As part of my Shabby Chic Foyer makeover I decided to distress my current foyer table instead of buying a new one. I  will say it isn’t perfect but overall I am pleased with how it turned and am thrilled to have been able to cut costs by doing it myself. Over the past few months I’ve shared several distressing techniques and this one is very similar to the others only I did a few things different, so I wanted to share a tutorial that shows you how to distress a piece of furniture since most of my distressing has been with smaller decorative items such as picture frames, step stools and wooden signs.

Below is a Before and After Picture

"Before and After"

What you will need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Razor Blade (Used for Distressing)
  • Polycrylic/clear coat
  • Candle

Step 1: If your piece of furniture has hardware on the drawers remove the knobs, etc before doing anything

Step 2: No matter what color your piece of furniture is you are going to need to sand it down (just enough to get the top coat/clear coat off). Without sanding the top coat off it will be much more difficult to get your paint to stick and to get it to go on evenly so I thoroughly suggest not skipping this step (It’s not a fun step but will make the rest of your project so much easier).

"Sand off Top Coat"

As a side note, if your piece of furniture was originally black or some color other than the color you want to show through after distressing all you have to do is paint a coat of brown (or whatever color you choose to show through) on your  furniture prior to painting your primary color.

Since my table was originally brown and I wanted brown to show through after distressing I only used one color, but I assure you I’ve had several pieces that I had to create a “wood” look by painting it brown first and it was a very easy.

Step 3: Take candle wax and rub it on the edges of the piece of furniture you’re distressing and any other areas that you want to distress, this will make the distressing process so much easier (Sorry I don’t have a picture for this step) but you can check out my DIY Distressed picture frame tutorial if you want to see what i’m referring to)

Step 4: Paint your  piece of furniture, I ended up painting three coats

"Paint Table"

Step 5: Instead of using sandpaper like I have previously I used a razor blade and gently scraped the edges, I loved the way it added a rustic look (be careful if you try this method)! You can use a butter knife in place of a razor blade if you prefer to be a little more cautious, it may take a little longer to get to the bottom coat than with a razor blade but will still do the job! I used sandpaper to smooth out some of the rough areas.

"Distress with a razor"

Step 6: Apply a coat of polycrylic (aka clear coat) to keep your newly distressed piece of furniture in tip top condition

"Apply Clear Coat"

Step 7: If you have drawers on your furniture install the hardware (either use the old hardware that came on it or buy something new to give your piece of furniture a little flare). I decided to put a crystal knob on my drawer since I was going for a shabby chic look

"install hardware"

And you’re all done

"DIY Shabby Chic Table"


"Shabby Chic Foyer Table"

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