze
- Lint free rag for Glaze (ecloth is my go to)
- Dark wax (I don’t always use this but sometimes I do to add a different feel or to darken the glaze)
- Small paint brush for wax
- Wax rag (something you’re not hoping to keep)
I shared my wet distressing post here in more detail but the general idea is that CCP chalk paint can be wet distressed for less mess than sanding. I use the sanding block, scrubbie and wet lint free rag to take off bits of the paint. If it gets too hard on my arm I’ll switch to a piece of wet sand paper. It’s easier to get the paint off but can break through the original finish, which I don’t like, so I do this with very little pressure and a fine grit.
For getting into the details I like to mostly use Glaze but every once in awhile I break out the black wax. I usually use CCP’s black wax but you can also check out my homemade recipe here.
I remember being afraid to try Glaze but it’s truly, so simple to use. The best is that CCP’s is water based so it’s easy to clean up and rinse out of the rag. It dries very durable as well.
I use my big paintbrush to get into all of the details and then use my lint free cloth to wipe it off the surface. I keep a bucket of hot water near by to rinse the cloth often and I work in small sections so it doesn’t start to get tacky before I have a chance to wipe off the excess. If I’m going for more of a grungy look I won’t rinse the rag as often so more of the colour gets pulled around on the piece.
For more of an aged look I like to blot some around the edges of a piece as well. You can use a cloth or the paintbrush depending on the look you’re going for. Sometimes I’ll wipe the area off with a wet cloth first because it’s easier to move the glaze around. I’ll blot some on with the paintbrush and dab it around with the cloth. Sometimes this takes a few tries and a few coats. This is sometimes where dark wax works better. Just be sure the surface is dry first.
For the wax, you can also use it for details but I find it much more work than the glaze. I’ve shared a wax vs glaze post here. Sometimes I’ll use a bit of wax in the corners of the inserts to darken further or add some texture to the glaze.
I’m also working on another post about glazing as well.
What are your go to tools for distressing and antiquing a piece of furniture?