I love the look of distressed furniture but have always shied away because of the massive amount of time and work that goes into this. I have never been that patient of a person and was not sure I had the patience for striping, then sanding, then painting, then sanding again and then painting…blah blah blah… Plus I was not all that comfortable using stripping chemicals while preggers so an alternative was desperately needed. So, I googled “distressing furniture” and found a SIMPLE and FAST tutorial that involves Vaseline and a little bit of interior paint. Hmmmm…seems easy enough!
So I was given this old desk that worked great in my guest room back in our old house. Only problem was, my guest room didn’t have enough room for another piece of furniture so this desk sat in our spare room (aka future baby room) for 6 months collecting dust. I thought about giving it away or donating it but never got around to it. One day I was sitting in this spare room with my mom discussing inspiration for a little boy or girl nursery and BAM…it hit me! I swear I am like a cat…can’t pay attention to anything for more than 5 minutes before my mind wanders into a totally different direction. “MOM I know what I can do with that desk!” My mom has dealt with Brittany ADD for 27 years now so I am sure she is just used to it.
Here is a terrible picture of the desk before…sorry for the blurriness! I can’t believe I found this picture from an old iPhone back-up…some things are just meant to be!
This desk is essentially two pieces; the top part and the bottom part. Both parts will be transformed into something totally different, but for today, we will discuss the Distressed Hall Table. I thought it would be really cool to incorporate an old shutter as the top part of the table…so off to Habitat I went. Believe it or not, wooden shutters can be difficult to find as many are actually plastic. Obviously wooden shutters makes more sense for a table if you consider the stability of the piece. Two wooden shutters for $12…SCORE! This project only requires one shutter.
How to Distress Using Vaseline:
- Choose the piece of furniture/wood/project that you would like to distress. Lightly sand the piece by hand. Seriously, don’t spend more than a few minutes on this step because it is a waste of time. Your piece more than likely already has existing paint or stain or whatever that you can use to your advantage…be creative!
- Blow off your piece with compressed air or a lawn blower (Red Neck but works great). Paint a super thin coat on the corners and edges of your piece a dark color (or whatever color scheme you would like). Remember this step will eventually be the color that will show through to give a distressed look. Let the paint dry (1 hour at the most). Since my desk was black, I didn’t need to do step 1 or 2.
- Now for the fun and moisturizing part of this project! Smear a thin amount of Vaseline along the edges and corners of your piece, covering the dark paint you just finished in step 2. You don’t need to let the Vaseline dry because it won’t…LOL!
- NOTE: The thicker the Vasleine coat you use, the more that the paint will come off in later steps…totally your call. Thicker Vaseline layer is more difficult to work with in the end and will be much messier.
- Using FLAT paint in a light color (I used cream color) and a paint brush, apply a light coat all over the peice. Remember, the goal here is to make the piece look distressed so don’t get all OCD on this step. The less perfect you paint this layer, the better it will look in the end. Be creative and try not to cover the whole piece with tons of paint. Let paint dry (not more than an hour).
- Using sandpaper or those sand pads you can get at any hardware store, lightly sand the edges and corners of the piece (remember in step 2?). BOOM – distressing made easy!
- NOTE: You can incorporate several colors if you wish! I did this with the shutter. I used teal, dark brown and cream. Just be sure to add an additional step of painting before you apply the Vaseline. Be creative…you can’t go wrong with to many colors.
Putting the table together was pretty easy! All I needed was an electric drill, drill bits, screws and a husband! Since the desk already has legs and a base, the only step left to do was assemble the shutter to the top. The desk was already set up for a top so literally all we did was screw the shutter onto the base of the desk…very carefully! Actually, I shouldn’t take credit for this as my husband did most of the work…okay all of the work! Thanks Hun! OH…and I added vintage crystal knobs to the functional drawer.
Table After Distressing with Shutter Attached! Enjoy! I am super proud of this project!
Remember that awkward wall I talked about in the “Big H” hallway upstairs? This desk and picture works perfectly in this space! To read about the “Big H” in our upstairs hallway and envision where this desk is placed in my house, click HERE.