Wednesday, April 14, 2010

[How-To Tuesday (1 day late): Distressing]

A couple of you had asked me to describe how I distress my projects. I LOVE distressing everything I paint. It's so much fun, and it gives whatever you distress a very used, "antiquey" look. And I thought to myself, "why don't I just write a blog about it!" So here you go. A step-by-step tutorial on distressing. I usually do frames, but this week I am painting a cute little tray I found at Goodwill for $2.

I thought it had lots of potential! Just needed a little TLC. So in order to start this project, I needed to get my supplies together: a thrifty find (the tray), some acrylic paint (I used Apple Barrel white acrylic paint I bought at Walmart), a paint brush (or sponge brush), and sandpaper (or sandpaper block).

First, you might want to sand down any rough edges with sandpaper (especially if what you're painting has been used and abused). This will help you get a cleaner look after you paint it.

Next, start painting! Yea! I love painting. It's so therapeutic! You can paint on as many coats as you wish. In this project, I painted on 2 coats of paint since the wood was so dark.

After you painted on the desired amount of paint, let it dry. You might be thinking "why is she adding 'let it dry' as a step?" Learning from experience, you do NOT want to do any distressing on wet paint. Not pretty.

Once the paint has fully dried, grab some sandpaper (or your sandpaper block) and begin sanding off just the edges. You only want it to "accent" your work of art. You can distress (a.k.a. sand down) as much or as little as you want. The great part about distressing is that if you sand down too much, you can always repaint it, let it fully dry, and sand it again. So simple!

Next step: give yourself I big pat on the back. Congratulations! You have now turned something old and rusty to a beautiful distressed accent to your decor. :0)

I placed this now adorable little tray on a shelf in my craft room. It holds cute little cups and jars that are filled with miscellaneous craft supplies.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this week's How-To Tuesday! (Like the title?? I am trying it out.)

Featured on:


  1. What a great thrift store find!! I've been going out the past few weekends, but haven't found anything I couldn't live without.

    But I'll always keep trying! There's bound to be a treasure at some point. =]

  2. I love how it turned out! And a great tutorial to boot!

  3. Great tutorial. The tray is very pretty.

    Partying with you tonight. Stop by for a visit.

  4. Don't you just LOVE distressed things...I need to control myself or everything in my house would be distress!

  5. This is a wonderful project and it looks so pretty. You did well. I'm visiting from New Friend Friday..and will be back to visit your pretty blog again. Come visit..

  6. Great Re-do! I love anything in distressed white. I really like the style of that tray, its very different! I'm over from New Friend Friday as well.
    Have a great weekend!

  7. Looks great. I'm your newest follower from New Friend Friday at The Girl Creative. I love you blog. Can't wait to read more.


  8. Great job. I have a couple of distressing projects going on right now. Thanks for the help. Check me out @

  9. Great job, it looks tooo pretty.

  10. Love the tray! Looks great!

  11. This is such a good tutorial for that I HOPE you'll get yourself a link from our blog to this tutorial by using our DIY / Craft Tutorial Linky Party (PR 3-4 site, )

    We've only just begon this linky party series, but it's going to be every Wednesday, from now on.

    We'll leave the first (few) linky party open for a weeek, till all the good tutorial writers/creative talents know where to go EVERY WEDNESDAY.

    btw if you hop over to the blog today, you can put your name in the hat for a $50 lisa leonard jewelry gift certificate. Who knows...maybe you'll win. Her jewels are gorgeous and unique to you, the wearer as they are all customized.


Whatcha thinkin?